Market Update: June 27, 2022-Stocks Rally, Despite Recession Concerns, SFG News and Events, and Bryan Slovon’s New Book!


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Stocks Rally, Despite Recession Concerns


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Stocks Rally, Despite Recession Concerns

Prospects of cooling inflation powered a rally in stock prices last week despite growing recession concerns. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 5.39%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 climbed 6.45%. The Nasdaq Composite index rose 7.49% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, edged 0.78% higher.

Stocks Bounce
Declining energy and food prices and falling bond yields signaled a potentially improving inflation outlook, buoying investor sentiment. The rally in stocks was most powerful on the first and final trading days of a holiday-shortened week. Stocks turned a bit choppy mid-week as investors digested Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s Senate appearance but resumed their momentum on Thursday and rallied Friday as rate-hike expectations eased.
Though the weekly gain was a welcome respite from the market’s downward trend, declining bond yields and falling food and energy prices can also be interpreted as signs of slowing economic growth, which may represent a headwind for corporate earnings in the months ahead.
Powell Testifies
Fed Chair Jerome Powell told members of the Senate Finance Committee that the Fed is committed to lowering inflation and moving quickly to do so. He conceded that a recession could…

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Market Update: June 20, 2022-Fed Rate Hike Triggers Market Dip, Plus SFG News and Events


Table of Contents



Fed Rate Hike Triggers Market Dip


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Fed Rate Hike Triggers Market Dip

Stocks moved lower last week as recession fears deepened following a Fed hike in interest rates and weak economic data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 4.79%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 dropped 5.79%. The Nasdaq Composite index slid 4.78% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, slumped 4.51%.

Stocks Tumble
Stocks were under pressure all week due to inflation worries, higher yields, and rising recession concerns. In advance of the much-awaited mid-week meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), bond yields jumped, and stocks retreated on speculation that the Fed might raise rates by 75 basis points. When the Fed announced a 75 basis point hike on Wednesday, stocks rebounded strongly.
The enthusiasm was short-lived. Stocks resumed their slide on Thursday as global central banks followed with their own rate hikes. Recession fears grew based on a weak housing starts report and a contraction in the Philadelphia Fed Business Index–the first contraction since May 2020.
Fed Rate Hike
The Federal Reserve announced a 0.75% hike in the federal funds rate, making it the biggest rate increase since 1994 and signaling its commitment to address inflation. The report from last week’s FOMC meeting also indicated…

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Market Update: June 13, 2022-Stocks Dip on Inflation Report, Plus SFG News and Events


Table of Contents



Stocks Dip on Inflation Report


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Stocks Dip on Inflation Report

A higher-than-expected inflation report triggered a sell-off on Friday, leaving stocks in the red for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 4.58%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 dropped 5.05%. The Nasdaq Composite index slid 5.60% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, declined 1.81%.

Inflation Upends Stocks
Stocks gyrated between gains and losses last week until sliding lower on Friday’s hot inflation report, which heightened worries over a more aggressive Fed and a further economic slowdown. Stocks moved higher to begin the week, despite rising bond yields, a profit warning from a major retailer, and Senate testimony by Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen, who said that inflation was likely to remain elevated.
Stocks turned lower later in the week on renewed concerns of an economic slowdown, sparked by a downward revision in The Federal Reserve-Atlanta’s real-time estimate of second-quarter GDP growth and a drop in new mortgage applications. Investors lightening up on stocks ahead of Friday’s inflation report may have also contributed to Thursday’s selling.
Inside Inflation
Consumer prices rose 8.6% year-over-year in May, marking the highest rate since December 1981. Price increases over the last 12 months were driven by…

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Market Update: June 6, 2022-Stocks Slip on Mixed Economic News, Plus SFG News and Events


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Stocks Slip on Mixed Economic News


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Stocks Slip on Mixed Economic News

In a holiday-shortened week of volatile trading, stocks surrendered some of the previous week’s strong gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.94%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 declined 1.20%. The Nasdaq Composite index lost 0.98% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, slipped 0.17%.

