March 17, 2023, Weekly Stock Market Return Recap. The collapse last week of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank led to a sharp market sell-off of bank stocks, while the news also rippled into other financial sectors, and ultimately the contagion impacted stocks across the board with Real Estate and Industrials also taking it the shorts during the week (as both sectors depend on lending). However, the up days overcame down days with FDIC backstopping deposits, First Republic Bank getting $10 billion credit lines from 10 banks and news that UBS is pursuing an acquisition of Credit Swiss. The markets were further supported by the silver lining that though the high rates are taking a toll on banks, this in turn, my prompt the Fed to stop raising rates and maybe even lower rates faster when they do lower rates. Other economic news was The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' February Consumer Price Index showed inflation eased in February as prices rose 6.0% from a year earlier - increasing the likelihood that the Federal Reserve could end rate hikes soon. Also, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's Manufacturing Index contracted for the seventh-straight month with significant deterioration in the six-month outlook.
March 10, 2023, Weekly Stock Market Return Recap. Jarred by the second largest US bank to ever fail, the S&P 500 skidded 1.4 percent on Friday, finishing the week down 4.5 percent and marking its worst week of the year. The decline was led by Silicon Valley Bank’s (SVB) failure to meet regulatory reserve requirements and subsequently placed under FDIC control. The US equity markets were also disrupted by Fed Chair Powell comments early this week indicating that rates will be "higher for longer" as the Fed continues to do what is necessary to battle down inflation. Fed Chair Powell’s remarks before the Senate Banking Committee: "The latest economic data have come in stronger than expected, which suggests that the ultimate level of interest rates is likely to be higher than previously anticipated … prepared to move in larger steps if the "totality" of incoming information suggests tougher measures are needed to control inflation.” After a strong start to the year most of the S&P 500 gains have since been given back, and therefore it is important to reflect upon historical guardrails at this juncture. During a Bear market, the S&P has never hit a low before the 2-year treasury yield has peaked. With the 2-year hitting a cycle high of 5% this week, that portends the October low for the indices very well may not be the low.
March 3, 2023, Weekly Stock Market Return Recap. The S&P 500 notches its first winning week in past four weeks finishing up +1.6%; The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 1.2%, while the Nasdaq composite spiked 2%. The market is looking for any silver lining with inflation and decided to clutch on to the Institute for Supply Management Service Index where the released monthly figure for February showed that inasmuch as prices are still rising for what is paid by services organizations, the growth decelerated in February. Indeed, the U.S. ISM Services Index is little changed in February, easing to 55.1 during February from an unrevised 55.2 in January, according to the Institute for Supply Management. Other market supportive news was Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic said he favors using smaller interest rate adjustments to fine-tune monetary policy and thinks it could pause by mid-summer.