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Economic Update — Reviewing Q4 2022

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2022 is in the books, and US stocks closed out a down year on a relatively positive note. The Dow rose 15.4% in the final quarter of 2022, the S&P 500 added 7.1%, and the NASDAQ shed only 1.0%.

The Dow clawed back from an intra-year low of 21.0% to finish down only 8.8%, and the S&P 500 escaped bear market territory with a decline of 19.4%. The growth-heavy NASDAQ, however, tumbled 33.1% on the year.

Dow, S&P 500, NASDAQ performance chart for 2022

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Below is a sneak peek of insights from the YCharts Q4 2022 Economic Summary Deck. The deck, published quarterly, arms advisors and investors with key insights from the previous quarter to help you make smarter investment decisions going forward. The deck is also easily customizable with your own firm branding to be leveraged in client communications.

Asset Class Performance

The table below shows the performance of asset classes over increasingly longer lookback periods. 

Asset Class Performance Matrix Q4 2022

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All of the above asset classes logged a positive Q4 for 2022. World ex-USA led the way with a 16.3% return, followed by US Value’s 12.4% increase. US Treasuries fell back to the bottom of the pack, but eked out a 0.7% gain.

Commodities was the only positive asset class in 2022 despite recording a 7.2% loss in the back half of the year. US Value was the second-best full-year performer, albeit down 7.5%. US Growth lagged behind all asset classes in 2022 with a 29.1% decline.

Death of the 60/40 Portfolio?

2022’s 15.9% decline was the second worst year for the 60/40 portfolio since 1997. Not only did the S&P fall almost 20%, but in an unusual fashion the US Aggregate Bond Index dove 13.1% as well. When stocks fall out of favor, the portfolio’s 40% bond allocation tends to offer much-needed downside protection, but apparently not so much last year.

Scatter plot of annual 60/40 portfolio returns since 1997

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