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Sustainable Development and Energy Transition News Roundup

In this series, we bring you the most recent updates and significant developments in the ever-changing world of sustainability and the transition to cleaner, more efficient energy sources. From industry leaders’ initiatives to government policies, innovations, and breakthroughs, our goal is to keep you informed about the critical steps being taken toward a more sustainable and environmentally responsible future. Join us as we investigate the ever-changing landscape of sustainable development and the critical shift toward cleaner energy alternatives.


Panasonic, the world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicle batteries and a primary supplier to companies such as Tesla, announced on Monday (30/10) that it would reduce electric vehicle production at its Japanese factories by the end of the second quarter. This decision was made in response to a global slowdown in electric vehicle demand, resulting in a 15% decrease in profit forecasts for its battery production unit to 115 billion ($769 million), significantly lower than the initial estimate of 135 billion.

The decrease in production and subsequent reduction in profit forecast have a significant impact on the company’s overall financial picture. As a result, Panasonic’s overall profit forecast for the fiscal year ending March 24 was reduced from 430 billion to 400 billion. This highlights Panasonic’s difficult economic situation as well as the difficulties plaguing the global electric vehicle market.


Hertz, a well-known car rental company, is having difficulty expanding its fleet of electric vehicles due to the higher maintenance costs associated with these vehicles when compared to traditional ones.

The company officially announced last week that it would slow down its electric vehicle production in comparison to its initial plans. The primary reason for this decision is the decline in electric vehicle prices, which has a negative impact on Hertz’s amortization, as well as the high costs of electric vehicle repairs, all of which have an impact on the company’s profitability.

Repairing electric vehicles costs nearly twice as much as traditional car repairs, reducing the company’s profits significantly. Hertz’s amortization expenses increased by 52% last year, which is a significant economic indicator.

The monthly cost of each vehicle has risen from $185 to $282. However, Hertz electric vehicle prices are falling as a result of a price war with Tesla, one of the leading electric vehicle manufacturers. As a result, Hertz’s revenue in 2023 will be $800 million lower than in 2022, posing additional financial challenges for the company.


Ford is set to provide its drivers with access to an additional 3,000 charging ports serviced by the Tesla Supercharging network, which is a significant development for the electric vehicle (EV) industry. This significant increase in charging stations will bring the total number of charging stations available to Ford drivers to 15,000 by spring 2024. This achievement will be made possible by the Blue Oval Charge charging station network, which currently has over 106,000 ports.

Ford expanded its charging infrastructure in October of this year by adding three new partners to its network: Francis Energy, BLACK, and Red E. This collaboration will result in the addition of 10,000 new charging ports and 500 new fast-charging ports, significantly expanding charging options for Ford’s electric vehicle owners.

These new partners join Ford’s existing and extensive list of collaborators in the field of electric vehicle charging. Shell, Recharge, Electrify America, EVGO, CHPT, Flo, EV Connect, and Electric Circuit are among the notable names on this list, all of which have made significant contributions to the development of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.


Toyota, one of the world’s largest automakers, has announced plans to invest an additional $8 billion in its North Carolina plant. This move brings the total investment to a remarkable $13.9 billion. The power station is expected to be operational by 2030, with an annual capacity of more than 30 GWh.

The company is closely monitoring industry trends and actively preparing to manufacture solid-state batteries at the same rate as it does modern EV batteries. If everything goes as planned, mass production of these batteries is expected to begin in 2027 or 2028.

Toyota’s commitment to innovation, however, extends beyond solid-state batteries. The company is also a pioneer in the development of new liquid electrolyte technologies. These advancements have the potential to improve battery power, significantly accelerate charging, and reduce costs. This, in turn, will increase customer satisfaction and promote long-term development.

Ford’s aggressive expansion of charging infrastructure and Toyota’s significant investments in advanced battery technologies both point to a bright future for the electric vehicle market, as both companies play critical roles in propelling the industry forward. These developments highlight the growing commitment to sustainability and transportation electrification.

