Thursday, December 30, 2021
Here it is, our final blog of 2021, and what better topic than the blog itself and the readers who make writing it so rewarding.
Our aim with the blog is simple: every day provide market analysis that is timely, understandable, actionable, and occasionally fun. While we have a good time with the blog, we take its underlying purpose very seriously.
For our last blog of the year, we look at our 10 most read blogs of 2021. The blogs are listed below, sorted from the most read to the 10th most read. For each we include the publication date, a central quote, and what, in hindsight, actually happened.
Scroll through the list as you choose—there’s a lot of information there. But the list also tells us something about how markets behaved in 2021, and what to watch out for in 2022.
- Themes and Memes – Of the 10 most read blogs, three covered topics particular to the moment, such as GameStop (remember them?), Evergrande, and “tapering.” We view our role here as providing understandable coverage of new topics that are getting a lot of attention. There will be new memes and themes in 2022, but it’s hard to know what they are in advance.
- Don’t Panic – Fear always lurks in the background when dealing with risky markets. The risks should not be ignored, but at the same time the response should be measured. Four of our most read blogs raised the possibility that markets may be facing added headwinds. As it turns out, the S&P 500 really wasn’t all that volatile in 2021 and may not be again in 2022, but the prospect of entirely normal increased volatility is rising.
- Favorite Charts – Markets aren’t always right and past history never guarantees future results, but there is important information in all that market data and history, and often even some wisdom. Three of our most read blogs was our team simply sharing our view of some of the most important, timely market signals to be aware of. (See yesterday’s Charts of the Year for a great example.)
- Politics – On inauguration day, we ran a blog on how the stock market performed under President Trump. Stock performance was pretty good, but it was also pretty good under President Obama, and so far so good for President Biden too. We generally believe that too much emphasis is often put on politics as a driver of broad market returns, but it’s always a popular topic during political seasons. It will be again in 2022 as mid-term elections approach. We will provide market-relevant coverage, but it’s also important to tune out the noise.
So there you have it, four basic categories for our most read blogs. Whatever happens in 2022, we will be there to provide the most thoughtful analysis we can, usually with some sharp but simple charts.
Happy New Year everyone. We’ll see you in 2022.
The LPL Financial Research Team
LPL RESEARCH’S MOST READ BLOGS OF 2022
|Will GameStop Stop the Bull Market?||1/28/21||While these developments could be another sign of excessive optimism in certain segments of the equity markets, we do not believe they represent a sign of a broader market bubble or indicate a major correction is forthcoming. Don’t forget, overall market breadth is extremely healthy and the credit markets are functioning just fine—we don’t see a repeat of 1999 like some are claiming.||Stocks had a strong year.|
|Could There Be an October Crash?||9/30/21||The S&P 500 Index will finish September in the red, ending an incredible seven month win streak. As we noted last month, these long win streaks actually tend to be quite bullish for future returns, with the S&P 500 higher six months later 13 out of the 14 times. Yes, stocks were down some in September, but this still bodes well for the near-term.||Stocks rebounded over the final three months of the year but did see some additional volatility.|
|The Most Important Chart in the World||10/6/21||Volatility is the price of admission. Sure, we’d all prefer stocks go straight up forever, but that isn’t reality. Investors must learn to embrace and accept the eventual scares and bouts of volatility that are common even in the strongest bull markets.||While there was some additional volatility in late 2021, for now this remains an unusually steady bull market|
|What Is “Tapering” and Why Is It Important?||5/18/21||Our base case is the Fed will continue to follow the stated bond buying program for the remainder of the year, and then incrementally curtail purchases throughout 2022.||Added supply chain disruptions and accompanying inflation due to the Delta variant led the Fed to start tapering bond purchases in late 2021.|
|Why Evergrande Isn’t the Next Lehmen||9/17/21||This is a very fluid situation and one that could clearly change on a dime. Although the Chinese communist government has avoided helping Evergrande so far, we think the odds do favor some type of eventual bailout to limit the ripple effect from a potential default. We will continue to watch the action in the short-term lending markets for clues if this is spiraling into something larger.||The Chinese government has not been involved in a direct bailout but has worked behind the scenes to limit contagion. This risk has been contained but is still on the table.|
|Four Reasons the Future Looks Bright for Bulls||4/14/21||Looking to the future, as George Burns said above, we would be a buyer of any material weakness, as we believe this bull market is alive and well||The bull market was indeed alive and well.|
|Three Charts You Need to See||2/26/21||After the record gains during this new bull market, history would say be open to some type of weakness or consolidation. Plus, if you are bullish, maybe a well-deserved consolidation could be perfectly normal for the bull to catch its breath.||There was some pick-up in volatility in the second half of the year, but it has been a strong year for stocks.|
|Is It Time for a 5% Pullback?||7/21/21||The truth is investors have been very spoiled by the recent stock market performance. Incredibly, we haven’t seen as much as a 5% pullback since October . Although we firmly think this bull market is alive and well, let’s not fool ourselves into thinking trees grow forever. Risk is no doubt increasing as we head into the troublesome August and September months||The S&P 500 was down over 4.5% in September 2021 on a total return basis, its first down month since December 2020.|
|How Stocks Did Under President Trump||1/20/21||President Trump’s annualized Dow return of 11.8% was the best for any Republican president since President Calvin Coolidge in the Roaring Twenties. This was still below the annualized returns of Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.||The broad stock market continues to be generally indifferent to which party occupies the White House, not because it doesn’t matter but because broad economic forces matter much more.|
|Here Comes Sell in May||4/30/21||Stocks are up more than 87% from the March lows, suggesting a well-deserved pullback during these troublesome months is quite possible. But with an accommodative Fed, fiscal and monetary policy, along with an economy that is opening faster than nearly anyone expected, we’d use any weakness as an opportunity to add to positions.||The S&P 500 extended a strong year for equity markets.|
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