When the curtain closed on 2022, the iconic Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI), benchmark S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC), and technology-dependent Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQINDEX: ^IXIC) all entered respective bear markets and produced their worst returns since 2008. The abysmal performance of these core stock indexes has a lot of investors asking whether a U.S. recession is unavoidable. Unfortunately, there is no crystal ball that allows us to look into the future and know with concrete certainty whether a recession is coming.
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The recent 25-point rate hike has sparked optimism in markets, but the Fed could still hike rates in the future