Discovering the Dynamics of Tech Giants in Q3 2023

LG Energy Solution and Samsung, two industry giants, recently disclosed their financial operations for the third quarter of 2023 in the fast-paced realm of sustainable development and energy transition. Their achievements as stalwarts in the electric vehicle and technology sectors serve as barometers for the ever-changing landscape of clean energy and cutting-edge technology.

LG Energy Solutions’ Q3 2023 Report: Resilience in the Face of Market Challenges

According to its most recent financial report, LG Energy Solution has weathered the challenges of Q3 2023 with resiliency. Despite a 6% drop in revenue due to lower demand in Europe, the company demonstrated exceptional adaptability and strategic planning. 

The operating profit margin (OPM) increased significantly, reaching its highest level since Q3 2021, thanks to a significant contribution from the US Individual Retirement Account (IRA). This increase in profitability reflects the company’s adept handling of market complexities, despite a slowdown in EV sales. Looking ahead, LG Energy Solution announced plans to expand the capacity of its Arizona facility and begin production of the 46th series of batteries by late 2025. These strategic decisions position the company to meet rising demand.

On the regional front, the report predicts that European demand for electric vehicles will remain weak, while the North American market will remain stable, offsetting losses elsewhere. To address these dynamics, LG Energy Solution is actively seeking new business opportunities, considering potential partnerships with other EV manufacturers, and investing in R&D for more efficient and environmentally friendly electric vehicles.

The company also recognizes the value of a strong marketing strategy, exploring avenues such as advertising campaigns and discount promotions. LG Energy Solution intends to broaden its consumer base and increase sales volume by improving customer service and providing favorable purchasing conditions.

Samsung Shows Resilience with 2% Revenue Growth in Q3 2023

Despite challenging market conditions, Samsung reported a consistent 2% increase in revenue in the third quarter of 2023. The financial performance of the tech giant revealed revenue of 5.9 trillion won, representing a 2% quarterly increase and an impressive 11% year on year increase. Operating profit increased by 10% to 496 billion Korean won, with the operating profit margin increasing from 7.7% to 8.3%.

The battery segment played a critical role in the positive results. Sales of electric vehicle batteries from the new Hungarian plant increased significantly in Samsung’s premium segment, which is known for its 20% higher capacity. Despite a drop in compact battery sales for power tools, an increase in EV battery sales contributed to a minor increase in overall revenue. However, bundled mobile phone sales fell due to lower demand in the IT market.

The ability of Samsung to navigate challenging market dynamics demonstrates its resilience and strategic positioning.

As the technology industry evolves, Samsung remains ready to adapt and innovate, ensuring its continued success in a volatile market.

Tyson Foods Inc (TSN) News

Fair Value | 103.00 USD 

Market Cap | 21.85 USD bln

Strategic Business Approach and Future Prospects

Several ongoing trends have an impact on Tyson’s long-term growth prospects. Consumers in the United States are eating less red and processed meat, which accounts for 67% of Tyson’s sales, while consumption of chicken, which accounts for 32%, is increasing. Furthermore, there is a strong international demand for meat, and while Tyson’s international sales account for only 15% of their portfolio, this figure is expected to grow as they continue to invest in this area.

Tyson’s beef segment has performed well over the last five years, thanks to strong international demand, resulting in an increase in operating margins from less than 2% prior to 2017 to an average of 10%. On the contrary, the chicken segment has faced operational challenges, resulting in higher costs when compared to competitors.

Tyson is facing challenges as a result of industry-wide issues such as labor shortages, decreased hatchability, and grain inflation.

Internal issues, such as inefficiencies in production and customer service, as well as a skewed buy-versus-grow strategy that resulted in costly open market meat purchases, have all contributed to their problems. Despite spending $700 million on labor and plant automation in fiscal 2022, chicken operating profit margins increased from 0.2% in 2021 to 5.5% in 2022. Tyson expects to save another $300 million to $400 million in fiscal 2023, allowing it to maintain mid- to high-single-digit consolidated operating margins until fiscal 2032.