An Uncertain Market
Stocks experienced wild swings last week, in part, due to ongoing uncertainty over economic health and the path of inflation. Investors seemed conflicted when interpreting the data, in some instances viewing economic strength as a negative since it may mean more aggressive rate hikes from the Fed.
Illustrative of how this uncertainty has played out, stocks surged higher on Thursday despite comments from Fed Vice Chair Lael Brainard indicating it’s unlikely that the Fed will pause on rate hikes. Then on Friday, stocks dropped as a better-than-expected jobs report raised concerns about monetary policy.
Strong Job Growth
The U.S. economy added 390,000 jobs in May, a slowdown from recent months but higher than consensus estimates. Job gains registered in several categories, led by leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and warehousing and transportation. The retail sector lost jobs.
The unemployment rate remained unchanged at …

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Market Update: May 23, 2022-Recession Concerns Rising, Plus SFG News and Events


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Recession Concerns Rising


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Recession Concerns Rising

Recession fears grew last week following weak earnings reports from major retailers, sending stocks lower. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2.90%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 lost 3.05%. The Nasdaq Composite index dropped 3.82% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, gained 0.84%.

Trending Lower
Stock prices remained in a downtrend, capped by a sell-off on Wednesday following a succession of disappointing earnings reports from several major retailers. Despite solid April retail sales and industrial production data, weak economic numbers from China and shrinking profit margins at U.S. retailers fanned recession fears throughout the week.
Rising yields, which have been an overhang to the markets in recent weeks, turned lower as investors appeared to move cash to bonds from stocks. But lower yields did not help stock prices, which closed out the week with a volatile trading session.
Cloudy Picture with Retailers
Investors received a mixed message from the retail sector. April’s retail sales increased 0.9% from March, signifying that consumer spending remained strong. But it was difficult to determine from the retail sales report whether the increase was a function of higher retail prices or a resilient consumer.
It was also a big week for earnings reports from some of the nation’s largest retailers. Results were disappointing as

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Market Update: May 16, 2022-Inflation Takes Center Stage, Plus SFG News and Events


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Inflation Takes Center Stage


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the week


Inflation Takes Center Stage

In a volatile trading week, stocks extended their losses as economic growth and inflation concerns soured investor sentiment.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 2.14%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 lost 2.41%. The Nasdaq Composite index fell 2.80% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, slumped 3.21%.

A Turbulent Week
Inflation moved to center stage last week with the release of April’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the Producer Price Index. Both numbers came near their 40-year highs but were lower than March’s year-over-year numbers. The results heightened investor anxiety about future Fed monetary tightening and its impact on economic growth.

In recent weeks, technology stocks have borne the brunt of the downdraft as investors lightened up on risk exposures, with some of the mega-cap tech names getting swept up in the selling pressure. Cooling import price increases buoyed spirits on Friday, helping spark a rally that reduced the week’s losses.
Inflation Stays Hot
Investors were greeted with a mixed CPI report, looking for signs that inflation may be cooling. Year-over-year costs rose 8.3%, slower than the previous month but faster than consensus estimates. Excluding food and energy, core inflation climbed 6.2%. Buried beneath the headline number was a …

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Market Update: April 25, 2022-Powell Favors Quick Movement, Plus SFG News and Events


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Powell Favors Quick Movement


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the Week


Powell Favors Quick Movement

Hawkish comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell overshadowed many largely positive earnings results, sending stocks lower for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 1.86%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 dropped 2.75%. The Nasdaq Composite index fell 3.83% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, advanced 0.50%.

Focus Comes Off Earnings
With the inflation report in the rearview mirror and a Fed meeting two weeks away, many may have expected corporate earnings to be in focus last week. Comments by Jerome Powell stole the spotlight.
Investors began the week awaiting earnings reports looking for insight into businesses handling the latest inflation, a jittery consumer, tighter monetary policy, and ongoing supply chain issues. Despite one high-profile earnings disappointment, corporate profits appeared better than expected. By the time trading began on Thursday, 17% of S&P 500 companies had reported, and 81% had beaten Wall Street analysts’ estimates. Investors responded positively, sending share prices higher until Powell’s comments on Thursday afternoon triggered selling into the day’s close and accelerated through Friday.
Powell Unnerves Markets
On Thursday, at an event hosted by the International Monetary Fund, the Fed Chair offered his view that it may be appropriate to …

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Market Update: April 18, 2022-Earnings Season Begins, Plus SFG News and Events


Table of Contents



Fed Signals More Aggressive Action on Interest Rates


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the Week


Earnings Season Begins

Stocks posted losses in a holiday-shortened trading week as the first-quarter earnings season kicked off and investors digested new inflation data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.78%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 2.13%. The Nasdaq Composite index dropped 2.63% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, lost 1.20%.

