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The First Slice for Thursday, December 21, 2023

The First Slice for Thursday, December 21, 2023

U.S. stocks recently experienced a sudden downturn after enjoying a solid year-end rally. This decline marked the end of a series of record-breaking highs for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and temporarily halted the S&P 500’s march toward an all-time closing high. Experts attribute these fluctuations to various factors.

One significant factor affecting the market is the Federal Reserve’s surprising shift towards a more dovish stance, which caught many investors off guard. Conversely, the stock market has been on a remarkable upward trajectory, pushing valuations to historically high levels. While there’s debate about whether the economy will experience a hard or soft landing, it’s widely agreed that it is slowing down. Consumer spending is expected to decrease slightly in the coming quarters.

Traditionally, this time of year is associated with optimism in the stock market due to a phenomenon known as the “Santa Claus rally.” This period, which extends from the last five trading days of the year to the first two trading days of the new year, often boosts stock prices. Over the years, the S&P 500 has averaged a gain of 1.32% during this period, closing higher approximately 78.1% of the time.

In recent economic data, home sales increased by 0.8% in November, breaking a five-month slump as lower mortgage rates encouraged prospective homebuyers. Additionally, the U.S. consumer confidence index reached a five-month high of 110 in December, up from the previous month. Investors are now watching upcoming reports, including a revision of the third-quarter GDP and the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, the personal consumption expenditures inflation report, set to be released soon.

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stonestreetcoffee.com ☕️ **Discover Stone Street Coffee Company - Your Coffee Haven!** Today's Dough readers, if you're on the hunt for exceptional coffee and cold brew, look no further than Stone Street Coffee Company. We at Today's Dough are smitten with their rich coffee blends and refreshing Cold Brew. Stone Street's commitment to quality shines through in every sip. Now, exclusively for our readers, click the banner above to snag a $5 off coupon on your next order. Experience the finest, ethically sourced beans roasted to perfection. Join the Stone Street community, savor top-notch coffee, and elevate your daily brew. ☕️🌟

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