Nevertheless, a significant increase in costs could have an impact on near-term margins. Furthermore, an increased supply of chicken and pork may result in a deflation in these protein products in the coming quarters. The lack of a competitive advantage, whether it is a strong brand or a cost advantage, has resulted in a no-moat rating. Despite being the largest beef and chicken producer in the United States, Tyson lacks evidence of a scale-based cost advantage because approximately 80% of their products are undifferentiated. 

Bulls Say 

– The impact of African swine fever in China, which has resulted in a significant protein deficit, is expected to boost short-term protein demand. Concurrently, the country’s ongoing gradual rise in per capita protein consumption is expected to fuel long-term growth.

– Because of robust global demand for beef, the beef segment, which accounts for 37% of Tyson’s fiscal 2022 sales, has seen significant profit gains.

– The cost pass-through model in Tyson’s chicken segment acts as a buffer in the current inflationary environment, mitigating potential pressure on profit margins. 

Bears Say 

– The majority of the company’s offerings lack distinctiveness, making charging premium prices and achieving significant profit margins difficult.

– Tyson is likely to face sales growth constraints as consumers in the United States consume less red meat and processed meat, which account for 67% of their sales.

– Tyson’s Chicken Division experienced a number of operational errors that harmed its performance, requiring significant investment to fix the issue. 

NIO Experiences a Decline Due to Unexpected Inflation Numbers

At the time of publication:

NIO’s stock has hit a roadblock around the $9 mark, right at the 21-day simple moving average. This slowdown comes after the release of the September US Consumer Price Index (CPI) report, which revealed a slight uptick in headline inflation.

Nio’s stock is struggling to recover from a 17% drop, a consequence of its decision to raise $1.5 billion from convertible bonds. Before the CPI data was released, equity futures, including the NASDAQ 100, saw a 0.4% rise. However, these gains were halved when the inflation figures came in higher than expected. US Treasury yields also rose following the inflation data, with the 2-year yield increasing by more than 1%.

Nio (NIO) stock started Thursday’s 12 regular session 2.5% lower. It remained stuck below the $9 price level, hovering near the 21-day Simple Moving Average (SMA). Initially, NIO shares had shown a nearly 1% increase before the market opened, but the September CPI data revealed higher inflation than anticipated.

In the premarket, NASDAQ 100, S&P 500, and Dow Jones futures had all rallied as many expected the week’s positive momentum to continue. However, these gains were cut in half after the US CPI data was released. NASDAQ 100 futures saw their gains reduced from 0.4% to 0.2%. As the regular market opened, some indices saw reductions, resulting in a mixed market. The NASDAQ Composite rose by 0.4% in the first half-hour, while the Dow Jones dipped by 0.2%.

News about Nio’s stock: Elevated Headline Inflation Spells Trouble for Equities

The core inflation, a measure that excludes volatile energy and food prices, met consensus expectations. Economists correctly predicted that the September core CPI would rise by 0.3% on a monthly basis and by 4.1% annually.

However, the headline inflation exceeded expectations slightly. The monthly headline CPI came in at 0.4%, surpassing the 0.3% forecast. Similarly, the annualized headline CPI was reported at 3.7%, instead of the expected 3.6%. This increase is likely attributed to rising oil prices during August and September.

This development is generally considered unfavorable for equities, as higher inflation readings might prompt the Federal Reserve (Fed) to consider further interest rate hikes. However, this possibility has seemed less likely in the past week, as several Fed officials have indicated that fighting inflation may not require immediate rate hikes. They have suggested that keeping rates steady at the 5.25% to 5.5% range, where they have been since July, is sufficient.

On Tuesday 10, San Francisco Fed Bank President Mary Daly stated that the recent uptick in Treasury yields could be viewed as an alternative to rate hikes, as it is expected to reduce spending and investment. Fed Vice Chair Philip Jefferson, Dallas Fed Bank President Lorie Logan, and Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Raphael Bostic have also expressed similar sentiments in separate statements.

