Signs of Hope? | May 6, 2022

AUTHOR: Jason J. Roque, MS, CFP®, APMA®, AWMA®
TITLE:       Investment Adviser Rep – CCO
TAGS:   S&P 500, NASDAQ, Rates, Inflation

Another down week led by the NASDAQ. Are there signs of hope in the long term forecast though?

Monday                            S&P 500 0.57% | NASDAQ 1.63%

Equity markets were in no mood to be boring on Monday. The markets opened choppy, oscillating between green and red. At one point, the 10-year treasury got above 3%, sending equity markets decidedly lower. At another point, the S&P 500 was 1.67% lower on the day. Late in the day, with one hour of trading left, markets rallied back to end in the green.

Tuesday                            S&P 500 0.48% | NASDAQ 0.22%

The growth story stayed relatively contained on Tuesday as the Federal Reserve Board (FRB) press conference is on Wednesday. Every time the markets tried to break out, they clawed back down. The 10-year treasury rate floated lower early and closed nearly unchanged.

Wednesday                      S&P 500 2.99% | NASDAQ 3.19%

The FRB delivered what the markets were expecting. They lifted the Fed Funds Rate by 0.50% and committed to rolling off their balance sheet starting June 1st. The commitment will eventually get to $95B, however that won’t be until September. The S&P 500 traded sideways until the data from the FRB was available, after which markets soared into the close. The 10-year treasury was little changed, indicating that the FRB hike was baked in already.

Thursday                          S&P 500 3.56% | NASDAQ 4.99%

The entire week of positivity was reversed in one broad selloff. The S&P 500 is currently off 13.54% and the Tech heavy NASDAQ is currently off 22.20%. The broad market move says that while the FRB was less fierce than expected, they are being aggressive with policy. That aspect does not change the expected decrease in revenue for US companies.

Friday                               S&P 500 0.62% | NASDAQ 1.45%

Happy Jobs Day! Jobs data held strong as the unemployment rate remained at 3.6% and the US added over 400K jobs in April. The participation rate is holding at 62.2%. Additionally, wage growth increased 5.5% annually. This rate keeps pace with Core PCE (a key indication of inflation). This could reflect a stickier inflation environment. Markets reacted negatively to the good news. It signals more room for the FRB to raise rates without having to worry about the job market.

Conclusion                       S&P 500 0.21% | NASDAQ 1.54%

The FRB is working to provide enough restriction to quell inflation, but not enough to cause a recession. The last time that effectively occurred was in 1994. The FRB aggressively rose rates to keep inflation at bay. If the FRB could successfully achieve a ’soft landing’, the follow-on story to the early ‘90’s was great. That five-year period of growth in the late ‘90’s has been unrivaled. It is still to be seen if the FRB can achieve that soft landing. If they do, they may set the table for a growth heavy period for the next few years.

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