Market Update for September 19th

GWA Market Update Week Three

General Market News

  • Last week came with the release of hotter-than-expected August inflation data. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) saw an increase of 0.1 percent against expectations for a decrease of that amount. Core inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, increased 0.6 percent against expectations for 0.3 percent. We await the Federal Reserve (Fed)’s next rate decision at the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting this week, where the central bank is expected to raise the federal funds rate by 75 basis points (bps). This would bring the upper target to 3.25 percent and mark the third consecutive rate increase of that amount as the Fed aims to tame inflation. U.S. Treasury yields were up across the curve last week. The 2-year, 5-year, 10-year, and 30-year rose 33 bps (to 3.89 percent), 22 bps (to 3.66 percent), 14 bps (to 3.45 percent), and 3 bps (to 3.48 percent), respectively.
  • The market sold off heavily again last week as short-term borrowing rates increased when the August CPI came in higher than expected. As a result, the Fed has more work to do in terms of raising rates and cooling off consumer demand to drive inflation lower. Short-term rates also dramatically reacted to this data. Additionally, it was announced on Thursday that FedEx, one of the largest international shippers, pulled its guidance for next year amid lower shipment volumes and overall economic uncertainty. The worst-performing sectors—which put a premium on lower rates of borrowing to fuel future growth—were technology, communication services, industrials, and consumer discretionary. The sectors that held up best amid the sell-off were energy, utilities, materials, and real estate. These commodity and fixed rate sectors typically are thought of as inflation hedges, and it’s not surprising to see them do well last week.
  • On Tuesday, the August CPI report was released. Consumer inflation exceeded expectations, with headline prices increasing 0.1 percent against expectations for a 0.1 percent decrease. Core inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, increased 0.6 percent against expectations for a smaller increase of 0.3 percent. On a year-over-year basis, headline inflation has risen 8.3 percent and core inflation has increased 6.3 percent. Falling oil prices were expected to help headline numbers contract over the period, but declines in the oil sector were offset but increases in other areas, such as food and shelter. These numbers show the ongoing struggle the Fed faces in its fight against rising prices, bolstering the case for continued hawkishness and additional interest rate hikes in the coming months.
  • Wednesday saw the release of the August Producer Price Index (PPI) report. This index, which measures the prices received at the wholesale level, decreased 0.1 percent on a headline basis, aligning with economist expectations. Stripping out more volatile food and energy prices, core producer prices increased 0.2 percent. Year-over-year, headline producer prices rose 8.7 percent. Although that number seems quite high, it represents a significant retreat from the 9.8 percent year-over-year increase measured in July. Although the PPI is sometimes considered a leading indicator of what is to come for the CPI, it’s important to remember that services are a large component of consumer prices and are not factored into the physical goods that make up the PPI. Regardless, the Fed will look for meaningful decreases in both indices before it considers any sort of monetary policy pivot.
Equity Index Week-to-Date Month-to-Date Year-to-Date 12-Month
S&P 500 –4.73% –1.97% –17.80% –11.28%
Nasdaq Composite –5.46% –3.07% –26.40% –23.33%
DJIA –4.11% –2.10% –13.85% –9.07%
MSCI EAFE –2.72% –2.66% –21.71% –21.77%
MSCI Emerging Markets –2.64% –4.92% –21.54% –24.05%
Russell 2000 –4.46% –2.41% –19.16% –18.59%

Source: Bloomberg, as of September 16, 2022

Fixed Income Index Month-to-Date Year-to-Date 12-Month
U.S. Broad Market –1.82% –12.38% –13.07%
U.S. Treasury –1.62% –11.44% –12.10%
U.S. Mortgages –2.22% –11.09% –11.68%
Municipal Bond –1.58% –10.07% –10.06%

Source: Morningstar Direct, as of September 16, 2022

What to Look Forward To

On Wednesday, we expect the release of the FOMC rate decision from the Fed’s September 20–21 meeting. Some economists and market participants expect an outsized rate increase of 1 percent after last week’s discouraging CPI report, but pricing within the derivatives market indicates a much lower probability of that happening. The inflation report came out after the Fed had already entered its quiet period leading up to the meeting, but central bank officials had previously signaled support for a 75 bps hike, and they do their best to not surprise markets. Nonetheless, the Fed has made inflation its top priority and has consistently reiterated its reliance on economic data, so we eagerly await the rate decision and Chairman Jerome Powell’s news conference afterward to gain a better understanding of how it views recent economic developments.

Disclosures: Certain sections of this commentary contain forward-looking statements that are based on our reasonable expectations, estimates, projections, and assumptions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks and uncertainties, which are difficult to predict. All indices are unmanaged and are not available for direct investment by the public. Past performance is not indicative of future results. The S&P 500 is based on the average performance of the 500 industrial stocks monitored by Standard & Poor’s. The Nasdaq Composite Index measures the performance of all issues listed in the Nasdaq Stock Market, except for rights, warrants, units, and convertible debentures. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is computed by summing the prices of the stocks of 30 large companies and then dividing that total by an adjusted value, one which has been adjusted over the years to account for the effects of stock splits on the prices of the 30 companies. Dividends are reinvested to reflect the actual performance of the underlying securities. The MSCI EAFE Index is a float-adjusted market capitalization index designed to measure developed market equity performance, excluding the U.S. and Canada. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index is a market capitalization-weighted index composed of companies representative of the market structure of 26 emerging market countries in Europe, Latin America, and the Pacific Basin. The Russell 2000® Index measures the performance of the 2,000 smallest companies in the Russell 3000® Index. The Bloomberg US Aggregate Bond Index is an unmanaged market value-weighted performance benchmark for investment-grade fixed-rate debt issues, including government, corporate, asset-backed, and mortgage-backed securities with maturities of at least one year. The U.S. Treasury Index is based on the auctions of U.S. Treasury bills, or on the U.S. Treasury’s daily yield curve. The Bloomberg US Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS) Index is an unmanaged market value-weighted index of 15- and 30-year fixed-rate securities backed by mortgage pools of the Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA), Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC), and balloon mortgages with fixed-rate coupons. The Bloomberg US Municipal Index includes investment-grade, tax-exempt, and fixed-rate bonds with long-term maturities (greater than 2 years) selected from issues larger than $50 million. One basis point is equal to 1/100th of 1 percent, or 0.01 percent.

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Authored by the Investment Research team at Commonwealth Financial Network.

Kris Maksimovich is a financial advisor located at Global Wealth Advisors 4400 State Hwy 121, Ste. 200, Lewisville, TX 75056. He offers securities and advisory services as an Investment Adviser Representative of Commonwealth Financial Network®, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser. Financial planning services offered through Global Wealth Advisors are separate and unrelated to Commonwealth. He can be reached at (972) 930-1238 or at info@gwadvisors.net.

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