In a separate development, Nio’s stock has faced challenges the week (9-15 oct) as Huawei-backed Aito announced receiving 50,000 orders for its M7 electric SUV. Aito now poses as a new competitor in the Chinese EV market, causing shares of Li Auto (LI) and XPeng (XPEV) to also retreat in response to this announcement.

Phillip Morris International Inc. 2023 Outlook

Fair Value103.00 USD | Market Cap155.12B USD

Strategic Direction and Prospects for the Future

Philip Morris International (PMI) has set an ambitious goal to expeditiously replace conventional cigarettes with less dangerous alternatives. Their intermediate-term objectives demonstrate a strong commitment to this aim, as they anticipate substantial growth over the next three years. By 2025, PMI aims to generate more than half of its revenue from non-combustible products, an ambitious goal that, if achieved, could signal a turning point in the tobacco industry. This strategic approach is aligned with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles and has the potential to achieve lucrative growth in the medium term.

The Advantage of Heatsticks

The availability and use of heatsticks, cigarette-like sticks used in the iQOS device, will be essential to PMI’s success in its shift to heated tobacco products. Heatsticks are taxed less than regular cigarettes, giving PMI a favorable economic environment. Heatsticks have a net revenue per pack that is 2.4 times that of conventional cigarettes, with an excellent gross margin that is around 10 percentage points higher, at roughly 75%. While selling and administrative costs may be slightly higher at present, increased heatstick manufacturing could theoretically match premium cigarette earnings before interest and tax (EBIT).

The success of this plan, however, depends on the current taxing systems remaining in place. PMI would face increased tax pressure if heatsticks were taxed at the same rate as cigarettes in most jurisdictions. Nevertheless, PMI’s pricing strategy of heatsticks below cigarettes is not only a business plan but also a way to encourage smokers to switch to lower-risk products. It may also discourage governments from raising taxes to bridge the price gap between heatsticks and cigarettes.

Challenges in Achieving Volume Targets

PMI’s goal of achieving a heatstick volume of 140 billion to 160 billion in 2023 is ambitious, especially considering its withdrawal from the United States and Russia, which has made this target unattainable. The company is likely to rely heavily on new product development to drive further customer adoption. PMI is expected to reformulate its disposable heated tobacco product, TEEPS, in the near future, which could play a crucial role in achieving its goals.

Bullish and Bearish Views

Bulls say:

– PMI is the world’s largest publicly traded tobacco company, with a 23% global market share (excluding the United States and China), giving it significant pricing power. 

– The successful commercialization of iQOS in the United States, which is not currently factored into the stock price, could provide PMI with additional volume and revenue. 

– PMI’s focus on premium brands and consumer loyalty to Marlboro positions it advantageously in the market’s highest-priced segments.

Bears say

– Tobacco companies face persistent threats from lawsuits and stringent regulatory constraints, which could have a negative financial impact. 

– Because most of PMI’s net sales are in foreign currencies and about a quarter of its input costs are in US dollars, a strengthening of the US dollar could have a negative impact on profit growth. 

– Uncertainties about the tax and regulatory environment for cigarette alternatives exist, which could have a significant impact on the company’s future profitability.

Casino and iGaming Industry: Q3 2023 Outlook


Nevada is expected to continue to grow in the gambling industry, with revenues continuing to increase. At the same time, i-Gaming operators face increasing challenges due to new regulatory rules in different countries. In this context, Bally’s Interactive International, formerly known as Gamesys, positions itself as an operator that has successfully adapted to the new rules. Through this adaptation and the exit of small operators from the industry, Bally’s gains market share and fares better than its competitors.

Nevada On Track to Surpass Record Gambling Revenue

With the football season in full swing and throngs of enthusiastic fans converging on Las Vegas for sports betting and casino gaming, Nevada is well-positioned to surpass its remarkable 2022 revenue milestone of $14.8 billion. 

