The Numbers & “Heat Map”

THE NUMBERS
Sources: Index Returns: Morningstar Workstation. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Three, five and ten year returns are annualized. Interest Rates: Federal Reserve, Mortgage Bankers Association.

MARKET HEAT MAP
The health of the economy is a key driver of long-term returns in the stock market. Below, we assess the key economic conditions that we believe are of particular importance to investors.

US ECONOMY

CONSUMER HEALTH

POSITIVE

September retail sales surprised to the upside, increasing 0.7% month-over-month (m/m) and 13.9% year-over-year (y/y). Economists expected September’s retail sales to decline slightly m/m.

CORPORATE EARNINGS

POSITIVE

S&P 500 Q3 earnings season is just kicking off. With <10% of companies having reported, sales and earnings are up 15% and 29%, respectively. However, company commentary suggests that the supply chain will be problematic in the coming quarters.

EMPLOYMENT

POSITIVE

The unemployment rate is down to 5.2%. In August, new job creation was disappointing, but jobless claims were as low as they have been since March 2020.

INFLATION

NEUTRAL

CPI rose 5.4% year-over-year in September, driven by the global supply chain backlog.

FISCAL POLICY

POSITIVE

A bill to lift the U.S. debt ceiling by $480 billion – which should provide enough headroom for government operations until December 3 – was passed this week.

MONETARY POLICY

POSITIVE

In recent communications, the Fed has indicated bond tapering may begin by the end of 2021 while rate hikes could commence by the end of 2022. Nonetheless, monetary policy remains relatively accommodative with rates at historical lows.

GLOBAL CONSIDERATIONS

GEOPOLITICAL RISKS

NEUTRAL

Although the Taliban’s control in Afghanistan is concerning, it is unlikely to have a meaningful economic impact.

ECONOMIC RISKS

NEUTRAL

Supply chain disruptions caused by the Delta variant are hampering the economy, however, demand remains very strong. While supply bottlenecks will likely arise over time as new strains surface, the hold-ups appear primarily transitory and should ease progressively in a post-COVID world.

The “Heat Map” is a subjective analysis based upon metrics that VNFA’s investment committee believes are important to financial markets and the economy. The “Heat Map” is designed for informational purposes only and is not intended for use as a basis for investment decisions.

The Numbers & “Heat Map”

THE NUMBERS
Sources: Index Returns: Morningstar Workstation. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Three, five and ten year returns are annualized. Interest Rates: Federal Reserve, Mortgage Bankers Association.

MARKET HEAT MAP
The health of the economy is a key driver of long-term returns in the stock market. Below, we assess the key economic conditions that we believe are of particular importance to investors.

US ECONOMY

CONSUMER HEALTH

POSITIVE

August retail sales surprised to the upside, increasing 0.7% month-over-month, indicating that the Delta variant has not had a material impact on the U.S. economy.

CORPORATE EARNINGS

POSITIVE

S&P 500 Q2 sales and earnings grew an astonishing 25% and 89% respectively, when compared to the heavily depressed figures from Q2 2020.

EMPLOYMENT

POSITIVE

The unemployment rate is down to 5.2%. In August, new job creation was disappointing, but jobless claims were as low as they have been since March 2020.

INFLATION

NEUTRAL

CPI rose 5.3% year-over-year in August; CPI rose 5.4% in both June and July respectively. Fed Chairman Jay Powell is resolute that the high inflation is transitory and will decelerate as global supply chain bottlenecks resolve. Meanwhile, consumers expect CPI to be 5.2% over the next 12 months.

FISCAL POLICY

POSITIVE

Congress came to a resolution to avoid the government shutdown through early December, but the debt ceiling still looms, which Treasury Secretary Yellen believes will be reached on October 18. Nonetheless, Democrats can adjust the debt ceiling without Republican support through budget reconciliation, so it seems likely a solution will be reached.

MONETARY POLICY

POSITIVE

In recent communications, the Fed has indicated bond tapering may begin by the end of 2021 while rate hikes could commence by the end of 2022. Nonetheless, monetary policy remains relatively accommodative with rates at historical lows.

GLOBAL CONSIDERATIONS

GEOPOLITICAL RISKS

NEUTRAL

Although the Taliban’s control in Afghanistan is concerning, it is unlikely to have a meaningful economic impact.

