Unexpectedly Intriguing!
28 November 2022

Shortened by the Thanksgiving Day holiday, the S&P 500 (Index: SPX) mostly rose during a slow trading week, only dipping slightly on Friday, 25 November 2022 to end the week at 4,026.12. The index is 770.44 points (or 16.1%) below the index' all-time record high close on 3 January 2022.

The newly updated alternative futures chart shows the index' trajectory as running to the high side of the range associated with investors focusing their attention on the current quarter of 2022-Q4.

Alternative Futures - S&P 500 - 2022Q4 - Standard Model (m=+2.0 from 13 September 2022) - Snapshot on 25 Nov 2022

We'll soon be entering a period where the echoes of past volatility will skew the dividend futures' model's raw projections. Looking past that period however, we see the projections for 2023-Q1 are rising to a similar level as today's stock prices. That opens up the possibility that when investors act to shift their forward-looking focus away from the current quarter, which they'll be forced to do in the next several weeks, stock prices may not change much from their current level.

Until, that is, investors have reason to look past 2023-Q1 to consider what comes after. As we've seen over the past several weeks, the top two drivers affecting how far into the future investors are looking is what the Fed will do with interest rates and when it will do them.

We'll cover what changes they're expecting and when they're expecting them at the end, but for now, here are the market moving headlines of the week to provide the context in which investors made decisions during the holiday-shortened, slow trading week that was.

Monday, 21 November 2022
Tuesday, 22 November 2022
Wednesday, 23 November 2022
Friday, 25 November 2022

The CME Group's FedWatch Tool continues to project a half point rate hikes at the Fed's upcoming December (2022-Q4) and February 2023 (2023-Q1) meetings. Followed by a quarter point rate hike in March (2023-Q1), the Federal Funds Rate is still projected to peak at a target range of 5.00-5.25%. Looking further forward, the FedWatch tool now anticipates a quarter point rate cut in July (2023-Q3) as the Fed is forced to go into reverse by developing recessionary conditions in the U.S. economy.

The Atlanta Fed's GDPNow tool's projection for real GDP growth in 2022-Q4 rose slightly to +4.3% from last week's +4.2% estimate. There continues to be a large gap between its current projection and the so-called "Blue Chip consensus" that predicts near zero growth in 2022-Q4.

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