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Bumps in the Road

The start of 2020 has brought increased stock market volatility. The uncharacteristically calm market environment we experienced for much of the past four months was bound to end, but identifying the catalyst for a potential sell-off became more difficult after the U.S.-China phase-one trade deal was signed. Not even the recent major escalation in the U.S.-Iran conflict could knock down this market. Unfortunately, the coronavirus appears to have done the trick.

That story is still developing, but so far, the coronavirus has been less deadly than the SARS outbreak, one of the best historical comparisons we have. However, the speed with which the illness has spread within China has grabbed the stock market’s attention. Analysis of prior outbreaks such as SARS, bird flu, and swine flu—and the aggressive ongoing containment efforts—suggests the global economic impact likely may be modest and short-lived, although the situation is unpredictable at this stage. The Chinese economy is being negatively impacted by business closures and travel restrictions, which may have spillover effects on the rest of the world, given the size and global interconnectedness of that economy.

In his post-meeting remarks January 30, Federal Reserve (Fed) Chair Jerome Powell acknowledged the risk to the U.S. and global economies from the coronavirus outbreak. He also slightly downgraded the Fed’s assessment of consumer spending, although based on the January gross domestic product (GDP) report, it is possible the U.S. economy could continue to grow at or near the 2.1% pace reported for the fourth quarter of 2019. After the Fed’s announcement, the bond market factored in one quarter-of-a-point interest rate cut this fall. While that action isn’t a given, well-contained inflation would allow the central bank room to make interest-rate adjustments more easily if needed.

The fundamentals of the U.S. economy and stock market—interest rates, inflation, wage growth, and jobs—still appear favorable overall. Although S&P 500 Index companies have reported minimal earnings growth during fourth-quarter earnings season, commentary from corporate America over the past several weeks has helped solidify the outlook for corporate profits in 2020. It still appears profits could be the primary driver of any potential stock market gains over the next 11 months.

Investing fundamentals may continue to help support stocks over the balance of the year, though the magnitude of potential gains from current levels may be limited. In addition, there are some risks to consider beyond those already mentioned: The 2020 election could negatively impact certain segments of the market due to policy uncertainty; the United Kingdom will officially leave the European Union at the end of this year; and trade tensions with China could flare up again.

Bottom line, there may be some bumps in the road, but the economic expansion may continue through 2020 and help power forward this nearly 11-year-old bull market.

Thank you for your business, and please contact me if you have any questions.

Important Information

This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no assurance that the views or strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. Any economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and are subject to change.

References to markets, asset classes, and sectors are generally regarding the corresponding market index. Indexes are unmanaged statistical composites and cannot be invested into directly. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment and do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted.

All data is provided as of January 31, 2020.

This Research material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Tracking # 1-946762

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The Market Timing Hoax

A lot of “smart” investors will tell you that you should never invest when the market has been moving up, but instead should wait until there’s a pullback in order to buy at a bargain price.  But is that really a good strategy?

The biggest problem with this strategy is that you never know when the market will bottom out and start rising again.  But what if you actually did?  Would this strategy lead to incredible returns?

In a recent blog post, market analyst Nick Maggiulli decided to compare dollar-cost averaging against this perfect foresight of waiting to buy in until the markets hit a recent low, right before they started the next rise.  He found that if you randomly picked any trading day for the Dow Jones Industrial Average since 1970, there was a 95% chance that the market would close lower on some other trading day in the future.  That would be the time to buy, right?

Looking back, he found that just one in 20 trading days closes at a price that will never be seen again.  Between those days, our astute investor would hoard the cash that would otherwise be invested, and put it all in at the low point.  Maggiulli found that his hypothetical “buy at market lows” strategy would outperform a simple strategy of investing the same amount every day in the market by (get ready for this) 0.4% a year.

And remember, this strategy requires you to have perfect foresight—which, to be clear, none of us have.  In the real world, you are 95% likely not to get the best possible price when you buy into the market.  There’s no alternative but to accept this.

Even so, this is actually good news.  It means you don’t need a crystal ball to get pretty much the same returns that you would have gotten had the crystal ball somehow given you a view of the future.  All you have to do is continue to invest in a disciplined manner from now until you need the cash (in retirement?), and if the past is any indication, the market itself will take you where you want to go.