ECONOMIC RISKS

NEUTRAL

Supply chain disruptions caused by the Delta variant are hampering the economy, however, demand remains very strong. While supply bottlenecks will likely arise over time as new strains surface, the hold-ups appear primarily transitory and should ease progressively in a post-COVID world.

The “Heat Map” is a subjective analysis based upon metrics that VNFA’s investment committee believes are important to financial markets and the economy. The “Heat Map” is designed for informational purposes only and is not intended for use as a basis for investment decisions.

The Numbers & “Heat Map”

THE NUMBERS
Sources: Index Returns: Morningstar Workstation. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Three, five and ten year returns are annualized. Interest Rates: Federal Reserve, Mortgage Bankers Association.

MARKET HEAT MAP
The health of the economy is a key driver of long-term returns in the stock market. Below, we assess the key economic conditions that we believe are of particular importance to investors.

US ECONOMY

CONSUMER HEALTH

POSITIVE

August retail sales surprised to the upside, increasing 0.7% month-over-month, indicating that the Delta Variant has not had a material impact on the U.S. economy.

CORPORATE EARNINGS

POSITIVE

S&P 500 Q2 sales and earnings grew an astonishing 25% and 89% respectively, when compared to the heavily depressed figures from Q2 2020.

EMPLOYMENT

POSITIVE

The unemployment rate is down to 5.2%. In August, new job creation was disappointing, but jobless claims were as low as they have been since March 2020.

INFLATION

NEUTRAL

CPI rose 5.3% year-over-year in August; CPI rose 5.4% in both June and July respectively. Fed Chairman Jay Powell is resolute that the high inflation is transitory and will decelerate as global supply chain bottlenecks resolve. Meanwhile, consumers expect CPI to be 5.2% over the next 12 months.

FISCAL POLICY

POSITIVE

The Senate passed a $1 trillion infrastructure package. The bill is expected to be voted on by The House by the end of this year.

MONETARY POLICY

POSITIVE

In recent communications, the Fed has indicated bond tapering may begin by the end of 2021 while rate hikes could commence by the end of 2022. Nonetheless, monetary policy remains relatively accommodative with rates at historical lows.

GLOBAL CONSIDERATIONS

GEOPOLITICAL RISKS

NEUTRAL

Although the Taliban’s control in Afghanistan is concerning, it is unlikely to have a meaningful economic impact.

ECONOMIC RISKS

NEUTRAL

With multiple vaccines in distribution and accommodative fiscal and monetary policies in place, 2021 is shaping up as one of the strongest economic years on record. The primary risk at present is that of persistent inflation which begets higher interest rates.

The “Heat Map” is a subjective analysis based upon metrics that VNFA’s investment committee believes are important to financial markets and the economy. The “Heat Map” is designed for informational purposes only and is not intended for use as a basis for investment decisions.

The Numbers & “Heat Map”

THE NUMBERS
Sources: Index Returns: Morningstar Workstation. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Three, five and ten year returns are annualized. Interest Rates: Federal Reserve, Mortgage Bankers Association.

MARKET HEAT MAP
The health of the economy is a key driver of long-term returns in the stock market. Below, we assess the key economic conditions that we believe are of particular importance to investors.

US ECONOMY

CONSUMER HEALTH

POSITIVE

July retail sales declined 1.1% vs. June 2021 but are 15.8% higher than July 2020.

CORPORATE EARNINGS

POSITIVE

S&P 500 Q2 sales and earnings grew an astonishing 25% and 89%, respectively, when compared to the heavily depressed figures in Q2 2020.

EMPLOYMENT

POSITIVE

The unemployment rate is down to 5.2%. In August, new job creation was disappointing, but jobless claims were as low as they have been since March 2020.

INFLATION

NEUTRAL

Inflation remained at 5.4% year-over-year in July, the same reading as in June. Fed Chairman Jay Powell believes that the high inflation is transitory and will decelerate as global supply chain bottlenecks resolve.

FISCAL POLICY

POSITIVE

The Senate passed a $1 trillion infrastructure package. The bill is expected to be voted on by The House by the end of this year.

MONETARY POLICY

POSITIVE

The Federal Reserve has indicated that it does not plan to increase interest rates until 2023.

GLOBAL CONSIDERATIONS

GEOPOLITICAL RISKS

NEUTRAL

Although the Taliban’s control in Afghanistan is concerning, it is unlikely to have a meaningful global economic impact.

ECONOMIC RISKS

NEUTRAL

2021 is shaping up as one of the strongest economic years on record. The primary risk at present is that of persistent inflation which begets higher interest rates.

