This Weekly Financial Markets Update reviews the top market headlines: Stocks Overcome Eventful First Quarter, Downturn in Home Prices Persists, Consumer Sentiment Backtracks in March

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Top Three Market Headlines

Stocks Overcome Eventful First Quarter: Despite recent banking sector turmoil, additional Fed rate hikes, and greater market volatility, broad U.S. stock indices finished 2023's first quarter with solid gains. The S&P 500 index returned 7.5%, its second straight positive quarter. Growth stocks led the market (Russell 1000 Growth index, +14.4%), keyed by a rebound in technology stocks, while value stock indices were limited by weakness in the financial and energy sectors (Russell 1000 Value index, +1.0%). Bonds also recorded positive returns in Q1 (Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate index, +3.0%), marking the second straight quarter both stocks and bonds posted simultaneous gains.

Downturn in Home Prices Persists: Reflecting the impact of higher mortgage rates on the housing market, home prices continued to retreat in the early stages of 2023. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index fell 0.4% in January from the prior month, marking the seventh straight month that prices declined. Prior to seasonal adjustments, prices fell in 19 of the 20 cities in the index, with only Miami reporting an increase. Compared to the prior year, prices across the 20 cities were up only 2.5%, the smallest year-over-year increase since December 2019.

Consumer Sentiment Backtracks in March: After hitting a one-year high in February, U.S. consumer sentiment fell in March for the first time in four months. The Index of Consumer Sentiment published by the University of Michigan registered 62.0 in March, down 8% from 67.0 in February. While March's reading was 4% higher than a year ago, it remained well off the index's 30-year average of 86.8. In a sign that consumers' concerns about inflation are easing, the year-ahead inflation expectation of survey respondents fell from 4.1% in February to 3.6% in March, which is the lowest reading since April 2021.

As of April 03, 2023 Week Quarter-To-Date Year-To-Date One-Year
MSCI All Country World 3.56% 7.31% 7.31% -7.44%
S&P 500 3.50% 7.50% 7.50% -7.73%
Russell 2000 3.96% 2.74% 2.74% -11.61%
MSCI EAFE 4.02% 8.47% 8.47% -1.38%
MSCI Emerging Markets 1.95% 3.96% 3.96% -10.70%
FTSE NAREIT Equity 6.04% 2.68% 2.68% -19.22%
Bloomberg Commodity 2.50% -5.36% -5.36% -12.49%
Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate -0.46% 2.96% 2.96% -4.78%

Univ. of Michigan Surveys of Consumers 3/31/2023, S&P Global 3/28/2023, FactSet. Data from Morningstar Direct. Returns for periods greater than one year are annualized. Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC ("GFA") is an SEC Registered Investment Adviser that provides retirement, investment advisory, discretionary/named and independent fiduciary services. GFA is a limited liability company with Gallagher Benefit Services, Inc. as its single member. GFA may pay referral fees or other remuneration to employees of AJG or its affiliates or to independent contractors; such payments do not change our fee. Securities may be offered through Triad Advisors, LLC ("Triad"), member FINRA/SIPC. Triad is separately owned and other entities and/or marketing names, products or services referenced here are independent of Triad. Neither Triad, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., GFA, their affiliates nor representatives provide accounting, legal or tax advice.