Stocks rocked in 2023, but they’re starting 2024 off on a sour note. Crude oil is modestly higher along with gold and silver. Rising Treasury yields are giving the dollar a boost.

Now let’s talk more about 2023. The S&P 500 notched a 24% advance for the year, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 14% to an all-time high. But the real star was the Nasdaq Composite, which surged 43%. That was the best performance since the 2020 advance partially fueled by COVID-19 stimulus spending.

S&P 500, Nasdaq, GLD, TLT (1-Year Chart)

Thanks to a late-year rally fueled by shifting Federal Reserve rate expectations, the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) also finished 2023 in the green. It generated a total return of 2.9%. As for the SPDR Gold Shares (GLD), it rose more than 13%. The dollar index slipped 2% on expectations for a more-dovish Fed moving forward, while crude oil shed 10% on worries about both demand and supply trends.

We’ll see what 2024 has in store after this weak, first-trading-day start. But several of our top MoneyShow experts remain optimistic on the outlook for the next 12 months. So do I, for the reasons I’ve shared here in Top Pros’ Top Picks and my presentations at live and virtual events in 2023.

Meanwhile, the US-China trade relationship has been challenging for a while. Now, the Biden Administration has ratcheted that fight up another notch. It successfully pressured the Dutch semiconductor equipment firm ASML Holding (ASML) into canceling the sale of three high-end machines to Chinese buyers. The so-called deep ultraviolet lithography machines can be used to make advanced chips.