After a rocky year, the benchmark S&P 500 equity index continues to disappoint investors, slipping back in negative territory year-to-date, trading down -0.12%. With many of the component companies in the index already facing a revenue recession and growing debt levels concerning for the outlook, investor pessimism continues to reign supreme. Although exhibiting a marginally positive 1-year return, current price action is not indicative of the strong bull market conditions championed by sell-side analysts. With interest rates now set to rise, borrowing costs for corporations will also be on the rise, forcing companies to focus on investing in capital projects instead of using ultra-low rates to finance buybacks. As a leading economic indicator, should the S&P 500 continue to weaken, it could suggest a broader recession for the US economy in the pipeline as concerns about the growth outlook mount.