During the initial two months of the third quarter in 2023, Clark County raked in a substantial $2.2 billion in gross gaming revenue. Figure 1 surpasses the gross gaming revenue generated during the corresponding period in 2022 and 2019. Remarkably, it aligns perfectly with our anticipated monthly gross gaming revenue of $1 billion, with the famous Las Vegas Strip contributing a noteworthy $1.5 billion to this impressive total.

In August, Nevada posted a historic revenue figure of $1.2 billion, a modest increase compared to the previous year and a significant surge over August 2019, when it stood at $952 million. Analysts contend that bad weather hurt August’s earnings, as it had the potential to perform even better. Hurricane Hilary’s presence resulted in numerous flight cancellations to the city, so fewer passengers arrived at Harry Reid International Airport, marking the first time fewer passengers arrived in 2023.

August marked the 30th month in Nevada’s history where the casinos achieved a remarkable $1+ billion in revenue. Over the initial eight months of 2023, Nevada pulled in a staggering $10.1 billion in gross gaming revenue, setting a new record compared to the same period in the preceding year.

New iGaming Regulatory Rules Around the World

The gaming industry is experiencing a rapid transformation with the rapid growth of iGaming. This has ushered in a new era for gaming operators, presenting them with unprecedented opportunities to give players around the world easy access to their platforms. Nonetheless, this surge in iGaming has given rise to concerns among regulators in diverse jurisdictions. Their focus is on ensuring fair gameplay, protecting data, and encouraging responsible gambling. It’s worth noting that regulations vary widely from country to country, making it difficult for operators to expand into new markets.


A recent legislative development in Australia requires that people who play online games must give operators proof of age and identity before they can make any transactions.


The surge of online gaming has prompted several Asian nations, including China, Japan, and South Korea, to consider the prospect of legalizing iGaming. While certain countries have allowed casinos in a bid to enhance tourism, governments are approaching this move with caution, instituting stringent regulations and oversight measures. In general, analysts foresee Asia continuing to be a formidable region for iGaming, largely due to deep-rooted cultural views on gambling.

United Kingdom

The UK Gambling White Paper was released on March 29, 2023, ending years of delays and speculation. The document outlines a series of new regulations designed to protect people at risk of gambling addiction. These measures include affordability assessments, spin limits of £2 and £15, and stricter controls on VIP programs.

Industry Outlook and Target Price

Las Vegas is poised to weather a decline in consumer spending more effectively than regional markets due to its typical demographic resilience in the face of moderate economic shocks. Evidence from past recessions backs this perspective.

Additionally, industry experts foresee Las Vegas benefiting from hosting its first Formula 1 Grand Prix, scheduled for mid-November. Specifically, the event is expected to generate increased tourism revenue and job creation.

On the other hand, there is an increased risk of Bally’s Casinos & Resorts experiencing a decline in their third-quarter results. This risk stems from the potential continuation of reduced consumer discretionary spending.

Entain and 888, two prominent British gambling companies, are expressing concerns about the potential decline in online gaming revenue for both the third quarter and the entire year, citing the impact of stricter regulations. Meanwhile, Bally’s Interactive International, formerly Gamesys, is expected to outperform its competitors due to its proactive approach to adapting to evolving regulatory conditions, including a gradual reduction in slot stakes within its UK operations and the introduction of maximum stake limits across all customer segments.

Despite the potential challenges posed by a decline in consumer spending and stricter regulations, Bally’s is already making notable strides in gaining a larger share of the market, as smaller operators exit the industry. This trend is expected to continue.

eReadiness in 2023

Insights from the consumer research sample

Consumers are displaying a significant interest in electric mobility, as indicated by approximately 30% of those surveyed expressing their intention to purchase an electric vehicle (EV) within the next two years. Among the respondents, the 6% who already own EVs are predominantly high-income, middle-aged men residing in urban centers with access to private parking spaces.

