Author: David I. Templeton, CFA, Principal and Portfolio Manager
With the second quarter in the rearview mirror, some equity markets in the U.S. generated record beating returns. The Nasdaq 100 Index was up 39.4%, a record six month return over the index’s thirty-eight year history. The S&P 500 Index was up a respectable 16.9%. A common theme in the first half of the year was the attention artificial intelligence (A.I.) related stocks received. Beginning in the middle of last year, many economists and market strategists were calling for a recession to occur by mid-year this year. With half of this year behind us, a recession still has not occurred. As our regular readers know, we have maintained that a technical recession occurred in 2022 when real GDP growth was negative in both the first and second quarter. Just as a broken clock is right twice a day, the repeated recession call by some will eventually be correct. There are many reasons one might be nervous about the future direction of the economy as there remain numerous conflicting data points.
More of our thoughts on the quarter and expectations for the second half of the year are discussed in more detail in our Summer 2023 Investor Letter.
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