Concerns over a firmer monetary policy were heightened by fresh economic data, touching off a climb in bond yields and a slide in stock prices last week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average skidded 2.99%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 dipped 2.67%. The Nasdaq Composite index sagged 3.33% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, retreated 1.23%.1,2,3
Stocks struggled last week, buffeted by growing fears of further Fed tightening and disappointing forecasts from two major retailers that called into question the consumer's health. The release of the minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) last meeting did little to assuage investor worries. Reflecting these concerns of a more aggressive Fed was that by Thursday, traders were pricing in a 27% chance that the Fed might lift rates by a half-percentage point at its next meeting, far above the 1.3% chance just one month ago.4
Stocks took another leg lower on Friday following the release of January’s Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index, which showed hotter-than-expected price increases and more robust consumer spending.
Minutes from the last FOMC meeting indicated that nearly all members agreed with February’s quarter-point rate increase, though some would have supported a 50 basis point rate hike to move quicker towards the Fed’s target range. While the minutes suggested another 25 basis point hike is likely at their next meeting, investors remain anxious that more recent economic data may prompt a 0.50% hike instead.5
The minutes stressed that inflation was still too high. However, members diverged on the economy, with some members finding the risk of recession elevated. In contrast, others feel the Fed may engineer a soft landing or avoid a recession altogether.6
This Week: Key Economic Data
Monday: Durable Goods Orders.
Tuesday: Consumer Confidence.
Wednesday: Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Manufacturing Index.
Thursday: Jobless Claims.
Friday: Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Services Index.
Source: Econoday, February 24, 2023
This Week: Companies Reporting Earnings
Monday: Workday, Inc. (WDAY).
Tuesday: Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY), Target Corporation (TGT), AutoZone, Inc. (AZO), Ross Stores, Inc. (ROST), Agilent Technologies, Inc. (A).
Wednesday: Salesforce, Inc. (CRM), Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (LOW), Dollar Tree, Inc. (DLTR).
Thursday: Broadcom, Inc. (AVGO), Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST), Best Buy Co., Inc. (BBY), Marvell Technology, Inc. (MRVL), Dell Technologies, Inc. (DELL).
Source: Zacks, February 24, 2023
Footnotes and Sources
2. The Wall Street Journal, February 24, 2023
3. The Wall Street Journal, February 24, 2023
4. The Wall Street Journal, February 22, 2023
5. The Wall Street Journal, February 23, 2023
6. CNBC, February 22, 2023
7. IRS.gov, September 19, 2022
8. Center for Disease Control, November 20, 2022
Investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost.
The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions, may not materialize, and are subject to revision without notice.
The market indexes discussed are unmanaged, and generally, considered representative of their respective markets. Index performance is not indicative of the past performance of a particular investment. Indexes do not incur management fees, costs, and expenses. Individuals cannot directly invest in unmanaged indexes. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is an unmanaged index that is generally considered representative of large-capitalization companies on the U.S. stock market. Nasdaq Composite is an index of the common stocks and similar securities listed on the NASDAQ stock market and is considered a broad indicator of the performance of technology and growth companies. The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) and serves as a benchmark of the performance of major international equity markets, as represented by 21 major MSCI indexes from Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia. The S&P 500 Composite Index is an unmanaged group of securities that are considered to be representative of the stock market in general.
U.S. Treasury Notes are guaranteed by the federal government as to the timely payment of principal and interest. However, if you sell a Treasury Note prior to maturity, it may be worth more or less than the original price paid. Fixed income investments are subject to various risks including changes in interest rates, credit quality, inflation risk, market valuations, prepayments, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors.
International investments carry additional risks, which include differences in financial reporting standards, currency exchange rates, political risks unique to a specific country, foreign taxes and regulations, and the potential for illiquid markets. These factors may result in greater share price volatility.
Please consult your financial professional for additional information.
This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG is not affiliated with the named representative, financial professional, Registered Investment Advisor, Broker-Dealer, nor state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and they should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.
Copyright 2023 FMG Suite.
Weekly Market Insights: FOMC Says Inflation is Still Too High
| February 28, 2023