Tag Archives: Federal Reserve

Stocks Tumble Again

MONDAY – U.S. stocks dropped on Monday morning, putting the S&P 500 on track to fall back into bear market territory and possibly to a new low for 2022. A jump in short-term rates drove the negative sentiment as investors still reeling from a hotter-than-expected inflation report on Friday braced for the Federal Reserve to raise rates later in the week.

The short-term 2-year Treasury yield rose by 17 basis points to more than 3.22% Monday, reaching its highest level since 2007 as investors bet the Fed may have to get even more aggressive to squash inflation. At one point in the session, the 2-year rate traded above its 10-year counterpart for the first time since April, a so-called yield curve inversion seen as an indicator of a recession.

The major averages last week posted their biggest weekly declines since late January as investors grew increasingly concerned rising inflation will tip the economy into a recession. The Dow and S&P 500 fell 4.6% and 5.1%, respectively, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 5.6%. A chunk of those losses came Friday, when hotter-than-expected U.S. inflation data spooked investors. The Dow dropped 880 points, or 2.7%. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq lost 2.9% and 3.5%, respectively.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that the U.S. consumer price index rose last month by 8.6% from a year ago, its fastest increase since December 1981. That gain topped economists’ expectations. The so-called core CPI, which strips out food and energy prices, also came in above estimates at 6%.

On top of that, the preliminary June reading for the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index registered at a record low of 50.2.

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Stocks Flat To Start Earnings Season

WEDNESDAY – Stocks were flat on Wednesday as traders weighed more surging inflation numbers and lackluster results from JPMorgan Chase to kick off the first quarter earnings reporting season.

First quarter earnings reporting season kicked off Wednesday and analysts have tempered their expectations amid rising commodity costs, the war in Ukraine and the lingering pandemic. Earnings for S&P 500 companies are expected to increase just 4.5% in the period, the lowest growth since the fourth quarter of the pandemic-plagued 2020, according to FactSet.

On Wednesday a report showed producer prices, wholesale costs that could eventually lead to higher retail prices, jumped a record 11.2% in March on an annual basis. The monthly gain of 1.4% topped the 1.1% estimate from economists polled by Dow Jones.

The 10-year Treasury yield rose slightly to 2.74% following the producer prices report. The yield touched a three-year high of 2.82% this week before pulling back.

The producer prices report followed the consumer prices gauge released on Tuesday which showed an 8.5% surge in March, the Labor Department said on Tuesday. The report fueled further concerns of tighter monetary policy from the Federal Reserve, even as core CPI excluding food and energy costs rose 0.3%, slightly below expectations. Some on Wall Street saw this as a sign that inflation may be nearing a peak.

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Stocks Flat To Close Losing Week

FRIDAY – Stocks were flat on Friday and the market headed for a losing week as investors braced for tighter monetary policy from the Federal Reserve.

Despite a small rebound Thursday and Friday’s early gains, the major averages were headed for weekly declines. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were down 1% and 2.6%, respectively, for the week through Thursday’s close. The Dow was down 0.7% week to date. Those losses would mark the first weekly losses for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq in four weeks. Meanwhile, the Dow is headed for back-to-back weekly declines.

The losses have been driven by a change of tone by the Federal Reserve, signaling it will be even more aggressive to fight inflation. On Wednesday, the central bank disclosed its March meeting minutes, revealing that policymakers plan to reduce their bond holdings by a consensus amount of about $95 billion a month. The minutes also indicated potential interest rate hikes of 50 basis points in future meetings. A basis point equals 0.01%.

Investors are also looking ahead to earnings season kicking off next week with reports from five big banks.

The Dow bounced back on Thursday after two straight days of losses, ending the day up 0.25% after dropping as much as 300 points earlier in the session. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also closed higher for the day.

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Stocks Rise Slightly After Fed Selloff

THURSDAY – Stocks rose slightly Thursday as the market tried to recover from back-to-back losing sessions, while traders digested the Federal Reserve’s plans to tighten monetary policy.

The Fed on Wednesday released the minutes from its March meeting, which showed that officials planed to reduce their trillions in bond holdings with a consensus amount around $95 billion. Meanwhile, policymakers indicated that one or more 50 basis-point interest rate hikes could be warranted to battle surging inflation.

Officials “generally agreed” that a maximum of $60 billion in Treasuries and $35 billion in mortgage-backed securities would be allowed to roll off, phased in over three months and likely starting in May.

The news sent the blue-chip Dow down more than 100 points Wednesday, while the S&P 500 slid 1%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite dropped another 2.2%, bringing its week-to-date losses to 2.6%. Those losses came after comments from Fed Governor Lael Brainard pushed stock prices lower on Tuesday.

Investors await the weekly jobless claims data Thursday morning, which is expected to show a total of 200,000 claims filed.

Crude prices ticked higher after falling in the previous session. U.S. oil gained 0.7% to $96.94 per barrel, while international Brent advanced 0.9% to $101.95.

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Stocks Now Mixed, S&P Still Higher

HTML clipboard FRIDAY – The S&P 500 was steady Friday as the benchmark index looked to close out its second consecutive positive week.

Overall, stocks were mixed early.

For the week, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are up more than 1% and 2%, respectively. The Dow is marginally higher.

The S&P 500 is now up more than 3% in March, more than erasing its losses since Russia invaded Ukraine late last month.

The rebound has come even as the war in Ukraine continues and the Federal Reserve is set to hike interest rates several more times this year – some analysts saying as many as seven increases.

On Monday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell vowed to be tough on inflation. The remarks came after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the first time since 2018 last week, with hikes coming at each of the six remaining policy meetings this year.

