AthenaInvest First Quarter 2023 Commentary
by Craig Love, on May 01, 2023
We are pleased with our portfolio performance over the last few years with our Global Tactical ETFs portfolio providing downside protection with a flexible allocation approach. While there are some emerging market positives, overall market uncertainty remains high, and we are maintaining our defensive positioning.
- After a quarter-long rally, markets remained in Bear Market territory during Q1, with the US market down -14% since the beginning of 2022. Growth stocks bounced back nicely in Q1 with a 15% return.
- GDP grew by 2.6% in Q4 2022, slightly lower than the 3.2% growth in Q3, offsetting the Q1 and Q2 declines, resulting in 2.1% growth for 2022. PMI Manufacturing and Services indices are in the high 40’s and low 50’s, above recession levels but recent declines may be a concern. The labor market remains strong with the March unemployment rate at a near historic low of 3.5%.
- Q1 reported corporate earnings are projected to shrink an estimated -6.8%, the largest decline since Q2 2020. Forward earnings and prices reflect a 12-month S&P 500 forward PE of 19, a bit higher than the 5- and 10-year averages.
- Inflation remains stubbornly high with recent monthly rates over twice the Fed’s annual target of 2%. Fed tightening has lowered inflation but not sufficiently to meet its long-term goal.
- Behavioral market indicators are mixed with valuation and economic measures normal, technical measures positive. Behavioral measures remain poor for US Large Cap, driving our defensive positioning, with normal readings for International Developed markets and US Small Caps.
- Global Tactical ETFs: 15.5% vs Benchmark return of 9.0% since inception (9/1/2010)
For portfolio-specific commentary, click on the link below.
Source: Athena Invest
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