Blog

A Cool Beveridge for US Employment

Most economists believe that inflation is driven by wage growth, which is driven by demand for labor and “unnaturally” low unemployment. This is why, as the Federal Reserve ratcheted up interest rates in 2022 to halt inflation, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on several occasions reminded our citizenry that inflation would not come down without “pain” for households. In Fed-speak, that means putting people out of work. It was believed that unemployment had fallen too far.
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Bad Breadth Usually Precedes Minty Fresh Returns

The US stock market’s returns in recent years, 2022 notwithstanding, have been principally driven by the outsized performance of a handful of mega-cap technology names. The so-called “Magnificent Seven” stocks have a few members who have been not-so-magnificent of late, however the point remains that market “breadth” has been poor.
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Stocks, Bonds and ETFs Moving to One Day Settlement

For many years, the trading of securities such as stocks in the US went like this: on Monday, an investor buys a share of stock, and a dealer agrees to sell them that stock. Two days later, on Wednesday, the investor sends the cash to the dealer, and the dealer delivers the stock.
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A Light at the End of the Tunnel for Europe?

There have been multiple roadblocks for Europe’s economy in recent years. For various reasons, Europe’s economy has been rather slow to recover from the pandemic, particularly compared to the US. Then, on the heels of the pandemic, Russia invaded Ukraine, and, more recently, a spike in inflation was anticipated due to Red Sea shipping disruptions.
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The Haves and the Have-Nots

This week, the Federal Reserve published an analysis of the vulnerability of public companies to persistently higher interest rates or a severe economic downturn. The study incorporates the most recent data of companies’ aggregate debt structure and “maturity wall” to gauge whether firms will be able to service their debt.
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Indiana Trust Employees Deliver "Diaper Drop" to Christ Child Society!

At Indiana Trust Wealth Management, our commitment to community service complements our dedication to excellence in investment management!  On May 8, 2024, we participated in the Christ Child Society's annual "Diaper Drop!" event, helping local families in need by delivering hundreds of new diapers in a variety of sizes!
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The Markets (as of market close May 3, 2024)

The markets enjoyed a solid week of gains on the heels of favorable corporate earnings data and a softer-than-expected employment report. Investors could be viewing the dip in job hires and wage growth as the fuel the Federal Reserve needs to consider interest rate cuts.
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Productivity is Underrated

The Employment Cost Index (ECI) report, published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on Tuesday, reflected compensation costs to employers at a higher growth rate (1.2%) than what was expected for the first quarter of 2024. As most economists believe wage growth drives inflation, and inflation drives Federal Reserve contemplation of interest rate hikes, the ECI report was interpreted rather negatively by capital markets.
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The Markets (as of market close April 26, 2024)

Stocks closed last week higher, driven up by tech and communication shares. Each of the benchmark indexes listed here climbed higher, led by the Nasdaq, which rose more than 4.0%. With nearly 50.0% of S&P 500 companies reporting first-quarter earnings, 77.0% reported positive earnings per share and 60.0% reported positive revenue according to the latest information from FactSet). Each of the market sectors closed last week ahead, with consumer staples and information technology leading the w
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High Nominal Growth Environment is Okay for Stocks

The most surprising development in capital markets in 2024 (so far) is that equities have held up despite the evaporation of expectations for the Federal Reserve to lower its target interest rate this year. Back in January, markets expected six or more rate cuts from the Fed. Now, markets anticipate one cut, maybe, by year end..
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Our Elkhart Office Has Relocated!

Our Elkhart office has relocated to the new "Eastbank Building" in the business development district of downtown, where other suites are still under construction. Please make note of our new ...
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Higher Bond Yields, Higher Forward Returns

 The US investment grade bond market’s average annual return over the last five years through the end of March is distinctly unimpressive. The Bloomberg US Aggregate index, a proxy for the investment grade bond market, returned about 0.5% to investors over that time.
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Cheron Merten Named To 2024 Michiana Forty Under 40 Class

Indiana Trust Wealth Management is proud to announce that Cheron L. Merten, CTFA™, CFIRS™, has been named to the 2024 Michiana Forty Under 40 class, recognizing her as one of the area's most influential up-and-coming professionals under 40 years old. This prestigious accolade highlights exceptional individuals who not only excel in their professional fields but also strive to make significant contributions to the Michiana community.
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Corporate Investment Driving Profits – and Inflation?

On Wednesday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics published its March CPI inflation report. Economists and the market expected month-over-month core inflation of 0.3%. The figure came in at 0.4%. So far in 2024, core inflation has stopped falling.
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The Markets (as of market close April 5, 2024)

Despite a late-week surge, stocks closed lower last week. Investors saw the continued strength of the labor market (see below) as increasing the chances of a soft landing for the economy, while potentially delaying the Federal Reserve from cutting interest rates. Each of the benchmark indexes listed here lost value, with the Russell 2000 and the Dow falling more than 2.0%. Ten-year Treasury yields rose as bond prices slid.
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The Markets (as of market close March 29, 2024)

