July was the best month for stocks since 2020. It was also the month in which forecasts of recessions went mainstream.
At the very least, this is a good reminder that stocks discount future cash flows rather than reflect current economic conditions. There’s a tendency to think that a recession will be bad for stocks—and often that’s true. The tricky part is that the market often falls before the recession and rallies while it still continues. In 2009, for example, the S&P 500 bottomed in March while the recession stretched on through June.
We date the mainstreaming of a recession this year as of mid-July, when Bank of America altered its forecast for the economy to include a mild recession this year. To