Broker Check

Weekly Market Commentary

January

January 17, 2022

Is The Economy Doing Well, Or Not? 

If you skimmed the headlines last week, you may have seen that retail sales – the purchases we make from stores in-person or online – declined 1.9 percent in December. The statistic may have raised questions about the strength of the economy. After all, how could retail sales move lower during the holiday season?

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January 10, 2022

Here’s A Little Story About A Group Called The Fed… 

In the 1950’s, then Fed Chair William McChesney Martin described the Federal Reserve as “the chaperone who has ordered the punch bowl removed just when the party was really warming up.”

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January 3, 2022

2021 was a fizzing mints-in-soda kind of year. 

Everything seemed to shoot higher – from COVID-19 cases and vaccinations to economic growth and global stock markets. Everything except for optimism. As the year came to an end, a CBS News poll found that 40 percent of Americans felt 2021 was mostly filled with sadness, although almost three out of four people polled said they were hopeful for 2022.

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December

December 27, 2021 

Investors Were Feeling Bullish 

Last week, the Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) Index closed at a record high for the 68th time this year. That’s the second-highest number of record closes in a single year. The highest number occurred during 1995, when the S&P 500 had 77 record highs, reported Reuters. That was the year the Dow Jones Industrial Average passed 4,000 for the first time and then rose above 5,000, reported Wayne Duggan of Benzinga.

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December 20, 2021 

Stock and bond markets diverged. 

Last week, the Bank of England surprised markets with a rate hike, its first in three years, and the Bank of Mexico raised rates more than expected. Both cited persistent inflation as the reason for the increases, reported Carla Mozée of Markets Insider.

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December 13, 2021 

Inflation Met Expectations 

When the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) last week, it showed that inflation was at levels last seen in 1982. In November, prices were up 0.8 percent month-to-month and 6.8 percent year-to-year.

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December 6, 2021 

Investors Look To The Future 

Last week, employment and manufacturing data confirmed that the United States economy continued to strengthen in November, but positive economic news was overshadowed by investors’ concerns about the spread of coronavirus and Federal Reserve policy.

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November

November 29, 2021 

COVID-19 Strikes Again

Coronavirus cases have been on the rise in Europe, climbing from about 700,000 new cases a week in September to 2.6 million a week in November, reported Richard Pérez-Peña and Jason Horowitz of the New York Times. As Thanksgiving approached, there was concern that travel and togetherness could increase the number of cases in the United States, too, creating stress on already taxed healthcare systems. Jamie Smyth and Caitlin Gilbert of the Financial Times explained:

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November 22, 2021

Thinking About the Possibilities 

The Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index finished last week slightly higher and has gained about 6 percent during the past 25 days; however, investors have curbed their enthusiasm. The S&P 500 hasn’t experienced a move of one percent or more in 25 trading days. That’s the longest period without a move of that size in about two years, according to a source cited by Avi Salzman of Barron’s.

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November 15, 2021

Economists Like To Joke That Inflation Is Just Right When No One Notices It 

Last week, investors noticed it. The Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is a measure of inflation, rose 0.9 percent in October and 6.2 percent over the last 12 months, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (When volatile food and energy prices were excluded, the CPI was 4.6 percent for the period.)

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November 8, 2021

Feeling Bullish… 

Investor bullishness ticked higher last week on all four investor sentiment gauges tracked by Barron’s. Investor optimism may have been fanned by positive financial and economic news. For example, last week:

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November 1, 2021

The Road To Recovery Is Slow And Bumpy 

Last week, we learned that economic growth slowed in the third quarter as a new wave of COVID-19 surged across the United States, reported The Bureau of Economic Analysis. Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is the value of all goods and services produced in the United States, increased by 2 percent annualized in the third quarter.

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October

October 25, 2021

It’s MESSI! 

No, this commentary is not about Lionel Messi, the Argentine soccer phenom who is widely regarded one of the greatest footballers of all time. However, it is about something that economists say may be as rare as Messi’s talent: Moderating Expansion with Sticky Supply-driven Inflation (MESSI).

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October 18, 2021

Don’t Get Spooked! 

Barron’s Big Money Poll is an exclusive survey of market sentiment among professional investors. Last week, Nicholas Jasinski reported on 2021’s findings:

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October 11, 2021

The Word “Jouncy” May Have Started Life As A Combination Of Bouncy And Jolting – And It’s A Pretty Good Way To Describe What Happened To Stock Markets Last Week 

The week started with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index experiencing daily gains and losses of about one percent. Other major U.S. indices saw sizeable daily swings in value, too. Lu Wang of Bloomberg reported:

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October 4, 2021

September Strikes Again… 

If you look back over the last 20 years, September has been the worst performing month for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, according to Nasdaq.

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