Market Update: January 23, 2023 Mixed Results Following Weak Economic Data, Plus SFG News and Events


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Mixed Results Following Weak Economic Data


SFG News & Events


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Mixed Results Following Weak Economic Data

In a holiday-shortened week, erratic trading left stocks marginally down for the week.
Stocks showed mixed results last week as recession fears resurfaced in response to weak economic data and a tepid start to a new corporate earnings season.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average skidded 2.70%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 declined 0.66%. But the Nasdaq Composite index gained 0.55% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, lost 0.50%.

Mixed Economic Data

Stocks weakened to start the week amid discouraging corporate earnings and troubling economic data. Disappointing retail sales and manufacturing reports sparked concerns that the Fed may have gone too far in hiking rates, while a drop in initial jobless claims diminished chances of a near-term pause in rate hikes. Welcome news from two big technology names on Friday powered a strong rally that mixed significant indices.
The start of the earnings season was a drag on investor sentiment. While 69% of the S&P 500 constituent companies that reported earnings by Thursday (48 companies) exceeded expectations, the percentage of “beats” is below the three-year average. More concerning, however, was

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Market Update: January 9, 2023 New Year’s Rally in Reply to Positive Economic News, Plus SFG News and Events


Table of Contents



New Year’s Rally in Reply to Positive Economic News


SFG News & Events


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


New Year’s Rally in Reply to Positive Economic News

In a holiday-shortened week, erratic trading left stocks marginally down for the week.
A strong Friday rally triggered by fresh signs of moderating inflation pushed stocks into positive territory to begin the new year.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.46%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 advanced 1.45%. The Nasdaq Composite index gained 0.98%. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, added 0.90%.

Stocks Rally

A new year did little to change the market’s overall tenor as trading remained choppy. The first two trading sessions of a holiday-shortened week saw major averages swing wildly between gains and losses as investors balanced an improving outlook on inflation against concerns of faltering economic growth. Mega-cap technology and other high-growth names endured the brunt of the selling pressure.
Stocks took a decisive turn lower Thursday on strong private payroll growth and declining jobless claims, which heightened fears that

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Market Update: January 3, 2023 Erratic Holiday Trading Leaves Stocks in Doldrums, Plus SFG News and Events


Table of Contents



Erratic Holiday Trading Leaves Stocks in Doldrums


SFG News & Events


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Erratic Holiday Trading Leaves Stocks in Doldrums

In a holiday-shortened week, erratic trading left stocks marginally down for the week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.17%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 slipped 0.14%. The Nasdaq Composite index fell 0.30%. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, edged 0.61% higher.

Stocks End Lower
Steps by China to move past its zero-Covid policies triggered concerns that its economic reopening might aggravate inflation pressures, sending stocks lower and bond yields higher to begin the week. Technology stocks saw the most significant hit.
With dimming prospects of a Santa Claus rally (the historical tendency of stocks to rise in the final trading days of the year and the first two days of the new year), stocks rebounded strongly on Thursday to erase the losses of the previous two days. However, stocks

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Market Update: December 19, 2022 Recession Concerns, Fed Talk Keep Stocks Cold, Plus SFG News and Events


Table of Contents



Recession Concerns, Fed Talk Keep Stocks Cold


SFG News & Events


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Recession Concerns, Fed Talk Keep Stocks Cold

Growing optimism that the Fed may be ready to ease future interest rate hikes sent stocks higher in a quiet trading week.
Hawkish comments by the Fed and weak economic data heightened investors’ recession concerns and sent stocks lower last week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.66%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 retreated 2.08%. The Nasdaq Composite index declined 2.72% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, slipped 0.88%.

Stocks Rally
Stocks began the week on a positive note, supported by a cooler-than-expected Consumer Price Index (CPI) report. Stocks reversed direction mid-week, however, following the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting in which another 0.5% rate hike was announced.
The half-point increase was widely anticipated, but the increase in the terminal rate (i.e., the point at which the Fed stops raising rates) rattled investors. Continued hawkishness by Fed Chair Powell at the post-meeting press conference added to investors’ anxiety. The potential for higher rates for longer, along with disappointing economic data, particularly a sharp decline in retail sales, amplified

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Market Update: December 12, 2022 Stocks Slide on Recession Concerns, Plus SFG News and Events


Table of Contents



Stocks Slide on Recession Concerns


SFG News & Events


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Stocks Slide on Recession Concerns

Growing optimism that the Fed may be ready to ease future interest rate hikes sent stocks higher in a quiet trading week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.78%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 added 1.53%. The Nasdaq Composite index improved 0.72% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, advanced 2.33%.

Stocks Rally
Stocks were under pressure much of the week due to resurgent recession fears and concerns that Fed rate hikes may go higher for longer than current expectations. There was some good news last week on the economic front and out of China, which started to loosen COVID restrictions. But it was a week where good news was considered bad news, as any signs of economic resilience stoked worries of a longer rate-hike cycle.
Higher continuing jobless claims signaled economic softness, triggering a Thursday rally. But stock prices were under pressure Friday following a disappointing Producer Price Index (PPI) number.
Producer Inflation Disappoints
The Labor Department reported that the PPI rose 0.3% in November and 7.4% from a year ago. Though wholesale prices inflation rose

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Market Update: December 5, 2022 Easing on Rate Hikes and Job Numbers Cheer Markets, Plus SFG News and Events


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Easing on Rate Hikes and Job Numbers Cheer


SFG News & Events


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Easing on Rate Hikes and Job Numbers Cheer

Growing optimism that the Fed may be ready to ease future interest rate hikes sent stocks higher in a quiet trading week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.78%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 added 1.53%. The Nasdaq Composite index improved 0.72% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, advanced 2.33%.