Stocks finished the month of March in solid fashion. Each of the benchmark indexes listed here posted gains, with the exception of the Nasdaq. Bond yields dipped lower. Crude oil prices advanced, while energy shares ended up being a top performer. The dollar inched higher, while gold prices continued to climb.Investors seemed to take a breath to begin last week, as stocks ticked lower by the close of trading last Monday.
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Stocks Shrug Off Dwindling Expectations for Rate Cuts

In 2022, when the Federal Reserve raised interest rates at the fastest pace in its history, virtually all financial asset prices suffered, including stocks. Beyond the day-to-day noise, a company’s stock price can be thought of as the present value of the firm’s future cash flows (i.e., profits) per share. As interest rates rise, the present value of those future cash flows falls. This relationship has led many investors to claim that the Fed “controls” the stock market, to an extent.
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The Markets (as of market close March 15, 2024)

Equities closed lower for the second straight week last week, with the Russell 2000 losing nearly 2.0%. A sell-off in tech shares pulled the Nasdaq down 0.7%, marking the first back-to-back weekly losses since last October. Higher-than-expected inflation data may have raised investor concerns that the Federal Reserve may keep interest rates elevated for longer than hoped for.
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Bubble Talk

Ray Dalio, famed founder of the storied hedge fund Bridgewater, recently argued why US stocks are not in a “bubble”, contrary to recent rumblings from other prominent investors. He constructed a “USA Equity Market Bubble Gauge” based upon traditional measures of value, broad market sentiment, the use of debt to finance stock purchases, and a few more metrics.
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The Markets (as of market close March 8, 2024)

Wall Street fell from record highs to close generally lower last week. A better-than-expected jobs report (see below) helped support the notion that the economy remains strong and that the Federal Reserve will likely cut interest rates, possibly after their June meeting.
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Evolving Country Representation in Emerging Markets

Emerging Markets as an equity asset class began attracting investor attention in the 1980’s, but what does that moniker represent today? MSCI, the industry-standard index provider, builds its universe of Emerging Market countries by considering a country’s economic development, the size and liquidity of securities traded, and market accessibility to foreign capital.
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For the Fed, is Patience a Virtue?

With inflation slowing and signs of labor market cooling, the consensus heading into 2024 was that the Federal Reserve would begin lowering its overnight target interest rate range from its currently held position of 5.25% to 5.5% as early as March.
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The Markets (as of market close February 23, 2024)

Stocks advanced last week, driven higher by tech shares that were bolstered by favorable corporate earnings reports. The Dow, the Nasdaq, and the S&P 500 posted weekly gains for the 16th time out of the last 18 trading weeks. Among the benchmark indexes listed here, only the small caps of the Russell 2000 closed the week in the red. Each of the 11 market sectors ended the week higher, led by consumer staples, materials, and health care.
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The Markets (as of market close February 16, 2024)

Rising inflation heightened investor concerns last week that the Federal Reserve may not consider lowering interest rates during the first half of the year. Among the benchmark indexes listed here, only the small caps of the Russell 2000 and the Global Dow were able to gain ground. The Dow snapped a five-week winning streak, while the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 also finished the week lower.
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All In for AI

Super Micro Computer, Inc. (SMCI), a relatively small company headquartered in San Jose, California with $7 billion in annual revenue, has been publicly traded since 2007. SMCI makes high-performance and high-efficiency servers. The stock has done well over the years and is listed in the Russell 2000 index of small cap stocks.
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The Markets (as of market close February 9, 2024)

Stocks closed higher last week, with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq reaching record highs. Investors were encouraged by generally favorable fourth-quarter corporate earnings data and a downwardly revised Consumer Price Index for December. Each of the benchmark indexes listed here gained ground, led by the Russell 2000 and the Nasdaq.
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What’s Driving Stock Market Returns?

The stock market has notched all-time highs on multiple occasions in 2024, surpassing its previous high-water mark on January 3, 2024. Stock market valuations are bumping higher, as well.
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The Markets (as of market close February 2, 2024)

A strong labor report and solid earnings data from megatech companies helped drive stocks higher last week. Each of the benchmark indexes listed here posted solid gains with the exception of the Russell 2000. Nine of the 11 market sectors advanced last week, led by consumer discretionary, consumer staples, and health care, while real estate and energy declined.
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Pondering Risks to the Stock Market

As the US stock market has notched multiple all-time highs over the last two weeks, it may be worthwhile to take a step back and consider what the near-term risks could be for equities.
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The Markets (as of market close January 26, 2024)

Stocks closed higher last week, with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq reaching record highs. Investors spent most of the week parsing through corporate earnings results and important economic data. Among the market sectors, communication services and energy rose over 5.0%, while health care ended the week in the red. Ten-year Treasury yields ticked up marginally.
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Stocks and Bonds, Positively Correlated

Fidelity Investments recently noted that three-year rolling correlations between stocks and intermediate U.S. Treasury bonds have moved into positive territory for the first time in over twenty years. At present, when bond prices go up (and yields fall), stock prices tend to go up, and when bond prices fall (and yields rise), stocks tend to fall.
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The Markets (as of market close January 12, 2024)

Wall Street saw stocks close higher last week, despite dampening hopes of an interest rate reduction. Each of the benchmark indexes listed here rebounded from a slow start to the year by adding value last week. Some major financial companies posted lower-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings. Information technology and communication services led the sectors, while energy and utilities underperformed. Ten-year Treasury yields slipped lower. Crude oil prices retreated marginally.
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The Markets (as of market close January 19, 2024)

Wall Street closed the holiday-shortened week generally higher, with each of the benchmark indexes listed here posting gains, except for the Russell 2000 and the Global Dow. The surge in stocks was driven primarily by information technology and communication services, with chip makers leading the charge. Other than financials, which ticked up marginally higher, the remaining market sectors ended the week in the red.
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Are the “Magnificent Seven” Stocks Excessively Magnificent?

