- The first half of 2023 has been anything but ordinary—from a banking crisis in March and a near-miss with a U.S. debt default to the flurry of excitement in Artificial Intelligence and anything related to it.
- On the surface, U.S. stocks continued to push higher during the quarter. The S&P 500 ended the first half of the year up 16.9% and is now up 24.4% since its October lows, but small cap stocks, banks, and public real estate have been left behind.
- Although several signs suggest this is a bull market, key industries and markets are grappling with telltale bear market issues.
- Looking forward, both bull and bear scenarios are possible, but given market strength, growing optimism and rising real interest rates, the downside should not be dismissed.
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