Source:

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What A Difference A Year Makes

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. Confidence in investing fundamentals coupled with attractive stock valuations helped keep a focus on 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 to 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 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, stock market gains are still possible 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. To help prepare for what may be a dynamic—and possibly volatile—year ahead, please read LPL Research’s Outlook 2020: Bringing Markets Into Focus

Best wishes for a healthy and prosperous New Year, and please contact me if you have any questions.

Important Information

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.

All data is provided as of December 31, 2019.

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.

This Research material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

Tracking # 1-931723

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The LPL Research Outlook 2020: Bringing Markets Into Focus is here to provide investment insights as well as economic and market guidance to help us navigate 2020

Hindsight is 20/20, but finding clarity in future uncertainty can be fuzzy. 2019 has been a very rewarding year for investors. One year ago after publishing Outlook 2019 we were all tested with market volatility, and that’s a reminder that we need to continue to be prepared for uncertainty in the markets.

As we look forward to the year 2020 and a new decade, some key trends and market signals will be important to watch. These include progress on U.S.-China trade discussions, slowing global growth, an encouraging outlook from corporate America, and continued strength in consumer spending. To help keep it all in focus, LPL Research Outlook 2020: Bringing Markets Into Focus offers investment insights and market guidance through the end of 2020.

As Outlook 2020 explains, progress on trade remains central to growth projections. LPL Research expects 1.75% U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2020, which reflects the potential for continued trade and geopolitical uncertainties amid the expected gradual slowing of the economy at this point in the economic cycle.

The bond market also is expected to show a modest increase in longer-term yields, supported by continued flexibility by the Federal Reserve in setting interest rates. LPL Research’s year-end 2020 forecast for the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield is a range of 2–2.25%.

Expectations for better corporate earnings growth in 2020, along with continued economic growth in the United States, could support stocks at current valuations. After the strong market gains thus far in 2019, corporate earnings may be the primary driver for stocks next year. The LPL Research team calculates that the S&P 500 could increase by mid-single-digits, consistent with profit gains, by the end of 2020, and they believe mild inflation and still-low interest rates will support these valuations. At the same time, we are mindful of our position in this extended business cycle, and we’ll be on the lookout for signs of moderation.

Together we will continue to monitor the impact of trade negotiations, the upcoming elections, and keep an eye on developments around the world. The LPL Research Outlook 2020 is here to help, bringing some clarity to a complex investing environment and providing insightful commentary to support investment decisions during the year ahead.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Cornerstone Wealth Management.

View Market Outlook 2020 Digital Version

#Investments

#MarketOutlook

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURES

Our 2020 year-end fair value target range for the S&P 500 is 3,250–3,300. We base this year-end target on a trailing price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) of 18.75, which we multiply by our 2020 S&P 500 EPS forecast of $175. We believe mild inflation and still-low interest rates support these valuations. Please see the full Outlook 2020 publication for additional description and disclosure.

This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. The economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted.

The Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index tracks the performance of 500 widely held, large-capitalization US stocks. All indexes are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.

The PE ratio (price-to-earnings ratio) is a measure of the price paid for a share relative to the annual net income or profit earned by the firm per share. It is a financial ratio used for valuation: a higher PE ratio means that investors are paying more for each unit of net income, so the stock is more expensive compared to one with lower PE ratio.

Earnings per share (EPS) is the portion of a company’s profit allocated to each outstanding share of common stock. EPS serves as an indicator of a company’s profitability. Earnings per share is generally considered to be the single most important variable in determining a share’s price. It is also a major component used to calculate the price-to-earnings valuation ratio.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific time period, though GDP is usually calculated on an annual basis. It includes all of private and public consumption, government outlays, investments and exports less imports that occur within a defined territory.

This research material has been prepared by LPL Financial LLC.

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More Treats, Less Tricks

Turning the calendar from October to November brought more than trick-or-treaters, pumpkins, and leaves to rake. It also brought a wave of important economic updates that delivered more treats than tricks and helped the stock markets reach new highs.

Those new highs may be causing you to feel a bit wary, however, wondering if the end is nearing for what is now the longest bull market ever recorded. Should new highs be feared or embraced? Since 1980 the S&P 500 Index historically has generated above-average returns one year after reaching a new high. New highs have been a normal by-product of bull markets, and we should expect to see more.