 The “Magnificent Seven” stocks – Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon, NVIDIA, Tesla, and Meta – were up over 100% on average in 2023 and were collectively responsible for more than two-thirds of the S&P 500’s 26% return. The Magnificent Seven now make up almost 30% of the index’s market capitalization, an unusually high concentration of market value in such a small number of names.
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The Perks of Low Expectations

The most important driver of returns on stocks is earnings growth. The present value of expected future earnings – whether “future earnings” are estimated using EPS, free cash flows generated, economic profits, or any alternative metric – is what gets baked into stock prices.
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The Markets (as of market close January 5, 2024)

After pulling off a surprisingly strong rally in the fourth quarter of 2023, the stock market took a tumble during the first week of the new year. All five of the indexes listed here ended lower, with the Russell 2000 and the Nasdaq seeing the largest losses. Information Technology and Consumer Discretionary were the two worst-performing sectors, while health care, utilities, and energy posted decent gains.
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Peeking Back at 2023, Sizing Up 2024

Market analyst Sam Ro recently highlighted a prescient take from Brian Belski, strategist at BMO Capital Markets, made in January 2023. A year ago, Mr. Belski noted that in the past 90 years, the S&P 500 only had four calendar years with worse returns than 2022’s 19.4% loss (1937, 1974, 2002, and 2008). The year following those four years, the index logged 20%+ gains with an average return of 26.5%.
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The Markets (as of market close December 8, 2023)

The first week of December saw stocks close higher. Megacaps fueled much of the increase. A better-than-expected jobs report (see below) encouraged investor sentiment about a soft landing for the economy, while cooling expectations of an early cut in interest rates by the Federal Reserve. Each of the benchmark indexes listed here ended last week higher, with the exception of the Global Dow.
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US Equities Versus Everything

The US stock market, gauged by the S&P 500 index, last reached its all-time-high in 2021. The following calendar year 2022 was one of the worst years on record for balanced portfolios of stocks and bonds, as the Federal Reserve cranked its overnight target interest rate up to douse inflation.
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December Nonprofit Spotlight: United Religious Community of St. Joseph County

At a time defined by religious division worldwide, it could be easy to overlook the remarkable organizations that are striving to transcend boundaries and bring people of different faiths together. The United Religious Community (URC) stands as a testament to the enduring power of unity and cooperation among diverse religious traditions, as they quietly but profoundly impact lives, while striving to create a more harmonious and inclusive community.
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Slowing Economy, Rising Markets?

Last month was the third-best November for the US stock market since 1960, as the S&P 500 climbed over 8%. Bonds rallied as well, yields fell, and the Bloomberg US Aggregate Bond index rose almost 5% in price. November was one of the all-time best months for balanced (60/40) portfolios.
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The Markets (as of market close November 24, 2023)

Market activity was subdued during Thanksgiving week, which saw stocks close higher. Each of the benchmark indexes listed here gained ground, led by the large caps of the Dow and the S&P 500. Each of the 11 market sectors ended the week higher, with health care, energy, and communication services leading the way. ...
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The Markets (as of market close November 17, 2023)

The market enjoyed a favorable week as each of the benchmark indexes listed here gained ground. Inflation data showed consumer prices moderated in October, while the Federal government avoided a shutdown.
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The Fed is Stealth Tightening

The Federal Reserve’s current interest rate policy is restricting borrowing and spending, or “demand”, thus curtailing overall economic activity, which will ultimately lead to layoffs at firms, which will raise the unemployment rate and reduce wage growth, all of which will snuff out inflation.
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The Markets (as of market close November 10, 2023)

Stocks closed generally higher last week on continued hopes that the Federal Reserve is done raising interest rates despite more hawkish comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell. Tech and growth stocks carried the market for much of the week as investors looked ahead to this week's inflation reports. Ten-year Treasury yields eased somewhat from recent 16-year highs.
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The Markets (as of market close November 3, 2023)

Wall Street ended a two-week bear run as stocks enjoyed their best week of the year last week. Each of the benchmark indexes listed here posted solid gains, while bond yields declined, dragged lower by escalating bond prices.
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Nonprofit Spotlight Award for November 2023: St. Margaret's House!

