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How Consumer Spending Impacts The Stock Market Outlook: June 2024 Market Analysis and Stock Trading Strategies

Updated: Jun 14

Market Commentary/Forecast - June 10, 2024

Consumer spending accounts for about 68% of the United States Gross Domestic Product (GDP). However, with interest rates at their highest levels since 2007 and consumers paying higher prices for nearly everything thanks to higher inflation over the past two years, the question is, will the consumer buckle under the pressure?

According to Lending Tree, the average monthly expense increase for an American household since 2023 is about $709 more per month or $8,508 per household per year. This increase in expenses has significantly impacted consumer behavior and spending patterns, which in turn affects the overall stock market outlook.

However, the weight of higher prices is not being equally felt among all consumers. For example, according to a May 2024 Federal Reserve study, fewer than half of adult credit cardholders (47%) carried a balance on a credit card for at least one month in the past year. Unfortunately, those who do not pay off monthly purchases pay an extra 24.8% (or more) interest on that balance. Additionally, despite current 30-year mortgages at 7% for buyers, 40% of US homeowners own their homes outright.

The economic strain consequently affects lower-income consumers, who bear the brunt of inflation and higher interest rates. Yet, modest job growth, rising wages, and record net worth are helping higher-income consumers sustain their spending and mitigate what might otherwise turn into broader economic weakness or recession.

The FOMC meeting is set for this week, and while no rate hike is expected on Wednesday, the Fed's 'dot plot' won't likely indicate more than one rate cut, if any, this year. This is likely a catalyst for the cyclical downturn projected for later this week, which should continue into the end of the month. Following this next decline phase, a stronger rally is forecast for July, when the buying opportunity could develop as early as June 27th.

Stock Market Cycles and Consumer Spending

Understanding the relationship between consumer spending and stock market cycles is crucial for developing effective trading strategies. The stock market is influenced by various economic indicators, with consumer spending being one of the most significant. When consumers spend more, companies generate higher revenues, leading to increased profits and, consequently, higher stock prices.


However, when consumer spending declines, companies' revenues and profits can suffer, leading to lower stock prices. This cyclical nature of consumer spending can create opportunities for traders to capitalize on market movements.


Current Market Outlook and Projections

Based on our cyclical analysis, we expect the current market rally to continue until the Fed announcement next week. However, this upswing is projected to peak around June 14th, followed by a pullback that could persist through the end of the month. The anticipated decline phase provides an opportunity for traders to adjust their positions and prepare for a stronger rally in July.



Stock Market Cycles
NASDAQ Forecast Chart June 10th, 2024


The buying opportunity is projected to develop as early as June 27th, offering a favorable entry point for long positions. To manage risk during this period, it is essential to use tight stop-loss orders under a 2/3 and 3/5 crossover average for existing long positions.

Strategies for Navigating Market Cycles

  1. Monitor Economic Indicators: Keeping an eye on key economic indicators, such as consumer spending reports and Federal Reserve announcements, can provide valuable insights into potential market movements.

  2. Adjust Trading Positions: As the market outlook evolves, it is crucial to adjust trading positions accordingly. For instance, during periods of anticipated market decline, consider reducing exposure to high-risk assets and increasing cash holdings.

  3. Use Stop-Loss Orders: Implementing tight stop-loss orders can help protect your investments from significant losses during periods of market volatility. By setting stop-loss orders under key crossover averages, you can manage risk effectively.

  4. Identify Buying Opportunities: Pay attention to cyclical patterns and identify potential buying opportunities during market downturns. For example, the projected buying opportunity around June 27th can provide a favorable entry point for long positions.

  5. Stay Informed: Regularly review market updates and forecasts to stay informed about potential turning points and market trends. By staying updated, you can make informed trading decisions and capitalize on market opportunities.

The Role of the Federal Reserve

The Federal Reserve's monetary policy plays a significant role in shaping the stock market outlook. Interest rate decisions, forward guidance, and economic projections from the Fed can influence investor sentiment and market movements. As the FOMC meeting approaches, it is essential to monitor the Fed's announcements and adjust trading strategies accordingly.


While no rate hike is expected this week, the Fed's 'dot plot' will provide insights into the future path of interest rates. A lack of anticipated rate cuts could impact market sentiment and contribute to the projected cyclical downturn later this week.


Impact on Different Consumer Segments

It is essential to recognize how different consumer segments are affected by economic changes. Higher-income consumers, who have benefited from rising wages and increased net worth, can maintain their spending levels despite inflation and higher interest rates. This helps sustain the overall economy and stock market.


Conversely, lower-income consumers face greater financial strain due to rising prices and interest rates. This segment is more likely to reduce spending, impacting companies that rely heavily on consumer sales. Understanding these dynamics allows traders to identify which sectors may perform better or worse during different market cycles.


The Influence of Consumer Sentiment

Consumer sentiment, which reflects the overall economic confidence of households, also plays a crucial role in shaping the stock market outlook. Positive consumer sentiment can lead to increased spending and investment in the stock market, driving prices higher. Conversely, negative sentiment can result in reduced spending and market sell-offs.


Monitoring consumer sentiment indices, such as the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index, can provide valuable insights into future market movements. Traders can use this information to anticipate shifts in market trends and adjust their strategies accordingly.


Conclusion

Consumer spending significantly impacts the stock market outlook, influencing corporate revenues, profits, and stock prices. As the FOMC meeting approaches and market cycles evolve, traders must stay informed and adjust their strategies accordingly. By monitoring economic indicators, using stop-loss orders, and identifying buying opportunities, traders can navigate market cycles effectively and capitalize on market movements.


For more insights and to take advantage of our predictive tools, visit Market Turning Points and subscribe today. With our unique time-based approach to stock market forecasting, you can achieve more consistent and profitable trading outcomes.

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