The stock market has climbed a wall of worry to start the year and is nearing a bull market. Now the fun part begins.
Entering 2023, doubters argued that stocks were expected to take a fall as the “bear-market rally” off the October lows faltered. The Federal Reserve had been rapidly lifting interest rates, raising the cost of capital for everything from start-ups to banks. The economy was slowing to the point that a recession had become a question of when, not if. Corporate profits had stagnated, and stocks outside a handful of large technology names had floundered.