Financial Insights

KCM On Balance – October 2022

As the days grow shorter and autumn rolls in, the smell of pumpkin spice fills the air. Pumpkins, and the spices that often accompany them, have come to symbolize the fall…at least in every coffee shop and grocery store.

This bright orange fruit is from the family that includes zucchini, cucumbers, honeydew melons, cantaloupe, and watermelons (the word “pumpkin” comes to us from the Greek word for “large melon”).

Scientists believe pumpkins originated in North America about 9000 years ago and were an important food source for Native Americans. However, Irish immigrants popularized using pumpkins for Jack-O-Lanterns on Halloween. They found that giant pumpkins were much easier than the turnips or potatoes they had traditionally used to carve scary faces and make lanterns to place in windows or near doors to frighten away wandering evil spirits during the feast of All Hallows’ Eve – observed on October 31.

The tradition has become a Halloween staple. Every year, the US produces around 800 million pounds of pumpkins that are ripe for picking in October.

Markets could use a little “pumpkin spice latte” pick-me-up. Over September, driven by the rate-hiking extravaganza central banks around the globe have engaged in, markets continued a downward trajectory. The S&P 500 accelerated its slide, posting -9.21% for the month and down -23.87% year-to-date.

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