On the other hand, the 61% of respondents who are prospective EV buyers, known as “EV Prospects,” have a roughly 20% lower income compared to EV Owners. Within this group, three personas, namely Tech Enthusiasts, Dreamers, and Pragmatic individuals, exhibit the highest intentions of purchasing an EV, collectively representing around 70% of the anticipated demand in the next two years. This suggests a shift in the EV market towards a broader customer base.

A significant portion of the respondents, accounting for 31%, falls under the “Sceptics” category. These individuals are primarily women with lower disposable incomes, approximately six years older than the EV Prospects.

Online vehicle sales, which currently make up 20% of EV sales, are particularly prominent for premium vehicles. Furthermore, 65% of consumers are contemplating purchasing their next vehicle online, primarily driven by the factors of convenience and transparent pricing.

Interest in used EVs is noteworthy, with 60% of current EV owners expressing a desire to buy a used EV due to cost savings and immediate availability. However, concerns regarding the state of health (SoH) of the batteries remain a significant obstacle.

Turning to the eReadiness Index, in Europe, Norway, Switzerland, and Germany emerge as the most e-ready countries, driven by their well-developed charging infrastructure and strong consumer demand. Italy and Spain, despite offering government incentives, lag behind in this regard.

In the APAC region, Hong Kong, China, and Singapore stand out as the most e-ready countries, boasting high consumer demand and, particularly in Hong Kong and China, a robust charging infrastructure.

In contrast, Australia ranks as the least eReady country across the entire panel, indicating that there is substantial room for growth and improvement in terms of electric mobility readiness in the country.

eReadiness Index

The eReadiness Index is constructed from 14 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that are categorized into four primary dimensions, each assessed for every country within the study.

These eReadiness Index Dimensions and their respective KPIs encompass various aspects:

Government Incentives Dimension

Evaluation of specific government incentives with a focus on:

– Grants (comprising purchase subsidies, both national and local grants, and scrapping bonuses).

– Value-added tax (VAT) exemption.

– Reduction in registration taxes.

– Exemption from annual ownership taxes.

Infrastructure Dimension

Analysis of infrastructure is based on these KPIs:

– The number of installed public charging points per thousand vehicles (including both electric vehicles and non-electric fleets).

– The presence of installed public fast charging points (>150 kW) per kilometer of highway.

– The share of energy generation from renewable sources.

– The comparison of driving costs between gasoline-powered and electric vehicles.

Supply Dimension

Assessment of the supply aspect involves:

– The proportion of electric vehicles in relation to total vehicle registrations.

– The rate of depreciation experienced by the top-selling electric vehicles in a given country.

– The number of companies exclusively engaged in manufacturing electric vehicles.

Demand Dimension:

The analysis of consumer demand within this dimension focuses on:

– The willingness of consumers to purchase an electric vehicle within the next two years.

– The percentage of drivers who typically cover short distances, averaging less than 30 kilometers per day.

– The average household income, reflecting the financial capacity of potential electric vehicle buyers.

These four dimensions, each comprising a set of specific KPIs, collectively form the eReadiness Index, offering a comprehensive assessment of a country’s readiness and suitability for electric vehicle adoption.

Outputs from the eReadiness Index

Hong Kong and Norway are the most eReady countries across all dimensions while Australia seem the least mature one for e-mobility.

In Europe, Norway is the most eReady country across all dimensions while Italy, Spain and Poland seem the least mature for e-mobility.

Hong Kong, China, and Singapore promptly emerge as the top eReady nations among all the countries under consideration.

Recommendations for e-mobility players

Utility Companies

Recommended Actions: Develop financially flexible offerings that reduce initial expenses, provide supplementary services, and safeguard residual value to encourage more hesitant prospects to switch to EVs.
Rationale: Upfront costs and low residual value are significant barriers for 40% and 33% of potential EV buyers. Many current EV owners, particularly in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) and North America (NA) regions, opt for additional services, such as insurance and maintenance plans, to ensure peace of mind.


