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Important observation out of Morningstar on Friday.

While the Morningstar U.S. Market Index is up 15.4% from its bear-market low on October 14, the market is only 1.4% higher than it was at the end of November.

AND in recent months, the stock market has been moving in tighter and tighter bands. So far in April, the Morningstar U.S. Market Index has only moved up 0.9%. That puts the month on track to show one of the flattest monthly returns since May 2022.

The first-quarter rally in stocks seems to have run out of steam, Morningstar concludes, and the market is treading water waiting for a resolution of questions about the economy, interest rates, and inflation.

I expect that it will take months for the market to get convincing answers to those questions. And in the meantime, we’re likely to see a sideways market punctuated by rallies and drops as investors and traders momentarily think they’ve received answers to their questions.