Amid the bustling city streets and high-rise buildings of downtown South Bend lies a critical support day center for marginalized women and children, many of whom are literally subsisting on society's edge. This sanctuary is St. Margaret's House: a place where community is cultivated, lives are changed, and the very essence of compassion in action is at work inside its walls.
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Cooling Macro Heats Up Markets

Since July, capital markets have been giving the Federal Reserve a wary side-eye. Inflation, while falling, is not yet at the Fed’s preferred target, and employment has been tight. A few weeks ago, futures markets held decent odds for further rate hikes in December and into early 2024.
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CORPORATE EARNINGS: NOT SPOOKY AT ALL

Mega-cap tech stocks, which have been the clear stock market champions for the last several years, were punched around by investors this week. Alphabet (or as most know it, Google) had a rough market response to its earnings release on Tuesday evening: the stock was down almost 10% the following day, dropping more than $166 billion in market value.
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The Markets (as of market close October 27, 2023)

Last week saw Wall Street endure another lackluster performance. Investors continued to fret over hawkish comments from Federal Reserve officials as inflation remained above the Fed's target rate of 2.0%. In addition, higher bond yields and unrest in the Middle East also weighed on the market.
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THE MARKETS (AS OF MARKET CLOSE OCTOBER 20, 2023)

Last week proved to be a rough one for the market as investors fled from equities following Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's indication that interest rates would remain higher for longer. The escalation of the Israel-Hamas war also weighed on Wall Street and global markets. Each of the benchmark indexes listed here declined by at least 1.6%, with the Nasdaq skidding over 3.0%.
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THE INDIANA TRUST NONPROFIT SPOTLIGHT AWARD RECIPIENTS FOR OCTOBER 2023!

This month, the Indiana Trust Nonprofit Spotlight award goes to two organizations that are making a difference in the communities we serve – Child and Parent Services in Elkhart, Indiana, and A Better Way in Muncie, Indiana!
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TINA PATTON GRADUATES FROM MUTZ PHILANTHROPIC LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE

On Tuesday evening, October 10th, the John Mutz Philanthropic Leadership Institute recognized South Bend native, Tina M. Patton, CSOP™, CISM®, Vice President and Director of Nonprofit & Foundation Engagement at Indiana Trust Wealth Management, as a distinguished member of its 2023 graduating class. The Institute, which identifies and develops transformational philanthropic leaders across...
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ALL US LARGE CAP EQUITIES DO IS WIN, WIN, WIN

US large cap stocks are once again leading the way across equity asset classes in 2023. US large caps are dominated by the “Magnificent Seven” names representing the largest stocks by market capitalization (Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon, NVIDIA, Tesla, and Meta). Those seven names accounted for 11.1% of the S&P 500’s 13.1% total return for the year through September.
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HIGHER INTEREST RATES AND EXPECTED RETURNS ON STOCKS

When interest rates rise, bond prices fall. This is how the time value of money works. Higher rates increase the cost of waiting for future interest and principal payments, so they are worth less today. Future cash flows from bonds are certain, and for those from the US Treasury, they are risk-free. Changes in interest rates mechanically change bond prices.
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THE INDIANA TRUST NONPROFIT SPOTLIGHT AWARD RECIPIENT FOR SEPTEMBER 2023!

The Mishawaka Education Foundation (MEF) supports local K-12 education at School City of Mishawaka (SCM), leaving a positive impact on students, educators, and the community at large. With a focused approach on enhancing learning opportunities and promoting inclusivity, the MEF serves as a noteworthy example of how grassroots educational initiatives can drive meaningful change.
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HIGHER FOR LONGER?

The Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee (FOMC), the part of the Fed that makes interest rate decisions, met on Wednesday and decided to hit the “pause” button, keeping its target interest rate range where it currently stands (5.25% to 5.5%). This was widely expected: the CME Group’s FedWatch tool, which analyzes 30-day Fed Funds futures pricing, had an implied probability of 99% that the...
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HONORING EXCELLENCE: IUSB CHANCELLOR'S MEDAL AWARDED TO DAVID R. KIBBE, JD

In a night filled with anticipation and celebration, the Indiana University South Bend community gathered on September 19th for the second annual "Night of the Titans" gala. The annual fundraiser dinner, which is known for recognizing exceptional individuals and their contributions to both the university and the community, took on a special significance this year as Susan Elrod, PhD, Chancellor of Indiana University South Bend, presented the prestigious Chancellor's Medal to David R. Kibbe, JD.
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DRIVER’S EDUCATION

As the father of a teenager who is learning how to drive, I have spent some time the past few months in the passenger seat attempting to teach my daughter the ins-and-outs of driving a car. One of the early lessons in this journey was pointing out the significance of using the right foot to both accelerate and brake.
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STOCK PICKING IS HARD

Picking stocks that beat the market over time can lead to fantastic returns. Unfortunately, picking those winners is exceptionally difficult as they are few and far between.
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FOR LABOR, A SHIFT TO CAPITAL FORMATION

Investment is critical for economic growth and for productivity. In the economic sense of the term, it represents the creation of wealth. Building a factory or a house represents physical investment, but it can take intangible forms, such as intellectual property.
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FISHING FOR ANSWERS IN JACKSON HOLE

The Federal Reserve of Kansas City hosted its annual economic symposium this week in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Why not hold the meeting in Wichita or Lawrence? The rumor is that legendary Fed Chairman Paul Volcker loved fly fishing in Wyoming, so by hosting the event there it assured his attendance in 1982. The meeting has become the buzziest gathering of economists and journalists on the calendar, with the central focus on the speech from the Fed chair, currently Jerome Powell, who spoke on Friday
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NONPROFIT SPOTLIGHT AWARD FOR AUGUST 2023: FISCHOFF NATIONAL CHAMBER MUSIC ASSN!

