A full circle approach with you at the center

Happy New Year! What a difference a year makes. One year ago the stock market was plunging and came perilously close to ending what has become the longest bull market ever recorded. In December 2018, dropping stocks were suggesting an increased risk that a recession, or market crisis, might be on the horizon. Our confidence in investing fundamentals, coupled with attractive stock valuations, helped us make the decision to stay the course and maintain our focus on our long-term investing objectives in the face of short-term volatility.

One year later with 20/20 hindsight, what appeared to be a bullish forecast for stocks may have been too conservative, and now we’re asking if stocks have come too far, too fast. December 2019’s stock market environment has been in some ways the opposite of December 2018’s. After a strong rally that has lifted stock valuations, the question now is whether investing fundamentals can continue to support 2019’s gains throughout 2020.

Stock market fundamentals have improved significantly over the past year. We’ve received clarity on the biggest market uncertainties: U.S.-China trade relations, the Federal Reserve (Fed) pivoting from rate hikes to rate cuts, and the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union (Brexit). We’ve also seen a leadership transition at the European Central Bank and more production cuts by Saudi Arabia-led OPEC to help stabilize oil prices. These actions plus reduced trade tensions in other key international economies could be viewed as evidence that economic growth outside the United States has stabilized and may even be starting to pick up a bit, although it is not assured.

Investors have priced in a lot of this good news, and we think it’s possible that some potential 2020 gains have been pulled forward into late 2019. Stocks may need to be repriced over the next several months as investors wait for the economy and corporations to deliver against pricing, and that wait could be uncomfortable at times. Corporate earnings growth will likely be the driver of stock market gains, but that still may depend on more progress in trade negotiations. Negotiations on “phase two” of the U.S.-China trade talks could become bumpy, and that could lead to additional turbulence in the stock markets. Inflation could also pick up and trigger renewed fears of Fed rate hikes, although a slight increase in inflation is a sign of a healthy economy. Fallout from the impeachment, international economic data in decline, and the potential for a highly charged U.S. election also could lead to increased market uncertainty this year.

While the strong market performance of 2019 may limit the magnitude of potential market advances in 2020, we still expect stock market gains this year. A Fed committed to keeping interest rates at current levels and progress on trade can improve prospects for business investment and productivity growth, and encourage us to raise our profit forecasts as the year progresses. To help prepare for what we believe will be a dynamic—and possibly volatile—year ahead, please read LPL Research’s Outlook 2020: Bringing Markets Into Focus.

We wish you a healthy and prosperous New Year! As always, we encourage you to contact your financial advisor with any questions.

Click here to download a PDF of this report.

 

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual security. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing.

All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.

The use of Stocks and Markets herein are referencing corresponding indexes, unless otherwise noted. All indexes are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.

Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted.

Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. No investment strategy or risk management technique can guarantee return or eliminate risk in all market environments.

All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

This research material has been prepared by LPL Financial LLC.

Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial (LPL), a registered investment advisor and broker-dealer (member FINRA/SIPC). Insurance products are offered through LPL or its licensed affiliates. To the extent you are receiving investment advice from a separately registered independent investment advisor, please note that LPL is not an affiliate of and makes no representation with respect to such entity.

If your advisor is located at a bank or credit union, please note that the bank/credit union is not registered as a broker-dealer or investment advisor. Registered representatives of LPL may also be employees of the bank/credit union. These products and services are being offered through LPL or its affiliates, which are separate entities from, and not affiliates of, the bank/credit union. Securities and insurance offered through LPL or its affiliates are:

Not Insured by FDIC/NCUA or Any Other Government Agency | Not Bank/Credit Union Guaranteed Not Bank/Credit Union Deposits or Obligations | May Lose Value

Tracking #1-931723 (Exp. 01/21)

CONTACT 360 WEALTH MANAGEMENT

Address:
17300 N. Dallas Pkwy, Suite 2065
Dallas, TX 75248

Main Phone: 972-421-1360

Main Fax: 972-421-1390

Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advice offered through 360 Wealth Management, a dba of Advisor Resource Council, a registered investment advisor. 360 Wealth Management and Advisor Resource Council are separate entities from LPL Financial.

The LPL registered representatives of 360 Wealth Management may only discuss securities or transact business with persons who are residents of AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, KS, LA, MA, MD, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NM, NV, NY, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA.

No information provided on this site is intended to constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy shares of any security, nor shall any security be offered or sold to any person, in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation, purchase or sale would be unlawful under securities laws of such jurisdiction.