Weekly Market Report: April 29, 2022

Risk markets last week sensed potential escalation paths in Ukraine alongside a persistently hawkish tone from the Fed and some mixed earnings reports, resulting in a sharp turn lower in equity markets, no significant moves in interest rates, and a safe-haven surge in the USD. The S&P 500 endured a fourth consecutive down week, ending down nearly 9% in April but developed and emerging market international stocks held up a bit better. Commodities and interest rates didn’t move much on the week with next week’s FOMC meeting on deck while the USD surged to nearly a twenty-year high.

Market Anecdotes

• Equity markets limped to end the week (-3.3%) and month (-8.7%) including a sharp move lower to end trading on Friday afternoon. Bespoke noted some observations regarding VIX (not peaking), semis (downtrend with support), breadth (improving), and the value/growth cycle.

• The rout in technology stocks continued last week, bringing the NASDAQ to a 13% loss in April, now down 21% YTD, its worst four month start to a year since the GFC.

• A weak GDP number countered by continued inflationary pressures seems unlikely to take the Fed off its path from ‘easy/emergency’ to ‘neutral’ policy but a pivot to ‘tight’ still seems off on the horizon.

• The Fed is widely expected to increase the Fed Funds rate by 50bps this week and announce details of their balance sheet reduction plan.

• The USD rallied 0.5% on five consecutive days through Thursday, tying 1978 and 1985 for the longest streak of that magnitude of a gain. It is now up 8% YTD and at levels not seen since 2003.

• Anxiety provoking rhetoric and conflict surrounding the Russian invasion of Ukraine including Russian accusations of a NATO proxy war and potential European energy embargos on Russian oil have fueled equity market volatility.

• FactSet noted that 55% of S&P 500 companies have reported earnings with beat rates and margins of 80% and 3.4% respectively. Blended earnings growth is at 7.1%. Revenue beat rates and margins of 72% and 2.2% alongside revenue growth of 12.2% remain relatively encouraging.

• The U.S. Senate confirmed Lael Brainard as Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve last week, 52-43.

• French President Macron defeated Marine Le Pen garnering 59% of the vote last week in what was half of his margin of victory in the prior contest back in 2017.

• An array of conditions has fed into an aggressive selloff in the RMB recently including deteriorating economic conditions, a narrowing trade surplus, and easing monetary policy.

• Blaine Rollins wrote that the semiconductor shortage has reached a level where an industrial company is buying washing machines to strip out the semiconductors to use in their modules.

This communication is provided for informational purposes only and is not an offer, recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell any security or other investment. This communication does not constitute, nor should it be regarded as, investment research or a research report, a securities or investment recommendation, nor does it provide information reasonably sufficient upon which to base an investment decision. Additional analysis of your or your client’s specific parameters would be required to make an investment decision. This communication is not based on the investment objectives, strategies, goals, financial circumstances, needs or risk tolerance of any client or portfolio and is not presented as suitable to any other particular client or portfolio.

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