The Fischoff National Chamber Music Association has been quietly transforming the landscape of classical music from its headquarters in South Bend, Indiana, for more than five decades – nurturing musical brilliance and fostering artistic bonds among young chamber musicians, the literal virtuosos of tomorrow.
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BEWARE OF SHIFTING STOCK MARKET NARRATIVES

Growth-style stocks are those with high valuations attached, many of which do not pay dividends, but which are expected to grow earnings or free cash flow rapidly in the future. NVIDIA is a good example of a growth stock. Other growth stocks do not even generate positive free cash flow today. They are expected to grow quickly at some point in the distant future, years from now.
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THE INVERTED YIELD CURVE: A BENIGN INTERPRETATION

Indiana Trust Wealth Management Investment Advisory Services by Clayton T. Bill, CFA Vice President, Director of Investment Advisory Services The US equity market, represented by the S&P 500 index, slipped 0.3% for the week ending August 11.The US Treasury market’s inverted yield curve is typically interpreted as a negative leading indicator for the economy. This week, a prominent Federal Reserve official made the case for a more benign interpretation of the situation. The Federal Re
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THE FITCH DOWNGRADE IS BARELY WORTH MENTIONING

On Tuesday evening this week, Fitch Ratings, one of the three major credit ratings agencies, downgraded the US debt from AAA (its highest rating) to AA+, one notch lower.
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LA CASA DI AMISTAD: THE INDIANA TRUST NONPROFIT SPOTLIGHT PARTNER FOR JULY 2023!

In the heart of South Bend, La Casa de Amistad shines as a beacon of hope and support for the Latino/Hispanic community – a pillar of empowerment and service since its establishment nearly 50 years ago, in October of 1973. Guided by a profound commitment to fostering growth and inclusivity, La Casa de Amistad offers an array of vital programs and services tailored to meet the diverse needs of these immigrants in their pursuit of a better life in the United States.
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Is The Fed Giving the Economy the Green Light?

he Federal Reserve raised its overnight target interest rate on Wednesday by 0.25%, to a range of 5.25% to 5.5%. In prepared comments at his press conference, Fed Chair Jerome Powell stated that “for inflation to reach 2% the economy will likely require a period of below-trend growth and some softening of labor market conditions.”
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THE MARKETS (AS OF MARKET CLOSE JULY 21, 2023)

Last week saw stocks close generally higher, with only the tech-heavy Nasdaq slipping lower. The Dow extended its winning streak to 10 straight sessions, its longest run since August 2017. Investors, probably anticipating another 25.0 basis-point hike from the Federal Reserve this week, moved from information technology, communication services, and consumer discretionary shares to more defensive sectors such as health care, utilities, and consumer staples. Long-term bond prices remained relative
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THE CONTINUING CASE FOR FOREIGN EQUITIES

International equity diversification has not worked for US investors for 30 years. US asset managers are beginning to abandon foreign stock allocations, or, at least, reduce those allocations to insignificant “window dressing” levels. That way, portfolio managers can claim they still adhere to the key principle of diversification, one of the most fundamental ideas in modern finance.
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THE MARKETS (AS OF MARKET CLOSE JULY 14, 2023)

Wall Street enjoyed a positive week of returns, with each of the benchmark indexes posting solid gains, despite a marginal downturn at the end of last week. The financial sector began releasing quarterly updates last Friday as investors focused on the state of the banking industry. A few major banks reported increasing profits in the second quarter, while more data will be released this week.
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ECONOMIC & MARKET TAILWINDS: TAYLOR'S VERSION

The Bureau of Labor Services released its monthly CPI report on Wednesday morning. Headline CPI rose by 0.2% in June. That result was cooler than expected. Year-over-year inflation in June 2022 was 9%. Through June of this year, it has fallen to 3%.
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THE MARKETS (AS OF MARKET CLOSE JULY 7, 2023)

Stocks fell for the second straight week last week, with each of the benchmark indexes losing ground. The Dow led the declines, followed by the Global Dow, the Russell 2000, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq. Although the employment report for June (see below) showed a moderate decline in the number of new jobs added, wages continued to track higher, which could support further interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. The Fed meets next on July 26, and the latest employment data makes anot
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ACTIONABLE SECURITY MEASURES FOR SAFEGUARDING ONLINE ACTIVITY

In today's hyper-connected digital landscape, cybersecurity has become an integral part of our daily lives. As individuals and organizations rely more on online platforms and services, the risk of cyber threats and attacks continues to grow. Clients of Indiana Trust Wealth Management should be equipped with the knowledge and tools to help ensure their online activities remain secure.
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NONPROFIT SPOTLIGHT FOR JUNE 2023: INDIANA UNIVERSITY SOUTH BEND!

