February 12, 2024 | portfolio managers' brief

Portfolio Managers’ Brief: February 2024

BY: Jason Ayres
A brief review of market conditions and how they are impacting the management decisions of our Investment Review Committee (IRC).

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Key Takeaways: Portfolio Managers’ Brief February 2024

U.S. Stock Market Achieves Significant Growth in 2023

  • Robust Performance of Major Indexes: The Nasdaq, S&P 500, and Dow Jones all recorded significant growth by the end of 2023, with Nasdaq posting its third-best annual performance in two decades.

Canadian Stock Market Sees Modest Gains

  • S&P/TSX Composite Index Growth: Canada’s main stock market index ended 2023 up nearly 12%, with a slight increase in early 2024, reflecting improved interest rate outlooks and a shift from cash to equities.

Global Markets Experience Strong Rebound

  • Global Equity Markets Rebound: The MSCI All Country World Index (ACWI) closed out 2023 up 22%, with continued growth into 2024.

Bond Market Shows Positive Movement

  • Bond Market Rebound: The Ishares Core Canadian Universe Bond Index ETF ended 2023 with a 6% gain, though it saw a slight decline in early 2024.

Optimistic Market Outlook for 2024

  • 2024 Market Outlook: There’s optimism among investors, with growth expected to hinge on GDP growth, inflation rates, Federal Reserve policies, and earnings momentum, despite recession fears.

Diversification as a Key Investment Strategy

  • Continued Focus on Diversification: Emphasizing robust fundamentals and resilient business models, Croft Financial Group aims to navigate the slowing economy while focusing on quality companies.

S&P 500 Performance Highlights

  • S&P 500 Outperforms Equal Weight Index: The market cap weighted S&P 500 (SPY) outperformed the equal weight version, driven by the resilience of major tech companies.

Impact of AI and Technology on the Stock Market

  • AI and Technology’s Market Influence: Breakthroughs in AI and technology sectors, particularly companies like Nvidia, AMD, and Microsoft, continue to significantly impact the stock market.

Political and Geopolitical Uncertainties on the Radar Monitoring Political and Geopolitical Risks: Global elections, geopolitical tensions, and challenges in China, especially in its real estate sector, are being closely watched due to their potential impact on global growth and

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