Awful consumer sentiment signals better days ahead for the S&P 500 – The Average Joe

    Awful consumer sentiment signals better days ahead for the S&P 500

    Victor Lei — Head of Research

    January 6, 2023

    January 6, 2023

    Biggest question on every investor’s mind: When will markets begin their recovery?

     

    But not all of us are made of pixels, so time’s a tickin’.

    Let’s turn to the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey — a measure of how consumers view the health of the economy. The higher the digit, the better.

    The index fell below 65 last February — almost a year ago. Consumers are more pessimistic than they’ve been in decades.

    But why is 65 so important?

    Alhambra Investments looked at the returns in the years following instances when the index fell below 65 in the past.

    • After one year: The S&P 500 was up on average 12.8% — and finished positive 80% of the time.
    • After three years: The S&P 500 was up on average 34.9% — and finished positive 88.6% of the time.

    2008 was one of the only exceptions where markets were still down three years after.

    Tell us what this means…

    If we were to follow history:

    • Markets have a significantly increased chance of finishing higher on Feb. 25, 2023 — compared to a year ago.
    • But… for the S&P 500 to finish positive on that date, it needs to rise another 15%.

    Give it another two years, and the chances for a positive finish become even higher.

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