Economic Market Summary: First Half Of 2023 Finishes With Equities Rising

Market Down and Dirty

Last Week’s Economic/Market Summary


  • U.S. equities rose last week to finish out the 1st half of 2023.
    • S&P 500 +2.32% Dow +2.02% Russell 2000 +3.71%, Nasdaq +2.19%1
      • The All-Country World Index gained +1.95%.1
    • S&P 500 sub-sectors were mostly lower last week.
      • Real Estate & Energy led to the upside with gains of around 5%.1
      • Utilities, Healthcare, & Staples were positive but only areas under +1%.1
    • The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) was flat on the week finishing at 13.36. 1
  • US Treasury bond yields were higher last week.
    • US 2yr +0.16% at 4.87%, 10yr +0.07% to 3.81%, 30yr +0.03% to 3.85%.1
    • The 2/10yr inversion is within 0.04% of the largest difference in multiple decades. 1
  • Commodities as an aggregate asset class were slightly higher last week.
  • WTI Crude rose +1.82%.1
    • Gold declined -0.11%.1
      • The US Dollar index was flat. 1
  • In our opinion, U.S. economic data continued to be mixed last week.
    • The Fed’s preferred inflation gauge came in below expectations with a monthly gain of 0.3%.1
    • Consumer spending came in lower than expected for May as wages gain 0.5%.1
    • New home sales soared in May while home prices had their first yearly decline in 11 years. 1
  • An index of equities outside the US (FTSE All-World ex-US) gained +1.89%.1


  • US Equities posted a strong close to the final week of June.
    • All major indices were positive last week and were led by small-caps.
      • The small-cap tracking Russell 2000 led to the upside with a gain of 3.71%.1
    • Interesting to note that equal-weight outperformance the traditional market-cap weighted indices last week.
      • This is a measure we’ve been watching closely as over 85% of gains in the S&P 500 year to date have come from 7 stocks. 1
    • If this is truly a new bull-market, positive performance will have to spread out to the other areas of the markets…reflected in continued outperformance in equal-weight.
      • A large catch-up trade could follow if economic data does in fact stabilize to match some areas of the equity market’s upside zeal thus far in ’23.
  • S&P 500 subsectors were all higher last week.
    • Energy rose on fresh hopes of a supply imbalance if demand returns. 1
      • Real Estate & Materials were the other sectors that gained over 4%.1
    • Interesting to note that despite the year-to-date gains in the S&P 500, only half of the major sub-sectors are positive so far in 2023. 1
    • Outside of Tech & Consumer Discretionary, all other sectors are mid-single digit losses or gains so far this year.
      • This reiterates our current view that if things are to continue to the upside, other areas have a large possible gap to make-up
  • US Treasury yields moved higher last week as the short-end continued to outpace rises in longer term maturities.
    • The 2/10yr inversion closed last week at 1.07%.1
    • Yields have approached their highest levels seen so far this year, while wagers that the Federal Reserve might cut interest rates this year fizzled.
    • Rising interest rates are likely to remain a key theme for the rest of the year.
      • Unlike in 2022, when the sight of higher borrowing costs sent stocks reeling, now this is being perceived that a widely feared recession is not an imminent threat.
  • Commodities as an asset class were little changed last week.
    • Oil rose last week but still closed out its 4th quarter in a row at a loss. 1
    • Oil has faced worries about a potential global economic slowdown as well as a lackluster recovery in China while robust crude exports from Russia and Iran have kept supplies ample.
    • Copper & Gold both declined last week with the former falling more. 1

Ryan A. Mumy, CFP®,

AIF® – Chief Investment Officer

Contact: 828/855-9400 or 

 1 Source: Bloomberg – 6/30/2023 

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