Don’t Be the Pouty Kid: Seeing the US Economy’s Reality

I used to have a friend with a pouty kid. I remember seeing a picture of the kid crying while sitting in the middle of its dumped-out Halloween candy. He had everything he wanted and still wasn’t happy. Let me explain how investors are doing the same thing right now.

Last week’s Commerce Dept. report showed that the US economy is hitting its stride, so why are Americans so pessimistic about the economy? There is too much focus on emotions and not enough on reality, which is affecting the stock market.

Here’s some positive reality.

– The GDP is rocking. Last week’s Gross Domestic Product third-quarter report was 4.9%, which is more than double what it was for the second quarter and higher than before the pandemic.

– The job market is back to normal.

The same goes for the job market. The unemployment rate is 3.8%, just barely above what it was in December 2019.

– An end of the earnings recession. It looks like the third-quarter earnings are at a 5% year-over-year increase in S&P 500 earnings and twice that if you take out energy stocks.

The US economy is in a good place, but Americans are feeling negative.

Here are some negative emotions.

– Consumer confidence declined again in October 2023 for the third consecutive month.

– 63% of people in a recent Wall Street Journal survey rated the strength of the US economy as “Not so good/Poor.”

That negativity has carried over to the average American’s investment strategy. There have been three months of stock selling, leaving stocks at nearly oversold levels according to value. Stocks were negative over 2% in October, making it the third negative month in a row.

I think Americans are still concerned with rising grocery and gasoline prices. There is also a lot of negativity about our political situation and the wars in Ukraine and Israel.

America, keep your head up. Things are better than you think.

The good news is that from a seasonal market perspective, November has been the strongest month since 1950 for stocks. The November-December combo is the best two-month period since 1950. Lastly, November-April is the strongest six-month period of the year since 1950.

Undoubtedly, 2023 has been challenging with its economic and war surprises. But with an unemotional and balanced view of the economy and the markets, I see some positives that may push stocks higher by yearend. Stick with your long-term investment plan, and don’t get caught up in the short-term negativity.

So, all that to say is, don’t be the pouty kid! It’s easier to dwell on the negative things around us than the positives. America, keep your head up. Things are better than you think.

Have a blessed week!


Opinions voiced above are for general information only & not intended as specific advice or recommendations for any person. All performance cited is historical & is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested directly.

 The economic forecast outlined in this material may not develop as predicted & there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.



 Fervent Wealth Management is a financial management and services entity in Springfield, Missouri.



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