Stocks Rally
The week started lower on concerns about protests in China over its zero-Covid policy and comments by two Fed presidents that the Fed may continue its aggressive rate hike policy. Stocks then surged on Wednesday following remarks by Fed Chair Powell, confirming the central bank’s intention to slow the pace of interest rate increases, which may begin as early as this month.
Stocks buckled in early trading on Friday’s monthly employment report, which showed a higher-than-expected increase in new job growth and an above-expectations jump in wage growth. But stocks cut their losses by the end of the session to lock in a positive week.
Labor May Be Key
In a presentation to the Brookings Institution, Powell said that it might be time to begin moderating the pace of rate hikes. He cited several areas of progress in the inflation fight, including a deceleration in interest rate sensitive parts of the economy, such as housing and supply chain improvement. He also noted the price declines seen in goods and rents.4
But Powell suggested the labor market would need to cool down before

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Market Update: November 28, 2022 Fed Talks Turkey on Lower Rates, Boosting Markets, Plus SFG News and Events


Table of Contents



Fed Talks Turkey on Lower Rates, Boosting Markets


SFG News & Events


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Fed Talks Turkey on Lower Rates, Boosting Markets

Growing optimism that the Fed may be ready to ease future interest rate hikes sent stocks higher in a quiet trading week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.78%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 added 1.53%. The Nasdaq Composite index improved 0.72% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, advanced 2.33%.

Stocks Rally
In light holiday-week trading, stocks rallied as investors grew more hopeful of a slowdown in a future rate hike. The release of the minutes from the early November meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) fed investors’ optimism. Fed officials suggested such easing may be coming soon.
Investor sentiment was also lifted by unexpectedly strong retailer earnings, upside surprises in new economic data, and a better-than-expected consumer sentiment reading. Investors looked past the continuing Covid-related challenges that have stymied China’s economic recovery and its attendant implications for global growth.
Easing in the Offing?
The Fed meeting minutes, released before the Thanksgiving holiday, showed that most Fed officials felt a slowing in interest rate increases would be appropriate. The minutes also suggested that such a deceleration in rate hikes may begin with December’s meeting with a …

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Market Update: November 21, 2022 Markets Down Ahead of Thanksgiving Holiday, Plus SFG News and Events


Table of Contents



Markets Down Ahead of Thanksgiving Holiday


SFG News & Events


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Markets Down Ahead of Thanksgiving Holiday

The stock market edged lower last week as it digested a crosscurrent of conflicting economic data and contrasting comments from Fed officials.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was flat (-0.01%), while the Standard & Poor’s 500 declined by 0.69%. The Nasdaq Composite index lost 1.57% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, fell 0.88%.

Stocks Slip
Stocks took a spill after Fed officials’ comments cast uncertainty about future rate hikes. The more hawkish comments soured investor hopes of an imminent easing in Fed rate hikes, a prospect that had helped fuel the market rally the previous week.
Concerns over the hawkish comments raised investor worries over recession risks, anxiety exacerbated by weak housing data and layoff announcements from major technology companies. The economic picture, however, included some encouraging news as retail sales rose and producer price increases moderated.
Producer Prices Ease
The Producer Price Index (PPI), which reflects the costs paid by domestic producers, seen as an indicator of future consumer prices, is not typically a market-moving event. That was not the case last week.
October’s PPI rose a modest 0.2%, well below the 0.4% consensus estimate. The year-over-year increase moderated to 8.0%, compared to 8.4% in September and the peak of 11.7% in March. The eye-catching element may have been the 0.1% service decline, representing the first decline since …

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Market Update: November 14, 2022 Cooling Inflation Brings Market Gains, Plus SFG News and Events


Table of Contents



Cooling Inflation Brings Market Gains


SFG News & Events


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Cooling Inflation Brings Market Gains

A cooling inflation number ignited a powerful rally on Thursday, sending stocks to strong gains for the week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 4.15%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 added 5.90%. The Nasdaq Composite index rose 8.10% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, picked up 5.72%.

Stocks Surge
A lower-than-expected inflation report triggered the biggest one-day stock market gain in more than two years as the news raised investors’ hopes that the Fed might consider easing the pace of future rate hikes. The day’s gains were pronounced in the hard-hit technology sector, as the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 7.35%.
Stocks initially rallied to start the week, but gave up some of the gains on Wednesday following a muddy and indecisive outcome to the midterms. Friday saw stocks build on their gains to close out an exceptional week.
Inflation Moderates
Consumer prices rose slower in October, increasing 0.4% for the month and 7.7% from 12 months ago. Both numbers were below market expectations of 0.6% and 7.9%. The core CPI (excludes energy and food sectors) rose a more modest 0.3% on a …

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Market Update: November 8, 2022 Stocks Slip After Powell Comments Plus SFG News and Events


Table of Contents



Stocks Slip After Powell Comments


SFG News & Events


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Stocks Slip After Powell Comments

Hawkish comments by Fed Chair Jerome Powell, following the announcement of another 75 basis points interest rate hike last week, cast a pall over financial markets, sending yields higher and stocks lower.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 1.40%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 declined 3.35%. The Nasdaq Composite index lost 5.65% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, fell 1.04%.

Powell Disappoints
The official statement released following the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting appeared to suggest a potential for future easing of interest rates. Investors cheered the news, sending stocks higher. But the optimism was crushed 30 minutes later on hawkish comments by Fed Chair Powell during his post-meeting press conference.
Losses accelerated into Thursday, led by technology names, which were under pressure due to rising bond yields. The yield on the two-year Treasury note rose to its highest level since 2007. The sentiment took damage from workforce reduction/freeze news from multiple technology companies; some considered it a sign of a pending …

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