Market Update: September 12, 2022-Markets Upbeat, Despite Gloomy Inflation Talk, Plus SFG News and Events


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Markets Upbeat, Despite Gloomy Inflation Talk


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Markets Upbeat, Despite Gloomy Inflation Talk

In a holiday-shortened week of trading, stocks posted healthy gains despite more tough talk on monetary policy from Fed officials.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2.66%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 3.65%. The Nasdaq Composite index picked up 4.14% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, lost 1.26%.

Stocks Rise

Stocks fell coming off the Labor Day weekend, dragged down by news that Russia was cutting off natural gas supplies to its European customers. Stocks also were under pressure due to a surprisingly strong report on business conditions, which heightened fears of continued Fed hawkishness.
Sentiment quickly improved as bond yields turned lower and oil prices fell. Investors reacted positively to comments by Fed Vice Chair Lael Brainard, who reiterated the Fed’s commitment to quashing inflation while acknowledging the risks of going too far. Stocks added to their gains on Thursday as the market digested another speech from Fed Chair Powell and a 0.75% hike by the European Central Bank. The markets surged on Friday amid little news, ending a positive week on an upbeat note.

No Inflation Walk Back

In his first public comments since his speech at Jackson Hole that sent markets into a tailspin, Fed Chair Powell did…

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Market Update: September 6, 2022-Markets Sag, Job Numbers Soar, Plus SFG News and Events


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Markets Sag, Job Numbers Soar


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Markets Sag, Job Numbers Soar

The overhang of Fed Chair Powell’s Jackson Hole speech the previous week carried over into last week as investors recalibrated stock valuations amid a seemingly more assertive monetary policy stance.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2.99%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 stumbled 3.29%. The Nasdaq Composite index lost 4.21%. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, slid 4.90%.

Stocks Extend Losses
Investors remained unnerved by the aggressive tone of Jerome Powell’s speech and subsequent comments from Fed officials suggesting a higher rate hike than the market expected at the Fed two-day meeting ending September 21. The probability of a 75 basis point hike in September rose to nearly 65%, up from just 28% a month ago.
Stocks moved steadily lower before finding some footing on Thursday. Friday’s employment report appeared to strike a “goldilocks” note (i.e., labor gains not so strong that it might trigger greater Fed hawkishness but robust enough to allay imminent recession fears). After early gains, stocks turned lower ahead of the holiday weekend.
Employment Shines
Employers added 315,000 jobs in August, maintaining the labor market’s remarkable resiliency amid a contracting economy. The unemployment rate rose to…

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Market Update: August 30, 2022-Powell comments spur sell-off on Wall Street, Plus SFG News and Events


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Powell comments spur sell-off on Wall Street


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Powell comments spur sell-off on Wall Street

A comprehensive sell-off on Friday following comments by Fed Chair Jerome Powell drove stocks to losses for the week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 4.22%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 dropped 4.04%. The Nasdaq Composite index fell 4.44% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, lost 1.10%.

Under Pressure

Stocks dropped on Friday following Powell’s remarks reiterating the Fed’s inflation-fighting resolve. While his comments did not break new ground, markets reacted severely, perhaps on worries that interest rate hikes may continue into next year.

After starting the week sharply lower on renewed rising interest rates and economic slowdown fears, markets staged a modest turnaround beginning mid-week. Stocks rallied on Thursday, sparked by a revised Gross Domestic Product estimate showing the economy’s shrinking less than initially estimated. Thursday’s rally also got a boost from regional Federal Reserve Bank presidents, who suggested future rate hikes may be in line with market expectations.

Powell at Jackson Hole

In his much-anticipated speech at the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium, Powell unflinchingly reaffirmed the Fed’s commitment to…

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Market Update: August 22, 2022-Markets Tap Brakes, But Hold Fast Against Downbeat News, Plus SFG News and Events


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Markets Tap Brakes, But Hold Fast Against Downbeat News


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Markets Tap Brakes, But Hold Fast Against Downbeat News

Stocks tumbled on Friday, sending stocks to a weekly loss after an otherwise quiet August week of trading.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped -0.16%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 lost 1.21%. The Nasdaq Composite index declined 2.62% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, fell 0.88%.

