Will a Struggling Bull Market Strengthen in 2024?

The new bull market will need a dovish Fed, easing inflation and a stable bond market to endure, says Charles Schwab's chief investment strategist Liz Ann Sonders.

Photo of Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab
(Image credit: Nicole Nixon)

Liz Ann Sonders is the chief investment strategist of Charles Schwab. Read on as we ask Sonders about the new bull market, interest rates and where she believes the best investing opportunities are in 2024.

The bull market, which recently passed its first birthday, seems surprisingly resilient but also wobbly. What's your take? If indexes suggest resilience, it's because those indexes, weighted by market capitalization, have been driven by a handful of stocks in 2023. Nearly all of the S&P 500's gains have come from seven stocks, with the rest of the market significantly underperforming the index. Even if you simply look at the S&P 500's one-year price gain of roughly 22% from the October 2022 market low, that's among the weakest ever for first-year gains. Not to mention that there's been almost no participation by small caps and a negative performance by financials, neither of which has ever happened – typically, both of those have been ripping a year after major market lows. 

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Anne Kates Smith
Executive Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Anne Kates Smith brings Wall Street to Main Street, with decades of experience covering investments and personal finance for real people trying to navigate fast-changing markets, preserve financial security or plan for the future. She oversees the magazine's investing coverage,  authors Kiplinger’s biannual stock-market outlooks and writes the "Your Mind and Your Money" column, a take on behavioral finance and how investors can get out of their own way. Smith began her journalism career as a writer and columnist for USA Today. Prior to joining Kiplinger, she was a senior editor at U.S. News & World Report and a contributing columnist for TheStreet. Smith is a graduate of St. John's College in Annapolis, Md., the third-oldest college in America.