July 2022 Pricing Commentary

North American equity markets posted positive returns during the month of July. This was largely due to a substantial rebound in large capitalization U.S. technology stocks and a positive reaction to their Q2 quarterly earnings, which drove equity markets upward and surprised many of the investment pessimists.

Interestingly, this upturn transpired within an excessively negative investment environment with heightened concerns relating to rising interest rates and inflation, recessions fears, and the conflict in Eastern Europe.

The three ABC Funds greatly benefited from this market recovery with significant price appreciation and portfolio outperformance versus their respective benchmarks. This positive outcome was primarily attributed to our meaningful positioning in American equities including: Amazon, Apple, Adobe, Autodesk, Boston Scientific, Broadcom, Mastercard, NVIDIA, Salesforce, S&P Global, and Thermo Fisher.

Most notably, were the quarterly earnings results from ABC Funds’ favourites Apple and Amazon, which reported at the end of the month. Apple delivered a very strong quarter, beating analyst estimates on both the top and bottom line, and exceeding expectations for iPhone revenue. Additionally, Amazon reported better than expected financial performance, showing strength in cloud and advertising revenues and providing the street with robust forward guidance. These quarterly earnings were quite impressive given the challenging Q2 macro environment and in turn, their share prices appreciated substantially to reflect these surprisingly positive results.

Looking ahead, we expect equity markets to continue to climb a “wall of worry” despite relatively weak first half of 2022 economic data, geopolitical tensions, and uncertainty pertaining to interest rates and inflation. We are quite optimistic with regard to equities, however, we believe we are currently in a stock pickers’ environment and that security selection will be particularly important to investment outperformance. Furthermore, we foresee an eventual business recovery and a peaking of both inflation and interest rates that will ultimately lead to higher common stock prices over the next 6-18 months.

Irwin A. Michael Signature

Irwin A. Michael, President
I.A. Michael Investment Counsel Ltd.

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