The “Heat Map” is a subjective analysis based upon metrics that VNFA’s investment committee believes are important to financial markets and the economy. The “Heat Map” is designed for informational purposes only and is not intended for use as a basis for investment decisions.

The Numbers & “Heat Map”

THE NUMBERS
Sources: Index Returns: Morningstar Workstation. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Three, five and ten year returns are annualized. Interest Rates: Federal Reserve, Mortgage Bankers Association.

MARKET HEAT MAP
The health of the economy is a key driver of long-term returns in the stock market. Below, we assess the key economic conditions that we believe are of particular importance to investors.

US ECONOMY

CONSUMER HEALTH

POSITIVE

July retail sales declined 1.1% vs. June 2021 but are 15.8% higher than July 2020.

CORPORATE EARNINGS

POSITIVE

S&P 500 Q2 sales and earnings grew an astonishing 25% and 89%, respectively, when compared to the heavily depressed figures from Q2 2020.

EMPLOYMENT

POSITIVE

The unemployment rate is down to 5.2%. In August, new job creation was disappointing, but jobless claims were as low as they have been since March 2020.

INFLATION

NEUTRAL

Inflation remained at 5.4% year-over-year in July, the same reading as in June. Fed Chairman Jay Powell believes that the high inflation is transitory and will decelerate as global supply chain bottlenecks resolve.

FISCAL POLICY

POSITIVE

The Senate passed a $1 trillion infrastructure package. The bill is expected to be voted on by The House by the end of this year.

MONETARY POLICY

POSITIVE

The Federal Reserve has indicated that it does not plan to increase interest rates until 2023.

GLOBAL CONSIDERATIONS

GEOPOLITICAL RISKS

NEGATIVE

The Taliban’s control in Afghanistan is causing uncertainty and unrest around the globe.

ECONOMIC RISKS

NEUTRAL

With multiple vaccines in distribution and accommodative fiscal and monetary policies in place, 2021 is shaping up as one of the strongest economic years on record. The primary risk at present is that of persistent inflation which begets higher interest rates.

The “Heat Map” is a subjective analysis based upon metrics that VNFA’s investment committee believes are important to financial markets and the economy. The “Heat Map” is designed for informational purposes only and is not intended for use as a basis for investment decisions.

The Numbers & “Heat Map”

THE NUMBERS
Sources: Index Returns: Morningstar Workstation. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Three, five and ten year returns are annualized. Interest Rates: Federal Reserve, Mortgage Bankers Association.

MARKET HEAT MAP
The health of the economy is a key driver of long-term returns in the stock market. Below, we assess the key economic conditions that we believe are of particular importance to investors.

US ECONOMY

CONSUMER HEALTH

POSITIVE

July retail sales declined 1.1% vs. June 2021 but are 15.8% higher than July 2020.

CORPORATE EARNINGS

POSITIVE

S&P 500 Q2 sales and earnings grew an astonishing 25% and 89%, respectively, when compared to the heavily depressed figures from Q2 2020.

EMPLOYMENT

POSITIVE

In July, the U.S. economy added 943,000 jobs, bringing the unemployment rate down to 5.4%.

INFLATION

NEUTRAL

Inflation remained at 5.4% year-over-year in July, the same reading as in June. Fed Chairman Jay Powell believes that the high inflation is transitory and will decelerate as global supply chain bottlenecks resolve.

FISCAL POLICY

POSITIVE

The Senate passed a $1 trillion infrastructure package. The bill is expected to be voted on by The House by the end of this year.

MONETARY POLICY

POSITIVE

The Federal Reserve has indicated that it does not plan to increase interest rates until 2023.

GLOBAL CONSIDERATIONS

GEOPOLITICAL RISKS

NEGATIVE

The Taliban’s control in Afghanistan is causing uncertainty and unrest around the globe.

ECONOMIC RISKS

NEUTRAL

With multiple vaccines in distribution and accommodative fiscal and monetary policies in place, 2021 is shaping up as one of the strongest economic years on record. The primary risk at present is that of persistent inflation which begets higher interest rates.

The “Heat Map” is a subjective analysis based upon metrics that VNFA’s investment committee believes are important to financial markets and the economy. The “Heat Map” is designed for informational purposes only and is not intended for use as a basis for investment decisions.

The Numbers & “Heat Map”

THE NUMBERS
Sources: Index Returns: Morningstar Workstation. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Three, five and ten year returns are annualized. Interest Rates: Federal Reserve, Mortgage Bankers Association.

