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May 21, 2024

April 2024

Equities endured a tough April following three straight months of gains. The S&P 500 fell 4.1% in its first monthly decline of 2024, the NASDAQ sank 4.4%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 4.9%. Emerging Markets was the only index on our chart (below) to post a positive gain in April. The Russell 2000 was the worst performer in April, plummeting 7%.

Only the Utilities sector was positive in April. Of the remaining ten sectors, Real Estate was the worst-performing sector, sinking 8.5%, followed by Technology and Health Care which fell 5.8% and 5.0%, respectively.

The 30-year mortgage rate surpassed 7% for the first time in 2024. Housing demand was mixed; new single-family home sales rose MoM but existing home sales fell. Bitcoin–colloquially referred to as “Digital Gold”–took its first breather of 2024, while the price of physical gold surged to a new all-time high.

Yields on long-term Treasury bonds rose significantly in April. The 5-year Treasury note increased 51 basis points, the most of any duration on the curve. The 2-year, 3-year, 10-year, 20-year, and 30-year all increased by at least 45 basis points, while there was little activity on the shorter end of the curve.

Bond fund performance slumped as a result of the higher yields. The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) slipped 6.5%, the sharpest decline of any bond fund tracked on our chart (below).

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