There are several reasons to expect this bull market may deliver more new highs in the months ahead. Overall, the U.S. economy remains on solid ground with no sign of imminent recession. Gross domestic product for the third quarter came in better than expected despite businesses’ weak capital investment related to the U.S.-China trade conflict. The consumer remains the anchor of the U.S. economy, as shown in recent strong consumer spending data. Job growth in October was solid, even when considering the General Motors strike (which is over), and wages continued to rise.

Recent trade headlines also reflect encouraging progress. President Trump and China President Xi likely will sign a preliminary trade agreement within the next month or so. The most contentious issues will need to be worked out in future negotiations, but any de-escalation of the current trade tensions will be welcome. Resolving the trade dispute may encourage companies to invest more, which could drive stronger economic growth and corporate profits and help push stocks higher.

Doing its part, the Federal Reserve (Fed) gave investors what they were hoping for and cut interest rates for the third time this year. Stocks historically have responded well one year after cuts that were also characterized as a “gradual mid-cycle rate adjustment.”

We are entering what historically has been the best performing six months of the year for stocks. When we add that positive seasonal factor to the overall good health of the U.S. economy, support from the Fed, and progress on a trade agreement, it appears this bull market may have more left in the tank. At the same time, we cannot dismiss potential risks to markets, most notably the possible unraveling of the U.S.-China trade pact, lackluster economic growth in Europe and Japan, stalled corporate profit growth, and the potentially contentious upcoming U.S. presidential election campaign. After a relatively calm and steady stock market advance this year, a pickup in market volatility would be totally normal.

We should continue to watch for signs of excesses in the economy that could lead to a recession and bring this record bull market to an end. For now, there don’t appear to be any worrisome cracks in a strong economic foundation, and the backdrop for stocks appears to remain favorable.

Please contact me if you have any questions, and have a very happy Thanksgiving.

#Investments

#MarketOutlook

Important Information

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.

All data is provided as of November 1, 2019.

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.

This Research material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Tracking # 1- 914248

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Autumn is here, and there is a chill in the air

Summer has turned to fall, and there’s already a little chill in the air. Three-quarters of the year is behind us now, and both stock and bond markets have had a strong year so far, although we expect to see regular—but normal— bouts of volatility as we progress through the fourth quarter. In its first week October has lived up to its reputation as a volatile month, but it’s important to keep in mind that October actually has been the third strongest month on average for the S&P 500 Index for the past 20 years. There are several key factors to watch the rest of the year as the weather continues to cool and end-of-the year activities heat up.

Trade and impeachment have garnered a lot of the headlines recently, but behind the scenes the U.S. economy has remained resilient. Economic data has been increasingly beating expectations. The most recent data points to third-quarter economic growth that’s consistent with the long-term trend of the current expansion, which is now more than a decade long.

Trade headlines have improved in recent weeks. U.S. and China negotiators are scheduled to meet October 10, and the Chinese recently began purchasing U.S. soybeans and pork products again. Reports that the United States would curb U.S. investment in China surfaced and were quickly refuted by the White House. Finally, with the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China behind us, China’s leadership may be in a better position to strike some sort of a trade deal. Even a limited agreement could help shore up business and investor confidence.

While the impeachment process will receive a lot of press attention, it is not expected to have much impact on the economy or markets. The main risk is that the political discourse may harm investor confidence.

Recession fears have heightened recently following a soft September report on U.S. manufacturing from the Institute for Supply Management. Domestic manufacturers continue to struggle with slowing international growth, tariffs, and a strong U.S. dollar. It’s important to note, however, that manufacturing comprises just 12% of the U.S. economy based on gross domestic product, while consumer spending contributes nearly 70%. U.S. consumer spending remains in good shape with low unemployment and rising wages.

Overall, fundamentals for the U.S. economy remain favorable despite trade uncertainty and increasing political risk in Washington, D.C. U.S. economic data has been exceeding expectations, and consumers continue to benefit from a solid labor market. With further progress on trade possible in the months ahead and more Federal Reserve rate cuts anticipated, this bull market may have room to run.

