After a difficult September for stocks, investors are surely ready to flip the calendar to October. That’sthe month that kicks off the historically strong fourth quarter. Expecting this pattern to repeat this yearis tricky given the overhang of a government shutdown, interest rates near 16-year highs, a marketstill trying to digest the Federal Reserve’s “higher for longer” message, and a consumer who is facingsome stiff headwinds as excess savings are drawn down, student loan payments restart, and theeffects of higher borrowing costs are increasingly felt. Amid that complicated backdrop, here weassess prospects for a fourth-quarter rally.

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