Nestled on the banks of the picturesque St. Joseph River, Indiana University South Bend stands as a beacon of academic excellence and community engagement. With its rich history, vibrant campus life, and commitment to student success, IUSB has become a top choice for those seeking a transformative higher education experience.
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MANUFACTURING CONSTRUCTION SPENDING IS BOOMING

The COVID pandemic put a spotlight upon the consequences of the long-term deindustrialization of the US economy. Critical industries, most notably microchips, were shown to have complex, brittle supply chains which impacted the availability of a wide array of goods, most notably cars.
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THE MARKETS (AS OF MARKET CLOSE JUNE 2, 2023)

Stocks began on a downturn, but rallied later to end last week higher. Each of the benchmark indexes listed here posted solid weekly gains, led by the Russell 2000, followed by the Nasdaq, the Dow, the S&P 500, and the Global Dow. Investors began the week concerned that the debt ceiling agreement between President Biden and House Speaker McCarthy would not pass the House and Senate.
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THE SLOW SLOWING OF THE US ECONOMY

The consensus across economists for the closely watched monthly employer survey was the addition of 195,000 jobs for the US economy in May. The report, released on Friday, reflected 330,000 jobs added, beating expectations for the fourteenth straight month.
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THE MARKETS (AS OF MARKET CLOSE MAY 19, 2023)

Most of last week, investors seemed to react to negotiations concerning the debt ceiling. Despite a lackluster ending to the week, stocks closed generally higher. Tech shares climbed nearly 4.0%, while consumer discretionary stocks also posted gains.
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THE 60/40 WILL LIVE AGAIN

In the aftermath of the Great Financial Crisis of 2008, virtually every investor began to reassess their stock market exposure. A portfolio of global stocks was off over 50% from peak-to-trough during the crisis, and a balanced portfolio of 60% stocks and 40% bonds was down over 30%.
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THE MARKETS (AS OF MARKET CLOSE MAY 12, 2023)

Stocks trended lower last week, with only the Nasdaq able to eke out a gain. Investors remained pensive as they await negotiations on the debt ceiling. With roughly 92% of the S&P 500 companies having reported first-quarter earnings thus far, results appear headed down 2.5% from last year. This follows a 4.6% drop in fourth-quarter earnings.
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DEBT CEILING HISTRIONICS

Markets shuddered as Congress warned that it would not approve the increase to the federal debt ceiling. The Treasury Secretary took to the media with tales of gloom should the federal government default and offered a direct, personal plea to senators and representatives to raise the debt ceiling.
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NONPROFIT SPOTLIGHT FOR MAY 2023: HABITAT FOR HUMANITY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY!

Habitat for Humanity is a global non-profit organization that aims to help low-income families and communities around the world build and improve their homes. Founded in 1976 in Americus, Georgia, by Millard and Linda Fuller, Habitat for Humanity has become one of the most recognizable and respected charities in the world.
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THE MARKETS (AS OF MARKET CLOSE MAY 5, 2023)

Stocks closed last week generally lower, with only the Nasdaq eking out a minimal gain. A rally last Friday wasn't enough to recoup losses experienced during the week. Investors had quite a bit to digest over the past week. The Federal Reserve hiked the federal funds rate 25 basis points and gave no clear indication as to whether and when more rate increases may be coming.
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THE FED’S LAGGED RESPONSE TO LAGGING DATA

As expected, the Federal Reserve hiked its overnight target interest rate another 0.25% this week to a range of 5% to 5.25%. Mr. Powell stated the FOMC, the committee at the Fed responsible for interest rate decisions, would now take a data-dependent approach in its policymaking for the rest of 2023.
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THE MARKETS (AS OF MARKET CLOSE APRIL 28, 2023)

Stocks ended last week higher as strong corporate earnings data helped offset worries of another round of interest rate hikes, following the Federal Reserve's meeting this week. Each of the benchmark indexes listed here posted weekly gains, with the exception of the Russell 2000.
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CORPORATE EARNINGS: BAD NEWS FOR THE BEARS

With all the focus in the financial press upon the Federal Reserve, inflation, and turmoil in the banking system, it would be easy to forget that what ultimately counts for stock market investors is corporate earnings growth. Profits are what matter.
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THE MARKETS (AS OF MARKET CLOSE APRIL 21, 2023)

Stocks were relatively listless last week, with only the Russell 2000 posting a gain of 0.6%. The Nasdaq, the Dow, and the Global Dow fell between 0.2% and 0.4%, while the S&P 500 was nearly flat. Energy stocks were among the worst performing, with crude oil prices posting their poorest week in about a month. Gold prices slipped below $2,000.00 per ounce. The dollar edged higher, while 10-year Treasury yields climbed minimally. The start of corporate earnings season has been mixed at best, p
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ANNOUNCING THE INDIANA TRUST NONPROFIT SPOTLIGHT PARTNERS FOR MARCH 2023

When we partner together to support our local Boys & Girls Clubs, we are truly “investing in great futures!” Please join us in congratulating the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Joseph County, as well as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Elkhart County, as the Indiana Trust Nonprofit Spotlight award recipients for March 2023!
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CONVEXITY CAN BE A PERPLEXITY

In 2022, the Federal Reserve raised its overnight target interest rate at a faster pace than any other time over the last forty years, and that action raised interest rates across the yield curve. When yields rise, bond prices fall. That decline in price is part of the total return calculation for bonds, along with interest income.
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WILL RISING WAGES DENT CORPORATE PROFITS?

