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May 02, 2023

April 2023

April was another positive month for stocks, except for the small-cap Russell 2000 index. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2.6%, the S&P 500 added 1.6%, and the NASDAQ eked out a 0.1% gain. The global equity picture was mixed; Developed Markets notched 2.9% higher, while Emerging Markets fell 1.1%. The Russell 2000 slipped 1.8%, marking its third consecutive monthly decline.

Seven of the 11 US stock sectors were positive in April, and four rose 3% or higher (Consumer Staples, Communication Services, Financials, and Health Care). April was a down month for cyclically-sensitive sectors, as Technology, Materials, Consumer Discretionary, and Industrials all took a breather.

Signs pointed to tamer inflation in April as the YoY US Producer Price Index fell all the way to 2.75%. US Inflation broke below 5% as US Core Inflation hovered around 5.5%. The price of WTI crude oil rose 3.9% to $78.64 per barrel and Brent shot up 6.4% to $84.23. This caused the average price of regular gas to increase almost a quarter per gallon, to $3.77 at the end of April.

US Treasury yields broke 5% once again. The 3-Month and 6-Month Treasury Bills were the two durations to surpass 5% in April, at 5.18% and 5.06% respectively. April marked the 3-Month’s highest level since February 2007. The 5-Year’s yield of 3.51% was the lowest on the curve. Lastly, the 10 Year-3 Month Treasury Yield spread sunk to -1.65%, marking the spread’s largest inversion in history.

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