Recommended Actions: Form strategic partnerships with third-party providers, complete with clear service level agreements (SLAs) and incentives, to offer comprehensive support and coordination for home chargepoint installations. Provide a range of related products and services, such as green energy contracts, energy storage solutions, photovoltaic panels, and on-the-go charging options to EV customers at the point of sale.
Rationale: Many consumers face challenges related to limited knowledge of charging infrastructure (42%) and delays in the home charging installation process (25%). A significant percentage (10-40%) of consumers purchase additional EV-related products and services shortly after acquiring their EVs.

Public & Charging Point Operators (CPO Authorities)

Recommended Actions: Collaborate with third-party providers to offer holistic support and coordination for home chargepoint installations and provide a suite of related products and services to EV customers, including green energy contracts, energy storage solutions, photovoltaic panels, and on-the-go charging options, at the point of sale.
Rationale: This approach helps address the issues consumers face due to limited knowledge about charging infrastructure and the delays encountered during home charging installations. It can improve the overall EV ownership experience.

Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs)

Recommended Actions: Review and enhance the used-vehicle business proposition by introducing pre-owned programs that leverage telematic data and include certification of battery health. This not only safeguards residual values but also streamlines the management of second-hand EV trade, making it more effective and profitable.
Rationale: Approximately 60% of current EV owners are open to considering pre-owned EVs, mainly due to their lower upfront costs. However, concerns related to battery health certification, warranty, and fears of diminished battery capacity are key barriers for 45-60% of potential customers.

These recommendations aim to address critical barriers and challenges in the EV market, such as high upfront costs, limited charging infrastructure knowledge, and concerns about battery health, thereby fostering the wider adoption of electric vehicles.

This is our view of the report made and published by Strategy&.

Q3 2023 In Review and Q4 Market Forecast

The positive enthusiasm that brought equities out of a bear market has waned as we enter the last months of 2023. Some of the confidence that propelled the first-half rise proved to be unfounded, particularly hopes that the Federal Reserve would soon begin to decrease interest rates. Instead, higher for longer has become the newest Wall Street slogan.

As a result, the bond market is on the verge of its third consecutive year of decline, despite fixed-income markets giving the highest rates in over 15 years.

At the same time, the growth stock household names that helped usher in what many considered a new bull market in the first half of the year peaked.

What is the outlook for the stock and bond markets as the fourth quarter begins? Which industries are the most appealing?What should investors do next? We’ve gathered thoughts and perspectives on market performance, individual stocks, sectors, and mutual funds from analysts and specialists.

Market Performance and the Economy in Q3 2023 Investors entered the third quarter increasingly confident that a recession would be avoided this year, owing in large part to the ongoing strength of the labor market and consumer spending.

The rub for the stock and bond markets is that dramatic rate cuts scheduled for 2024 are now appearing implausible, despite signals that inflation pressures will ease in the coming months.

Here’s a look at the major market and economic developments in the third quarter of 2023, as well as the forecast for the fourth quarter.

The Wile E. Coyote Stock Market

Stocks are on shakier ground as “normalizing” interest rates shift the outlook.

Q4 Stock Market Outlook: Equities Undervalued Following Recession

The decline provides an opportunity to rebalance portfolios and capitalize on new discounted prospects.

Top-Performing Stocks in the Third Quarter of 2023

Among the toppers are Groupon, Tilray, US Cellular, and energy stocks.

The Stocks That Underperformed in the Third Quarter of 2023

Farfetch, Chewy, and utilities are among the worst-performing stocks this quarter.


Financial Services

In a context of higher-for-longer interest rates, most equities remain inexpensive. Banks have been overly penalized by the market, and their shares are undervalued.

Basic Materials

As the basic materials sector underperforms, we see significant opportunities. Chemicals, metals and mining, and forest products all provide opportunities for investors.