This week, Home Depot reported its fourth quarter earnings and provided guidance for 2023. In their outlook for the coming year, Chief Executive Ted Decker noted that the company will invest $1 billion toward raising wages for its hourly employees, a move which is projected to negatively impact the firm’s profit margin. The stock swooned on the news.
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A BUMPY ROAD AHEAD FOR INFLATION

All that seemingly matters to capital markets is inflation and the Federal Reserve’s response to it. January’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation data will be released next week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). It will be parsed ad nauseum by investors, economists, and the press.
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EUROPE CATCHING INVESTORS OFFSIDES

2022 held many surprises for investors. It was the only year since 1970 when U.S. stock and bond market returns were both negative. The Federal Reserve also kicked off its fastest monetary policy tightening cycle in the last forty years.
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SURVEY SAYS…

Investors and traders are constantly trying to discern which direction the economy is heading. There are a multitude of surveys and models that are blasted throughout the media, from the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment survey to the New York Fed’s Empire State Manufacturing Survey.
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ANNOUNCING THE INDIANA TRUST NONPROFIT SPOTLIGHT PARTNER FOR APRIL 2023

Indiana Trust Wealth Management wishes to congratulate Bob Ball, Founding Executive Director, as well as his staff and volunteers for leading the charge at Inside Out by partnering with agencies and organizations throughout the area to feed the area's hungry children and transform our community – from the inside out!
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NONPROFIT SPOTLIGHT PARTNER JANUARY 2023: Scholarship Fdn of St. Joseph Co!

For area students who excel academically but have a demonstrated financial need, dreams of higher education may appear to be out of reach. But for those who meet the eligibility criteria, The Scholarship Foundation of St. Joseph County is here to help make those dreams a reality.
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VALUE’S REVENGE

Heading into 2022, US stocks categorized as large-cap growth had outperformed value-style stocks for over five years. Growth stocks were king of the US stock market for years.
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TINA PATTON OF INDIANA TRUST WEALTH MANAGEMENT NAMED TO MUTZ PHILANTHROPIC

Indianapolis, Indiana — Tina M. Patton, CSOP™, CISM®, Vice President and Director of Nonprofit & Foundation Engagement at Indiana Trust Wealth Management, has been selected as a member of the 2023 class of the Mutz Philanthropic Leadership Institute. Launched by Indiana Philanthropy Alliance in 2021, the Mutz Institute provides a leadership training experience to skill-up professionals... (read more)
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WHAT IF THERE IS NO LANDING?

The wide consensus amongst economists and investors is that the US will enter economic recession in 2023. Fidelity Investments, for example, puts the odds on a recession at 75%. Above all other contributing factors to this line of thinking is that the Federal Reserve has been in interest rate hiking mode to put the brakes on economic growth, slow employment gains, and squash inflation. ... (read more)
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NONPROFIT SPOTLIGHT PARTNER FOR FEBRUARY 2023: American Cancer Society!

Who among us has not been affected in some way by cancer – if not by a personal diagnosis, then by the diagnosis of a family member, friend, or colleague? This year, in the United States alone, there will be an estimated 1,958,310 new cancer cases. And according to official statistics, each of us has an approximate 40% birth-to-death chance of developing an invasive cancer during our... (read more)
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A HARD LANDING IN 2023?

At the start of 2022, the Federal Reserve embarked on one of its fastest interest rate hiking cycles in history to slow spending in the economy (“demand”) to quell inflation.
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NONPROFIT SPOTLIGHT PARTNER FOR DECEMBER 2022: HUMANE SOCIETY OF ELKHART COUNTY!

For those of us fortunate enough to have known the life-affirming, unconditional love of an animal, the mention of an abandoned pet is certain to tug on our heart strings. The reality is that there are literally thousands of abandoned and unwanted animals in our very own communities each year, many who have been neglected or abused – animals who desperately need a loving, forever home. ... (read more)
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EUROPEAN STOCK MARKET INSOUCIANCE

Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine created major disruptions to the global economy, but nowhere was the impact felt more than Western Europe. Crude oil and natural gas prices surged, leading to soaring inflation in energy and food. European equity markets sold off and the euro and pound sterling weakened.
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HOUSEHOLD SAVINGS DON’T DRAIN LIKE A BATHTUB

When the pandemic hit in 2020, the personal savings rate skyrocketed. Incomes fell, but spending fell much more. Under the circumstances, households could not spend even if they wanted to do so. The federal government also stepped in with the CARES Act, and subsequent fiscal measures, to directly bolster household income.
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THE BRIGHT SIDE OF INFLATION

Inflation has been the only macroeconomic and capital market story that has mattered in 2022. Over the last few months, a constellation of various data points appears to show it is on the wane, or at least stabilizing. The Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation, the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) index, rose by a less-than-expected 0.2% in October.
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A FEW BANKS WENT THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD – AND A NOTE FROM OUR CEO

There is a saying that traces back to 1941: whenever the US government or the Federal Reserve jams on the brakes, someone will go through the windshield. You just never know who it’s going to be.
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INDIANA TRUST ANNOUNCES RMHC MICHIANA "PILLARS OF PURPOSE" SPONSORSHIP