MARKET HEAT MAP
The health of the economy is a key driver of long-term returns in the stock market. Below, we assess the key economic conditions that we believe are of particular importance to investors.

US ECONOMY

CONSUMER HEALTH

POSITIVE

July retail sales declined 1.1% vs. June 2021 but are 15.8% higher than July 2020.

CORPORATE EARNINGS

POSITIVE

With more than 90% of S&P 500 constituents having reported Q2 results, sales and earnings growth are running at an astonishing 25% and 89% pace when compared to the heavily depressed figures from Q2 2020.

EMPLOYMENT

POSITIVE

In July, the U.S. economy added 943,000 jobs, bringing the unemployment rate down to 5.4%.

INFLATION

NEUTRAL

Inflation remained at 5.4% year-over-year in July, the same reading as June. Fed Chairman Jay Powell believes that the high inflation is transitory and will decelerate as global supply chain bottlenecks resolve.

FISCAL POLICY

POSITIVE

The Senate passed a $1 trillion infrastructure package. The bill is expected to be voted on by The House by the end of this year.

MONETARY POLICY

POSITIVE

The Federal Reserve has indicated that it does not plan to increase interest rates until 2023.

GLOBAL CONSIDERATIONS

GEOPOLITICAL RISKS

NEGATIVE

The Taliban’s control in Afghanistan is causing uncertainty and unrest around the globe.

ECONOMIC RISKS

NEUTRAL

With multiple vaccines in distribution and accommodative fiscal and monetary policies in place, 2021 is looking like one of the strongest economic years on record. The primary risk at present is that of persistent inflation which begets higher interest rates.

The “Heat Map” is a subjective analysis based upon metrics that VNFA’s investment committee believes are important to financial markets and the economy. The “Heat Map” is designed for informational purposes only and is not intended for use as a basis for investment decisions.

The Numbers & “Heat Map”

THE NUMBERS
Sources: Index Returns: Morningstar Workstation. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Three, five and ten year returns are annualized. Interest Rates: Federal Reserve, Mortgage Bankers Association.

MARKET HEAT MAP
The health of the economy is a key driver of long-term returns in the stock market. Below, we assess the key economic conditions that we believe are of particular importance to investors.

US ECONOMY

CONSUMER HEALTH

POSITIVE

Q2 U.S. GDP grew at a 6.5% annualized pace. A very strong number, historically speaking, but below the 8.5% expectation. A lack of inventories, resulting from a constrained global supply chain, reduced GDP by nearly $200 billion.

CORPORATE EARNINGS

POSITIVE

With more than 90% of S&P 500 constituents having reported Q2 results, sales and earnings growth are running at an astonishing 25% and 89% pace when compared to the heavily depressed figures from Q2 2020.

EMPLOYMENT

POSITIVE

In June, the U.S. economy added 943,000 jobs, bringing the unemployment rate down to 5.4%.

INFLATION

NEUTRAL

Inflation remained at 5.4% year-over-year in July, the same reading as June. Fed Chairman Jay Powell believes that the high inflation is transitory and will decelerate as global supply chain bottlenecks resolve.

FISCAL POLICY

POSITIVE

The Senate passed a $1 trillion infrastructure package. The bill is expected to be voted on by The House by the end of this year.

MONETARY POLICY

POSITIVE

The Federal Reserve has indicated that it plans to hike rates twice in 2023. The monetary stance is accommodative in the near future; however, the rate at which the Fed raises rates likely depends on the persistence of inflation.

GLOBAL CONSIDERATIONS

GEOPOLITICAL RISKS

NEUTRAL

There are few, if any, looming geopolitical risks that could upset the economic recovery.

ECONOMIC RISKS

NEUTRAL

With multiple vaccines in distribution and accommodative fiscal and monetary policies in place, 2021 is looking like one of the strongest economic years on record. The primary risk at present is that of persistent inflation which begets higher interest rates.

The “Heat Map” is a subjective analysis based upon metrics that VNFA’s investment committee believes are important to financial markets and the economy. The “Heat Map” is designed for informational purposes only and is not intended for use as a basis for investment decisions.

The Numbers & “Heat Map”

THE NUMBERS
Sources: Index Returns: Morningstar Workstation. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Three, five and ten year returns are annualized. Interest Rates: Federal Reserve, Mortgage Bankers Association.