Please contact me if you have any questions, and enjoy the autumn weather.

#Investments

#MarketOutlook

Important Information

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.

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.

All data is provided as of October 1, 2019.

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.

This Research material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Tracking # 1-900519

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U.S. Economic Fundamentals Remain Solid

The Dog Days of Summer were on full display this past month, as a variety of concerns pushed stocks and bond yields lower. After reaching new record highs in late July, the S&P 500 Index dropped approximately 1.8% in August as trade concerns pressured investor sentiment around the world. Impacts of U.S.–China trade tensions reverberated throughout the economy and financial markets in recent weeks, including weakening global manufacturing data and plunging sovereign interest rates. As a result, safe-haven assets like gold, government bonds, and utilities outperformed in August.

Escalating trade tensions early last month dashed hopes of a quick resolution. Both sides need to show strength as China is dealing with protests in Hong Kong and preparing for the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China this October, while President Trump is gearing up for the U.S. presidential election. While global manufacturing has borne the brunt of the trade damage, the latest round of tariffs will impact more consumer goods.

Fortunately, the U.S. consumer remains in good shape, bolstering the economy. The unemployment rate is low, wages are rising, and debt as a percentage of disposable income remains near four-decade lows. Personal spending has driven U.S. output, which during the first half of 2019 remained slightly above the average for the economic expansion. We believe the key to sustaining growth is renewed strength in business investment, which likely requires progress on trade.

The inverted U.S. Treasury yield curve reflects these uncertainties. An inversion occurs when short-term interest rates exceed longer-term rates and typically indicates pending economic weakness, or recession. Considering the relative strength of the U.S. economy and expected interest rate cuts from the Federal Reserve (Fed), we’re not convinced recession is imminent. Instead, we believe the shape of the yield curve reflects a run on U.S. Treasuries based on the global search for yield. More than $17 trillion in global sovereign debt offers negative yields, where lenders pay borrowers for the “privilege” of loaning them money.

Another message sent by the yield curve is that monetary policy is too tight given trade uncertainty, so the Fed needs to respond promptly with lower interest rates. Of course, we will have a recession someday, and now that we’re in the longest expansion ever, anticipation is high. Yet reviewing fundamentals, even with trade, we’re hard pressed to project contraction soon. It is conceivable, though, that a variety of global events, including the uncertainty of trade and the U.S. election, may cause businesses and consumers to “sit this one out” in the fourth quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021. We assign odds of that recessionary scenario at 1 in 3.

In conclusion, fundamentals of the U.S. economy remain solid even as trade uncertainty weighs on investor sentiment. We would interpret the yield curve inversion as a signal that the Fed is too tight, not of imminent recession. Also keep in mind that stocks have historically performed well in the 12 to 18 months following inversions. We recommend suitable investors continue to focus on economic and market fundamentals while maintaining diversified portfolios. If you have any questions, please contact me.

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.

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.

U.S. Treasuries may be considered “safe haven” investments but do carry some degree of risk including interest rate, credit, and market risk. They are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value.

Commodity-linked investments may be more volatile and less liquid than the underlying instruments or measures, and their value may be affected by the performance of the overall commodities baskets as well as weather, geopolitical events, and regulatory developments. The gold market is subject to speculation and volatility as are other markets.

Investing in stock includes numerous specific risks including: the fluctuation of dividend, loss of principal and potential illiquidity of the investment in a falling market. Because of their narrow focus, sector investing will be subject to greater volatility than investing more broadly across many sectors and companies.

There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.

This research material has been prepared by LPL Financial LLC.

To the extent you are receiving investment advice from a separately registered independent investment advisor, please note that LPL Financial LLC is not an affiliate of and makes no representation with respect to such entity. Tracking #1-819896

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Summer 2019 Market Update

This summer has been interesting. Thus far, temperatures have been at a maximum for much of the country, while typical summer storms have been at a minimum. A parallel can be drawn for the financial markets: Major stock indexes are hovering near record levels, while other asset classes like bonds and gold have also participated in gains with little volatility in recent weeks.

In a normal economic environment, stocks, bonds and gold typically do not experience simultaneous growth. But, these are not normal times:  Domestic economic growth is steady, global demand is weakening, trade uncertainty prevails, and central banks around the world are once again lowering interest rates—more than 10 years after the economic and financial crisis!