Indiana Trust Wealth Management is helping Ronald McDonald House Charities of Michiana “keep families close” as a proud sponsor of their Pillars of Purpose program for 2023! RMHC of Michiana provides comfort care and support to families of critically ill or injured children at Beacon Hospitals in St. Joseph and Elkhart Counties.
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THE REVERSAL OF THE REVERSAL

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the part of the Fed that makes interest rate decisions, hiked its target interest rate 0.25% this week in the face of turmoil in the US banking system. Although its tone was softer, the FOMC continued its mantra that further rate hikes this year may be warranted to deal with inflation.
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THE MARKET TENDS TO RECOVER BEFORE THE ECONOMY

In 2022, the Fed went on the fastest interest rate hiking cycle in the last forty years to squelch inflation, yet inflation stubbornly persists above the Fed’s 2% target.
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THAT PEACEFUL EASY EARLY CYCLE FEELIN’

There are almost always data points in the ocean of business surveys, yield curves, and stock charts to support one narrative or another. Well-known economic and market pundits continue to focus upon negative late business cycle indicators flashing recession warnings. If a recession occurs in 2023, which is the overwhelming consensus, it would be the most predicted recession in history.
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GOLDILOCKS START TO THE NEW YEAR

Happy new year to our clients, community partners, and professional colleagues! We begin the new year with a review of capital markets in 2022: virtually nothing worked.
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BOND MARKET SANGUINE ON INFLATION

The Federal Reserve, and by extension most financial markets, have become fixated upon the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly CPI inflation prints. While that data is backward-looking by nature, headline and core inflation numbers in June were miserably hot.
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WHY THE BOND MARKET IS OPTIMISTIC ABOUT INFLATION, IN CHARTS

The U.S. bond market appears to be optimistic that inflation is not going to be much of a problem in the coming years. What is the evidence to support the bond market’s current consensus?
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THE MARKETS (AS OF MARKET CLOSE JULY 22, 2022)

Stocks ended last week in the black, with the market posting its best week in a month. Despite a late-week decline, each of the benchmark indexes listed here posted solid weekly gains, led by the Russell 2000 and the Nasdaq. Bond prices rose, pulling yields lower. Crude oil prices ended a volatile week down by about $3.00 per barrel. The dollar edged lower, while gold prices advanced.
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NO EARNINGS RECESSION YET

This week was massive for macroeconomic news. The Federal Reserve raised its target interest rate, Congress passed a spending bill, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) ignited a raging debate on the definition of “recession”. Some claim that the second quarter’s negative GDP print from the BEA was proof that the U.S. economy is in a recession. It was the second consecutive negative GDP...
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THE MARKETS (AS OF MARKET CLOSE JULY 29, 2022)

Positive economic news and corporate earnings data helped drive stocks higher last week. Although the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates another 75 basis points, investors may expect subsequent rate increases to be no more than 75 basis points, with the possibility of a slowdown in rate hikes in the not-too-distant future. Each of the benchmark indexes listed here gained at least 2.9%, with...
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NONPROFIT SPOTLIGHT PARTNER AUGUST 2022: JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT OF NORTHERN INDIANA!

Congratulations to Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana, the Indiana Trust Nonprofit Spotlight award recipient for August 2022, for preparing young people to succeed in a global economy! Junior Achievement helps students in grades K-12 realize that the educational path they are on today is directly tied to their future success – whether that path includes trade school, college, or an...
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THE MARKETS (AS OF MARKET CLOSE AUGUST 5, 2022)

Stocks closed last week generally higher. A surprisingly strong labor report for July helped alleviate recession fears, but opened the door to more interest-rate hikes from the Federal Reserve as it continues to slow inflation. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq finished higher for the third straight week, the longest weekly rally since April. The Russell 2000 also enjoyed a solid week. The Dow...
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SMALL CAPS LEAD MARKET RALLY

Over the last month, the U.S. stock market has staged an impressive rally. The S&P 500 is now down 9.5% year-to-date, coming back over 15% from its mid-June low.
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THE MARKETS (AS OF MARKET CLOSE AUGUST 12, 2022)

The stock market posted its fourth straight weekly advance, the longest consecutive weekly rally of 2022. Investors turned to stocks on the premise that the Federal Reserve may reduce the pace of its economic tightening campaign after three major indicators showed that inflation subsided in July. With this week's performance, the S&P 500 has recouped half of its losses from the beginning...
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TOTAL RETURNS ARE WHAT COUNT

Given recent volatility in stock markets, investors may be drawn to more “defensive” sectors of the stock market such as utilities or consumer staples. It is often claimed that the dividend income from those names provides much-needed stability to returns.
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NONPROFIT SPOTLIGHT PARTNER FOR JULY 2022: REINS OF LIFE!

Tina Patton, CSOP™, CISM®, Vice President, Director of Nonprofit & Foundation Engagement states, “Indiana Trust is honored to highlight the extensive programming at Reins of Life which is geared toward improving the quality of life for individuals with disabilities through horseback riding therapy – and to be able to share this information with others.”
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