Weekly Economic Update: January 11th, 2022

Presented by Nicholas Wealth Management

January 11th, 2022

 

Weekly Market Update

In this week’s recap: Hawkish Fed sees bonds higher and stocks retreat.

 

The Week on Wall Street

A jump in yields sparked by a more aggressive sounding Federal Reserve sent the market lower to start the new year.  

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.29%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 declined 1.87%. The Nasdaq Composite index was hardest hit, dropping 4.53% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, slipped 0.55%.1,2,3

 

The Tech Wreck

The perception of a more hawkish Fed put a hard stop to the year’s positive start and pushed bond yields higher and stocks into a broad retreat.

Technology and other high-valuation shares were particularly hard-hit by rising yields. Even the larger-capitalization technology companies with strong cash flows and profits were damaged. As yields trend higher, investors are questioning if these companies can lead the market in 2022. Fueling this decline was a four-day sell-off of technology companies by hedge funds that, in dollar terms, represented the highest level in more than ten years. Stocks continued to struggle into the final trading day, unsettled by a renewed climb in yields and an ambiguous employment report.4

 

The Fed’s Surprise

Minutes of December’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting were released last week and it revealed a more hawkish Fed than investors had been expecting. One surprise was that the first hike in interest rates could occur as early as March. Another, and perhaps more consequential, the surprise was the idea of beginning a “balance sheet run-off” by the Fed following the first hike in the federal funds rate.5

A balance sheet run-off means that maturing bonds won’t be replaced with new bonds, the result of which is a smaller Fed balance sheet. Many investors view this step as removing liquidity from the system, a departure from market expectations that the balance sheet would remain flat during the Fed’s pivot to monetary normalization.

 

Tip of the Week

The first month of the year can be a good time to review and/or rebalance your portfolio, to see that your investments are in sync with your objectives.

 

Radio

Be sure to tune in every Saturday to Retire Ready with David Nicholas on 95.5 FM WSB at 7 pm!

 

Media

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube page for all of David’s media commentaries CLICK HERE!

When rates rise, tech stocks fall.

When rates fall, tech stocks rise.

David Nicholas joined Varney & Co. on Fox Business to discuss what 2% interest rates mean for tech valuations.

 

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CITATIONS:

  1. The Wall Street Journal, January 7, 2022
  2. The Wall Street Journal, January 7, 2022
  3. The Wall Street Journal, January 7, 2022
  4. CNBC, January 6, 2022
  5. The Wall Street Journal, January 5, 2022

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