July 28, 2023
The first half of 2023 has concluded, and it is one for the record books. Despite seemingly countless reasons to be wary of the markets – regional banks collapsing, core inflation (excluding food and energy) stubbornly remaining above or near 5% and a debt-ceiling resolution being pushed to the 11th hour– the S&P 500 climbed over 16% on a total return basis to start the first half of the year. US stock performance was bolstered again by sectors that declined the most in the 2022 bear market. Big cap technology stocks led the way on a wave of optimism that artificial intelligence could boost global GDP and company profits up to $7 trillion over the next ten years.