Market Commentary 4/25/24

Global Markets Hit by a Host of Headwinds

Last week markets continued to pull back as the S&P 500 dropped to a two-month low. We are seeing stocks stressed due to a multi-faceted wave of challenges. The initial pullback in early April, predominantly driven by persistent inflation and higher interest rates, has catalyzed into a more extensive selloff. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100’s sharp decline of over 1% each on Monday of last week has sent a ripple effect across the globe. Asian benchmarks have retreated notably in Japan and Hong Kong, and European markets have not been spared the brunt.

Interest Rates: The Evident Culprit

At the heart of the selloff is the lingering concern over “higher-for-longer” interest rates in the United States. Fed officials, including San Francisco’s Mary Daly, have taken a firm stance suggesting no rush to pivot away from current rate policies until a more decisive suppression of inflation is visible. This view is reinforced by the robustness of economic activity and strong labor markets.

Geopolitical Strains Add to Investor Anxiety

Market sentiment has also been rattled by intensifying tensions in the Middle East. Israel has retaliated to Iran’s aggressive drone and missile maneuvers, inciting concerns of further destabilization in a critical region and potential disruptions to global oil supplies. Although crude oil prices are fluctuating—dipping from highs in response to Israeli defense declarations—it underscores the frailty of energy markets amidst geopolitical strife.

China’s Complex Economic Landscape

China presents a mixed bag of financial forecasts. While the nation’s GDP growth of 5.3% outperformed analyst expectations for Q1, there’s discernible weakness coming through. Retail sales are downward trending, industrial output is disappointing, and there’s sustained sluggishness in the property sector, highlighting a potentially arduous road ahead. Xi Jinping’s recent defiance against Western pressures on Chinese manufacturing suggests a sharpening of global economic tensions, with potential implications for cross-border trade relations and investments.


The current market posture reflects a combination of fiscal, geopolitical, and economic uncertainties. With the Fed’s commitment to combating inflation—despite enduring economic fortitude—investors must brace for a probable continuity of restrictive monetary policy. Additionally, the precarious state of Middle East geopolitics, coupled with China’s staggered economic indicators, signal a weaving of uncertainties that could define market trajectories in the coming period.

Economically, this phase embodies a meeting point of policy tightening, diplomatic pressures, and uneven growth patterns. The preservation of market stability hinges on navigating through these intricately interwoven factors with a lens of cautious optimism, tactical agility, and strategic foresight. We also expect corporate earnings to play its part in determining whether the recent decline is a healthy correction or the start of something more concerning.

Please contact us with any questions you may have,

Dennis P. Barba, Jr.
CEO, Managing Partner
Michael P. Finkelstein, CFA
Robert Frenkel, CFP®
Chief Investment Officer


  • CNBC
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • Bloomberg

Important Disclosures: The report herein is not a complete analysis of every material fact in respect to any company, industry or security. The opinions expressed here reflect the judgment of the author as of the date of the report and are subject to change without notice. Any market prices are only indications of market values and are subject to change. The information contained herein is based on technical and/or fundamental market analysis and may be based on data obtained from recognizable statistical services, issuer reports or communications or other sources believed to be reliable. However, such information has not been verified by us, and we do not make any representations as to its accuracy or completeness. The material has been prepared or is distributed solely for information purposes and is not a solicitation or an offer to buy any security or instrument or to participate in any trading strategy. Index returns are not fund returns. An index is unmanaged and not available for direct investment. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Yields are given as of 10/1/2023.Bonds are subject to price and availability. The S&P 500 Index consists of 500 stocks chosen for market size, liquidity, and industry group representation. It is a market value weighted index with each stock’s weight in the Index proportionate to its market value. The Russell 2000® Index measures the performance of the 2,000 smallest companies in the Russell 3000® Index, which represents approximately 8% of the total market capitalization of the Russell 3000 Index. The NASDAQ 100 Index is an unmanaged group of the 100 biggest companies listed on the NASDAQ Composite Index. The list is updated quarterly and companies on this Index are typically representative of technology-related industries, such as computer hardware and software products, telecommunications, biotechnology and retail/wholesale trade. The MSCI EAFE Index is designed to represent the performance of large and mid-cap securities across 21 developed markets, including countries in Europe, Australasia and the Far East, excluding the U.S. and Canada. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index is designed to represent the performance of large- and mid-cap securities in 24 Emerging Markets. Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index is a broad-based measure of the investment grade, US dollar-denominated, fixed-rate taxable bond market. Additional information is available upon request. PM-10222025-6570796.1.1

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