Communication Services

Media and telecommunications are down, but we expect better times ahead. Despite technological difficulties and streaming losses, pockets of strength have arisen.

Consumer Cyclicals: Uncertainty in Discretionary Spending Drives Attractive Valuations

Despite the tough environment, despite consumer caution, aggregate spending has been resilient.

Industrials: The Sector Remains Resilient, Much Like the US Economy

The sector has benefitted from healing supply chains and favorable pricing, though the tight labor market is still challenging.

Q3 Mutual Fund Performance

The key story for mutual fund investors was the shift in fortunes for stock funds since the first half of the year. In a stock market downturn, growth funds failed while value funds thrived. Bond funds saw mixed results as interest rates rose, but funds invested in riskier assets profited.

Growth funds experienced a third-quarter loss.

The majority of the year’s first-half laggards turned third-quarter leaders.

Another bad quarter for bond funds

Bond markets continued to reward credit-risk-taking investors.

How the Biggest US Stock Funds Fared in the Third Quarter of 2023

Many of the largest active funds outperformed the largest index funds due to a lean toward value equities.

/ This article was originally published on

The Intersection of Climate Change and Political Shifts 2024

Significant Election Concerns for ESG Investors in 2024

As the 2024 United States election cycle gains momentum, there is a noticeable increase in the intensity and volume of discussions revolving around climate change. Three significant climate-related issues have come to the forefront: the anti-ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) backlash, the investment implications of climate-related events, and the impending climate regulations proposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Anti-ESG Backlash

Within the realm of sustainable investing, climate-related investments are a key component, alongside ESG and impact funds. These investment avenues have been on a steady growth trajectory since the 1990s. However, their popularity has attracted political attention. Several US state legislatures have introduced measures to prohibit state entities from engaging with asset managers offering ESG funds or integrating ESG analysis into their investment processes.

While the outcomes of these efforts have varied, it is likely that this campaign will persist, especially in the lead-up to the 2024 election. ESG investing seems to have become a symbol of how investors have influenced the direction of financial markets over the past two decades. Nevertheless, the rising demand for sustainable funds reflects broader shifts in the global economy. Investors should not be discouraged by attempts to limit their investment choices for political reasons.

Investment Impact of Climate Events

Climate change is increasingly manifesting itself through dramatic weather events and subtler transformations, such as the melting Arctic ice cap and water scarcity in the Southwestern and Western US. Assessing investment risks associated with climate change involves considering both physical risk (damage to assets from events like flooding and wildfires) and transition risk (financial impacts on companies as the economy shifts away from fossil fuels).

Climate change affects nearly every industry to some extent, and a company’s financial prospects may depend on how well it adapts to the changing energy landscape. Investors can proactively select companies poised to benefit from these trends or avoid those likely to be adversely affected. Sustainable investment strategies, including low carbon, ex-fossil fuels, and climate transition funds, offer options to align investments with climate-related views.

Pending SEC Climate Regulation

The regulatory aspect of climate policy in the US relates to proposed SEC disclosure rules. The SEC aims to safeguard investors, maintain fair markets, and promote capital formation. Recognizing that climate risk equates to investment risk, proposed regulations would compel companies to publicly report their current carbon emissions and future plans systematically. This would enhance transparency and provide investors with more meaningful data to evaluate climate risk.

Additionally, the SEC is considering rules governing fund managers offering “green” or “sustainable” investment products to ensure accurate naming and alignment with sustainability objectives. While these rules may entail some costs, the SEC believes the benefits, particularly increased transparency on financially relevant matters, justify them.

A decision on the proposed rules is expected in the upcoming fall.


In summary, the intersection of climate change and politics is becoming increasingly relevant for ESG investors as the 2024 US election approaches. Despite challenges, such as political opposition and the complex nature of climate-related investment decisions, there are diverse sustainable investment strategies available for aligning portfolios with climate-related goals.

Moreover, impending SEC regulations seek to enhance transparency and accountability in climate-related reporting and fund management.

This article was originally published on