Indeed, the U.S. economy has exhibited trend-like growth around 2.5% for the first half of 2019. Despite weaker business investment due to trade uncertainty, growth has been supported by a fully employed consumer. These trends have led activity in the developed world, where Europe struggles with Brexit, and Japan, where demand is wobbly ahead of the looming consumption tax. Yet global investors have found favor with risk assets. Is this a sign of confidence in global economic activity? Or is it reflective of a mindset that believes the world’s central banks will come to the rescue again, lowering rates to boost global demand and support asset prices?

While we’d like to believe it is due to confidence, we suspect it is more of a mindset. For example, the U.S. Federal Reserve just reduced interest rates by one quarter of a percentage point (0.25%), and indications are that at least one more rate cut is coming before year-end. The European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan also have committed to more accommodative policy actions. Lower interest rates can boost economic activity by reducing financing costs for home and auto loans, while also factoring into improved valuations of financial assets.

Unfortunately, the uncertain international trade situation has caused businesses to limit investment, pressuring global growth. Until clarity on trade emerges, markets will probably focus on decreasing interest rates, rather than increasing activity. This may lead to temporary bouts of volatility, potentially weighing on asset prices and investor sentiment.

It’s important to continue to focus efforts on the underlying fundamentals supporting economic activity—and remember that while the economy is slowing, it is still growing. Solid economic prospects can help keep corporate profits afloat, especially if there is progress in U.S.-China trade talks and rebounding global activity.

Please contact me if you have any questions, and enjoy the rest of the summer.

Important Information

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.

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.

All data is provided as of August 1, 2019.

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.

This Research material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Tracking # 1-878588

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Midyear Outlook 2019

We are pleased to announce the release of the LPL Research Midyear Outlook 2019: FUNDAMENTAL: How to Focus on What Really Matters in the Markets, with investment insights and market guidance through the end of 2019.

LPL Research believes that even as investors face prospects for periodic bouts of volatility, emphasizing fundamentals will remain critical for making effective investment decisions. The LPL Research Midyear Outlook 2019 provides updated views of current fundamentals that should persist as shorter-term concerns fade and emphasizes four primary pillars for fundamental investing – policy, the economy, fixed income, and equities. As headlines change, look to these pillars and the LPL Research Midyear Outlook 2019 to help provide perspective on what really matters.

Progress on trade remains a key theme to watch. Economic (and political) self-interest most likely will bring the United States and China back to the table, although risks have increased. Clarity on cross-border transactions should lead to increased business confidence, higher capital investment, and improved productivity, likely extending economic and profit cycles.

Against this backdrop, progress on trade remains central to growth projections, and with negotiations stalling in the second quarter, LPL Research slightly reduced its 2019 gross domestic product forecast to 2.25–2.5%, supported by consumer spending, business investment, and government spending.

Turning to the bond market, yields are expected to move higher from current levels. However, the LPL Research team also reduced its year-end forecast for the 10-year Treasury yield to 2.50–2.75% after considering benign inflation, the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) decision to pause rate hikes, and trade-related signs of slowing. Given signals from the yield curve as well as several weaker economic reports, the Fed may be more accommodative in coming quarters.

Based on expectations for economic growth and monetary policy, along with the fiscal tailwinds of government spending, reduced regulation, and lower taxes, 2019 may be a good year for equity investors. Accordingly, LPL Research believes there’s a potential for 5–6% earnings per share (EPS) growth in the S&P 500 Index during 2019 and that the S&P 500 would be fairly valued around 3,000. If clarity on trade and monetary policy result in an improved outlook for corporate profits, LPL Research may revisit that forecast.

Although the economic environment has become more challenging, the pillars of fundamental investing still appear to be sound. Together, we will continue to monitor the impact of trade developments, and refer to LPL Research Midyear Outlook for insightful commentary to support investment decisions.

Midyear Outlook 2019

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

#Investments
#MarketOutlook2019

Important Information

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.

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.

All data is provided as of May 31, 2019.

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. There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.

Rebalancing a portfolio may cause investors to incur tax liabilities and/or transaction costs and does not assure a profit or protect against a loss.

This Research material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

LPL Tracking 1-865246