MARKET HEAT MAP
The health of the economy is a key driver of long-term returns in the stock market. Below, we assess the key economic conditions that we believe are of particular importance to investors.

US ECONOMY

CONSUMER HEALTH

POSITIVE

Q2 U.S. GDP grew at a 6.5% annualized pace – a very strong number, historically speaking but below the 8.5% expectation. A lack of inventories resulting from a constrained global supply chain reduced GDP by nearly $200 billion.

CORPORATE EARNINGS

POSITIVE

With about 90% of S&P 500 constituents having reported Q2 results, sales and earnings growth are running at an astonishing 25% and 89% pace, respectively, when compared to the heavily depressed figures from Q2 2020.

EMPLOYMENT

POSITIVE

In June, the U.S. economy added 943,000 jobs, bringing the unemployment rate down to 5.4%.

INFLATION

NEUTRAL

Inflation accelerated to 5.4% in June. Jay Powell, Federal Reserve Chair, believes that the recent uptick in inflation is primarily attributable to global supply chain constraints, and that inflation will slow as such constraints resolve through the remainder of the year.

FISCAL POLICY

POSITIVE

The Senate voted to advance the $550 billion bipartisan infrastructure bill, opening up the bill to debate and amendments.

MONETARY POLICY

POSITIVE

The Federal Reserve indicated that it plans to hike rates twice in 2023. Previously, the Fed had suggested it would not raise rates until 2024. Nonetheless, the monetary posture remains accommodative.

GLOBAL CONSIDERATIONS

GEOPOLITICAL RISKS

NEUTRAL

There are few, if any, looming geopolitical risks that could upset the economic recovery.

ECONOMIC RISKS

NEUTRAL

With multiple vaccines in distribution and accommodative fiscal and monetary policies in place, 2021 is looking like one of the strongest economic years on record. The primary risk at present is that of persistent inflation which begets higher interest rates.

The “Heat Map” is a subjective analysis based upon metrics that VNFA’s investment committee believes are important to financial markets and the economy. The “Heat Map” is designed for informational purposes only and is not intended for use as a basis for investment decisions.

The Numbers & “Heat Map”

THE NUMBERS
Sources: Index Returns: Morningstar Workstation. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Three, five and ten year returns are annualized. Interest Rates: Federal Reserve, Mortgage Bankers Association.

MARKET HEAT MAP
The health of the economy is a key driver of long-term returns in the stock market. Below, we assess the key economic conditions that we believe are of particular importance to investors.

US ECONOMY

CONSUMER HEALTH

POSITIVE

Q2 U.S. GDP grew at a 6.5% annualized pace; a very strong number, historically speaking, but below the 8.5% expectation. A lack of inventories, resulting from a constrained global supply chain, reduced GDP by nearly $200 billion.

CORPORATE EARNINGS

POSITIVE

With about half of S&P 500 constituents having reported Q2 results, sales and earnings growth are running at an astonishing 21% and 86% pace when compared to the heavily depressed figures from Q2 2020.

EMPLOYMENT

POSITIVE

In June, the U.S. economy added 850,000 jobs, beating expectations handily. The unemployment rate is 5.9%, well within normal parameters.

INFLATION

NEUTRAL

Inflation accelerated to 5.4% in June. Jay Powell, Federal Reserve Chair, believes that the recent uptick in inflation is primarily attributable to global supply chain constraints, and that inflation will slow as such constraints resolve through the remainder of the year.

FISCAL POLICY

POSITIVE

The Senate voted to advance the $550 billion bipartisan infrastructure bill, opening up the bill to debate and amendments.

MONETARY POLICY

POSITIVE

The Federal Reserve indicated that it plans to hike rates twice in 2023. Previously, the Fed had suggested it would not raise rates until 2024. Nonetheless, the monetary stance is accommodative in the near future.

GLOBAL CONSIDERATIONS

GEOPOLITICAL RISKS

NEUTRAL

There are few, if any, looming geopolitical risks that could upset the economic recovery.

ECONOMIC RISKS

NEUTRAL

With multiple vaccines in distribution and accommodative fiscal and monetary policies in place, 2021 is looking like one of the strongest economic years on record. The primary risk at present is that of persistent inflation which begets higher interest rates.

The “Heat Map” is a subjective analysis based upon metrics that VNFA’s investment committee believes are important to financial markets and the economy. The “Heat Map” is designed for informational purposes only and is not intended for use as a basis for investment decisions.