Summer Rally Hits Pause Button

The market rally that began in mid-June paused last week. Despite the week’s losses, stocks exhibited resiliency in the face of a string of troubling economic news that included flat retail sales, weak housing numbers, an inversion in the yield curve, and tepid economic data out of China.

Nevertheless, stocks tumbled on Friday amid hawkish comments about future rate hikes, rising bond yields, and ahead of the annual meeting of global central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in which Fed Chair Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak on August 26th.

Expect More Rate Hikes

Minutes from July’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting indicated that additional rate hikes would be needed to help manage inflation. Fed officials did acknowledge that further rate hikes…

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Market Update: August 15, 2022-Stocks Have Warmer Week as Inflation Cools, Plus SFG News and Events


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Stocks Have Warmer Week as Inflation Cools


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Stocks Have Warmer Week as Inflation Cools

An improving inflation outlook buoyed investors’ spirits last week, helping lift stocks to solid gains.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 2.92%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 3.26%. The Nasdaq Composite index added 3.08% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, gained 2.39%.

Lower Inflation Spurs Buying

Stock prices surged mid-week when the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released a better-than-expected Consumer Price Index (CPI) number, with buying momentum building throughout the trading session.

Gains were significant across the board, with technology and small-cap companies leading the market higher. The mid-week rally sent the S&P 500 to its highest level since May and the Nasdaq to its highest level since April. Bond yields fell on expectations that the Fed’s pressure to hike rates further might ease. After pausing on Thursday, stocks again ripped higher on Friday, aided, in part, by a report indicating improving consumer sentiment.

Inflation Cools

The Consumer Price Index in July was softer than expected, with prices unchanged from the previous month thanks to a 4.6% decline in energy prices and a 7.7% drop in gasoline. Despite the encouraging results, the CPI report still evidenced…

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Market Update: August 8, 2022-Mixed Week For Markets, Jobs On The Rise, Plus SFG News and Events


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Mixed Week For Markets, Jobs On The Rise


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Mixed Week For Markets, Jobs On The Rise

Stocks turned in a mixed performance last week as investors struggled with headlines suggesting that the Fed was unlikely to soon ease up on its current monetary tightening policy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.13%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 0.36%. The Nasdaq Composite index picked up 2.15% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, gained 0.23%.

Showing Resilience

Ahead of Friday’s employment report, stocks were generally higher, highlighted by a Wednesday rally triggered by fresh earnings surprises and a better-than-expected economic report. The rally was especially notable because it occurred when multiple Fed officials said that the fight against inflation hadn’t ended, perhaps throwing cold water on the idea that the Fed might pivot due to weakening economic activity and the prospect of cooling inflation.

Aside from this single day of enthusiasm, markets were a bit jittery, especially as investors monitored Speaker of the House Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. A robust employment report on Friday reinforced the idea that the Fed would likely stay the course on monetary tightening, resulting in a mixed market for the week.

Employment Report

The U.S economy added 528,000 jobs in July, doubling the consensus expectation of 258,000. The unemployment rate ticked…

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Market Update: August 1, 2022-Markets Rally; Earnings Better Than Expected, Plus SFG News and Events


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Markets Rally; Earnings Better Than Expected


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Markets Rally; Earnings Better Than Expected

Undaunted by another Fed rate hike and news of a contracting economy, the stock market rallied last week on better-than-expected corporate earnings.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 2.97%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 picked up 4.26%. The Nasdaq Composite index gained 4.70% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, rose 0.95%.

Stocks Rally on Earnings

It was an inauspicious start to the week after a big-box retailer missed earnings and reduced forward guidance on Tuesday, sparking a broad market retreat.

But sentiment improved following mega-cap technology company earnings that proved better than expected. Enthusiasm gathered steam in the wake of the Fed’s 0.75% rate hike, boosted by Fed Chair Powell’s comments following Wednesday’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting. Powell indicated that it might become appropriate to slow the pace of future hikes, and he didn’t believe the economy had entered into recession. Stocks on Thursday shrugged off news of a second-consecutive quarter of negative economic growth to build on Wednesday’s gains as fresh earnings continued to comfort, if not impress, investors.