Watching Bonds
Stocks began the week moving lower as bond yields climbed higher, with growth stocks suffering some of the steepest declines. Investors considered China’s ongoing lockdown warily, worried it might worsen supply-chain issues.
Historically high consumer and producer price inflation reports were shrugged off by the stock and bond markets in the main, with bond yields slipping despite the hot inflation numbers. Despite an encouraging start to the first-quarter earnings season, stocks pulled back on Friday as bond yields resumed their move higher ahead of a three-day holiday weekend.
An Eye on Inflation
On Tuesday, March’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) report offered little indication that inflation may be moderating, as prices increased 8.5% year-over-year, the fastest pace in 40 years. Core inflation, excluding food and energy prices, recorded a 6.5% jump, the steepest rise since August 1982. One encouraging note was that core inflation showed potential signs of ebbing, posting a monthly increase of 0.3% versus expectations of a 0.5% increase.
The following day, March’s Producer Price Index, a potential insight into future inflation, rose 11.2% year-over-year. A March survey by the National Federation of Independent Business released earlier in the week, indicated that …

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Market Update: April 11, 2022-Fed Signals More Aggressive Action on Interest Rates, Plus SFG News and Events


Table of Contents



Fed Signals More Aggressive Action on Interest Rates


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the Week


Fed Signals More Aggressive Action on Interest Rates

Stock prices fell last week in response to the Fed’s plan to combat inflation, which staked out a more aggressive stance than investors had anticipated. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.28%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 1.27%. The Nasdaq Composite index dropped 3.86% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, slid 2.05%.

Fed Roils Markets
After a positive start to the week, stock prices turned lower on a more hawkish tone from Fed officials. On Tuesday, investors were surprised by comments from Fed governor Lael Brainard, one of the Fed’s more dovish members, who suggested the Fed could take a more aggressive approach with interest rates.
The unease extended into Wednesday when minutes of the last Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting were released, signaling a potentially faster pace in both interest rate hikes and the wind-down of the Fed’s balance sheet. Yields climbed steadily throughout the week as the bond market digested this new information. Particularly hard hit were high valuation stocks, as reflected in the 4% drop in the Nasdaq.
Fed Minutes
After raising the federal funds rate by 0.25% last month, the minutes from the March FOMC meeting made it clear the Fed is serious about fighting inflation with higher interest rates.
Fed officials indicated they might have hiked rates by a half percentage point in March had it not been for the uncertainty created by the invasion of Ukraine. Multiple Fed officials suggested that …

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Market Update: April 4, 2022-Markets Weigh Menu of Uncertainty, Plus SFG News and Events


Table of Contents



Markets Weigh Menu of Uncertainty


Food for Thought


Tax Tips


Healthy Living


Weekly Riddle


Photo of the Week


Markets Weigh Menu of Uncertainty

Stocks spent last week digesting the sharp gains of previous weeks as investors assessed a tightening yield curve, the war in Ukraine, and an uncertain outlook for economic growth and inflation. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.12%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 was flat (+0.06%). The Nasdaq Composite index led, picking up 0.65% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, rose 1.02%.

Stocks Pause
Stock prices bounced around following strong gains in two previous weeks as money managers appeared to reposition their portfolios ahead of the first-quarter close. Oil was under pressure all week as prices fell on news that Shanghai imposed a strict lockdown due to COVID infections. President Biden announced a sustained release of oil from the country’s strategic petroleum reserve.
Bond yields reversed their recent climb. The flattening in the yield curve triggered some concerns about economic growth and the possibility of a recession.

Labor Market
With economic growth worries overhanging the market, last week’s employment reports showed continued strong demand for workers. The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey reported the number of open positions remained near record highs, with job openings exceeding the number of available workers by a record five million. Afterward, the Automated Data Processing employment report saw private payrolls grow by 455,000 in March, slightly above consensus expectations.
Finally, the government’s monthly jobs report showed that …

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