Powell noted rate hikes could go from quarter-percentage-point moves to more aggressive half-point increases.

The central bank chief’s comments led Wall Street to raise rate hike expectations, with firms from Goldman Sachs to Bank of America penciling in half-point hikes in future Fed meetings this year.

Meanwhile, investors looked to promising signs the economy can run strong even as the Fed tightens monetary policy to address inflation.

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Stocks Rise Slightly After Wednesday’s Losses

HTML clipboard THURSDAY – Stocks rose early Thursday morning as investors tried to recover from declines in Wednesday’s regular trading session.

Investors are continuing to monitor the war in Ukraine and weigh the Federal Reserve’s rate hikes amid persistent inflation.

NATO leaders met in Brussels Thursday to discuss increasing pressure on Russia, as Ukraine appears to be retaking ground in the war.

Last week, the Fed raised interest rates for the first time since 2018. Chair Jerome Powell on Monday vowed to be tough on inflation and opened the door for more aggressive half-percentage-point rate hikes.

The S&P 500 fell into correction territory late February, but is now 7.5% off its highs. The Dow is also 7% from its intraday record and the Nasdaq Composite is off by 14%.

Stocks have seesawed this week, alternating between up and down days. The Dow is about 1% lower on the week while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite are little changed.

All three major averages are on track to close the month at least 1% higher.

On the data front, initial jobless claims last week totaled 187,000.

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Brexit & Trade Worried Hamper Stocks

WEDNESDAY – U.S. stocks were lower Wednesday as worries over U.S.-China trade relations dampened sentiment around a record-setting rally.

The Wall Street Journal reported, citing former Trump administration officials, that the ongoing trade talks could hit an impasse that would derail a so-called “phase one” trade deal. Uncertainty around trade also grew after the Senate passed a bill supporting Hong Kong protesters. This led China to accuse the U.S. of interfering in domestic affairs.

The Dow pulled back from record highs on Tuesday amid losses from Boeing and Home Depot while investors monitored earnings and developments in the U.S.-China trade talks. There is lingering uncertainty among investors about the possibility of a deal between both countries, despite comments last month suggesting they were close to signing a partial agreement.

Elsewhere, investors are awaiting minutes from the Federal Reserve’s October policy meeting at 2 p.m. The U.S. central bank decided to lower the federal funds rate by 25 basis points to a range of 1.5% to 1.75% late last month.

In corporate news, Target shares jumped more than 8% in the premarket after the retailer posted quarterly results that easily beat expectations. Target also raised its full-year profit outlook.

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Stocks Tempered By Interest Rate and Tariff Concerns

WEDNESDAY – Stocks slipped on Wednesday as investors digested mixed news around U.S.-China trade talks along with testimony from the highest-ranking Federal Reserve official.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded lower a fraction of a percent. The S&P 500 dipped 0.3% while the Nasdaq Composite also slid 0.3%.

Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both notched intraday records in the previous session. The Dow came within a hair of its all-time high on Tuesday.

The U.S. and China are reportedly at loggerheads over tariffs as they seek to conclude phase one of their trade deal. The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday night, citing people familiar with the talks, that the impasse is on whether the U.S. should remove existing tariffs or would only cancel duties that are set to take effect on Dec. 15.

Meanwhile, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will address the Congressional Joint Economic Committee later in the day. In prepared remarks, he said the path of Fed interest rates is unlikely to change as long as the economy keeps growing.

On the data front, the U.S. consumer price index rose more than expected in October. The index increased by 0.4% last month, the Labor Department said. Economists polled by Reuters expected a gain of 0.3%.

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Stocks Rising Again On Trade Optimism

TUESDAY – Stocks were set to open higher on Tuesday, following a record close in the previous session, as investors grew more bullish on a potential U.S.-China trade deal as both sides consider more rollbacks on tariffs.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 70 points and indicated a positive open of more than 58 points, while futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were also higher. Major averages are on track for a third straight positive session.

China is pushing President Donald Trump to remove more tariffs on about $125 billion worth of Chinese goods imposed in September as part of the “phase one” trade deal, Reuters reported Monday evening. A U.S. official told Reuters the fate of the Dec. 15 tariffs is being considered as part of negotiations.

Strong earnings, more promising economic data and optimism over a resolution on trade with China drove the Dow to all-time highs on Monday, following the S&P 500 and Nasdaq’s new records last week.

The Dow’s year-to-date gain now stands at around 18%, while the S&P 500 is up more than 22% and the Nasdaq more than 27% so far this year.

Traders will also have eyes on a raft of economic data Tuesday morning. September balance of trade, import and export figures are due for release at 9:30 a.m. ET before November Redbook data at 9:55 a.m. ET.

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Stocks Slip While Awaiting Fed Decision

Stocks opened slightly lower on Wednesday as a key decision from the Federal Reserve is expected this afternoon.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell just a fraction of a percent. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite both slipped about a third of one percent.

The Fed is expected to cut rates by 25 basis points. This would be the bank’s second rate cut in a decade, after the central bank decided to lower the Fed Funds Rate to a range of 2.0%-2.25% in July. Chairman Jerome Powell will address the media on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Treasury yields fell ahead of the Fed’s announcement. The benchmark 10-year rate dipped to 1.77% from around 1.8%. The 2-year yield traded at 1.7%.

The Fed meeting takes place a couple of days after President Donald Trump called the central bank “boneheads” and asked for zero or even negative rates. The meeting also takes place as China and the U.S. try to reach a deal to end their ongoing trade war.

Trump said on Wednesday that a deal could come soon. China and the U.S. are expected to meet next month. The trade war has dampened the outlook for global economic growth and corporate profit expansion.

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