Economy Contracts

The U.S. economy shrank at an annualized rate of 0.9% in the second quarter as consumers pulled back on spending and businesses worked to reduce inventories. It was the second-consecutive quarter of negative economic growth, meeting the technical definition of a recession. Unlike past recessions, hiring has been…

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Market Update: July 25, 2022-Markets React to Dim Forecast, 2Q Reports, Plus SFG News and Events


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Markets React to Dim Forecast, 2Q Reports


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Markets React to Dim Forecast, 2Q Reports

Stocks rallied last week as investor spirits lifted thanks to a better-than-expected start to the second-quarter earnings season.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.95%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 added 2.55%. The Nasdaq Composite index jumped 3.33% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, advanced 3.54%.

Earnings Propel Stocks
Earnings season kicked off last week, with major banks reporting second-quarter results. While their results were mixed, they appeared to indicate that consumers and businesses remained reasonably healthy–a perspective that helped erase some negative sentiment overhanging the market.

As the week progressed, stocks gained momentum as earnings results poured in from different sectors of the economy, showing that businesses were navigating higher inflation and slowing growth better than investors feared. Technology and other gloomier sectors were among the market’s best performers for the week. A few disappointing corporate reports and a weak economic report sent stocks lower to close out a solid week.

Cracks in the Foundation
Data released last week indicated more trouble in the housing market. The latest monthly homebuilder sentiment survey showed the single largest monthly drop in its 37-year history, except for April 2020. The sentiment report preceded a drop in…

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Market Update: July 18, 2022-Friday Rally Stems Week of Losses, Plus SFG News and Events


Table of Contents



Friday Rally Stems Week of Losses


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Friday Rally Stems Week of Losses

A record-high inflation report, the prospects of a more aggressive Fed, and growing recession fears sent stocks lower– though losses were pared by a Friday rally.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.16%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 lost 0.93%. The Nasdaq Composite index dropped 1.57% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, lost 3.49%.

Stocks Slide
As the week opened, recession fears intensified with reports of renewed Covid-related lockdowns in China. Also, the U.S. dollar continued to climb, reflecting global economic weakness.

June’s consumer price index report showed price increases accelerating. Year-over-year prices jumped 9.1%, the fastest pace in over 40 years. Speculation grew that the Federal Reserve might contemplate a 100 basis point increase in short-term rates later this month, rather than the 75 basis point hike it earlier signaled. The market rebounded on Friday following comments by an Federal Open Market Committee member who said he favoring a 75 basis point hike. Also helping the Friday rally was a strong retail sales report and additional second-quarter company reports.

Dollar Strength
The increasing strength of the U.S. dollar moved to center stage last week as the dollar index (a measure of the U.S. dollar to six other major currencies) reached a…

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Market Update: July 11, 2022-Stocks Rally Despite Mixed Data, Plus SFG News and Events


Table of Contents



Stocks Rally Despite Mixed Data


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Stocks Rally Despite Mixed Data

In a holiday-shortened trading week, stocks rallied despite mixed economic data and vacillating energy prices and bond yields. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 0.77%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 1.94%. The Nasdaq Composite index picked up 4.56% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, edged 0.46% higher.

Stocks Move Higher
In advance of Friday’s much-anticipated employment report, stocks enjoyed successive daily gains despite ongoing concerns about a recession. Recession fears were supported by an inversion in the yield curve and updated second-quarter Gross Domestic Product projections indicating the economy is ready to contract.
Technology shares were the week’s big winners as investors appear to have turned to companies with earnings growth potential during a weakening economic environment. Stocks bounced along the flatline following the strong jobs report on Friday to close out a positive week.

Employment’s Mixed Signal
One of the holes in the “imminent-recession” narrative has been the labor market’s strength. Historically, recessions have been preceded by or concurrently with a weakening jobs market.

Friday’s employment report reflected a job market that continues to…

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