Stock prices fell last week in response to the Fed’s plan to combat inflation, which staked out a more aggressive stance than investors had anticipated The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.28%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 1.27%. The Nasdaq Composite index dropped 3.86% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, slid 2.05%.1,2,3
Fed Roils Markets
After a positive start to the week, stock prices turned lower on a more hawkish tone from Fed officials. On Tuesday, investors were surprised by comments from Fed governor Lael Brainard, one of the Fed’s more dovish members, who suggested the Fed could take a more aggressive approach with interest rates.
The unease extended into Wednesday when minutes of the last Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting were released, signaling a potentially faster pace in both interest rate hikes and the wind-down of the Fed’s balance sheet. Yields climbed steadily throughout the week as the bond market digested this new information. Particularly hard hit were high valuation stocks, as reflected in the 4% drop in the Nasdaq.
After raising the federal funds rate by 0.25% last month, the minutes from the March FOMC meeting made it clear the Fed is serious about fighting inflation with higher interest rates.
Fed officials indicated they might have hiked rates by a half percentage point in March had it not been for the uncertainty created by the invasion of Ukraine. Multiple Fed officials suggested that future rate hikes may reach 0.5%. Fed officials also discussed allowing up to a $95 billion monthly run off the Fed’s balance sheet, a faster pace than the market expected.4
Tax Tip - Beware of Phishing Scams
A phishing scam is when someone pretends to be a trusted source, such as a bank, tax preparer, or credit card company, to access your personal information.
To avoid falling victim to a phishing scam, here are some recommendations from the IRS:
* This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific, individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.
Footnotes and Sources
2. The Wall Street Journal, April 8, 2022
3. The Wall Street Journal, April 8, 2022
4. CNBC, April 6, 2022
5. IRS.gov, August 26, 2021
Investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost.
The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions, may not materialize, and are subject to revision without notice.
The market indexes discussed are unmanaged, and generally, considered representative of their respective markets. Index performance is not indicative of the past performance of a particular investment. Indexes do not incur management fees, costs, and expenses. Individuals cannot directly invest in unmanaged indexes. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is an unmanaged index that is generally considered representative of large-capitalization companies on the U.S. stock market. Nasdaq Composite is an index of the common stocks and similar securities listed on the NASDAQ stock market and is considered a broad indicator of the performance of technology and growth companies. The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) and serves as a benchmark of the performance of major international equity markets, as represented by 21 major MSCI indexes from Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia. The S&P 500 Composite Index is an unmanaged group of securities that are considered to be representative of the stock market in general.
U.S. Treasury Notes are guaranteed by the federal government as to the timely payment of principal and interest. However, if you sell a Treasury Note prior to maturity, it may be worth more or less than the original price paid. Fixed income investments are subject to various risks including changes in interest rates, credit quality, inflation risk, market valuations, prepayments, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors.
International investments carry additional risks, which include differences in financial reporting standards, currency exchange rates, political risks unique to a specific country, foreign taxes and regulations, and the potential for illiquid markets. These factors may result in greater share price volatility.
Please consult your financial professional for additional information.
This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG is not affiliated with the named representative, financial professional, Registered Investment Advisor, Broker-Dealer, nor state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and they should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.
Copyright 2022 FMG Suite.
Weekly Market Insights: Fed Signals More Aggressive Action on Interest Rates
April 11, 2022