For the past few weeks, the financial news has been dominated by projected rising rates. Whether you’re contemplating a home purchase, financing a new car, or simply curious about the impact on the economy, sifting through the headlines can be a pain.
The Federal Reserve met in mid-January, and clarified its position on monetary policy, providing the clearest hint yet about short-term interest rates. The fed hinted that the first interest rate hit could come as soon as March.1
The markets were on edge anticipating the Fed update. But by the end of the meeting, the market relinquished its gains as traders across the globe worked to assess what the upcoming rate hikes will mean for the year ahead.1
While Powell feels confident that the ongoing supply chain issues will soon see some relief, it remains to be seen if the proposed rate hikes will be enough to combat higher-than-expected inflation. Powell stated that they recognize that inflation is causing issues for many Americans, but said the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is committed to stabilizing prices.1
Rising Rates and Your Accounts
When bond yields go up, bond prices go down. It’s a time-tested principle, but it’s also one we haven’t experienced much since the pandemic began. At least, not until recently.
You could feel the effect of rising yields in a near-term drop in price for your existing bonds. And the first time you might have seen that change is when your January account statement arrived.
But it’s important to remember that rising yields can also create new opportunities. New bonds can be purchased with higher yields, and money that is scheduled to be reinvested can also take advantage of the higher yields. That could lead to more income being generated on a regular basis.
Remember that we’re always monitoring the markets and looking for opportunities. But if you're concerned about the direction of interest rates, please don't hesitate to reach out. We’re here to help.
Your Eagle Wealth Team
Cami and Chad surprised the kids after Christmas with a trip to Portland to view a special travelling Egyptian exhibit on Queen Nefertari. Their middle child, Kearina, loves everything Egyptian and was beyond thrilled with the chance to see ancient artifacts.
And of course, no trip to Portland is complete without a visit to Powell’s Bookstore (the largest bookstore in the world)!
The Week on Wall Street
Stocks closed lower for the week as escalating tensions on the Russian-Ukrainian border added to existing jitters over higher inflation and a pending tightening of monetary policy.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 1.90%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 declined 1.58%. The Nasdaq Composite index lost 1.76% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, fell 1.00%.1,2,3
Markets have been skittish in recent weeks due to persistent, elevated inflation and the uncertainty over how aggressive the Federal Reserve may be with its monetary tightening. As tensions escalated between Russia and the West over a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine, investors moved away from risk assets, such as stocks, and sought the safety of U.S. Treasury bonds.
Stocks were hard hit on Thursday as reports surfaced that both sides were exchanging artillery fire. The slide continued on Friday as prospects of a diplomatic offramp appeared to dim. While geopolitical news dominated trading last week, investors were relieved by the Federal Open Market Committee meeting minutes (released on Wednesday) that suggested the Fed may not act any more aggressively than current market expectations.4
An Early Economic Snapshot
Last week three economic reports provided an update on the state of the economy. The first was the Producer Price Index, which suggested that inflationary pressures remain acute. Wholesale prices rose 1.0% last month and posted a 12-month rise of 9.7%, the latter of which was near a record high.4
The consumer showed continued strength as retail sales rose a better-than-expected 3.8%, though some of that gain may be due to higher costs. Meanwhile, industrial production gained 1.4%, nearly triple the consensus expectation. Capacity utilization increased 1.0 percent, reaching its highest level since March 2019.5
THE WEEK AHEAD
Key Economic Data
Tuesday: Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) Flash. Consumer Confidence.
Thursday: Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Jobless Claims. New Home Sales.
Friday: Consumer Sentiment. Durable Goods Orders.
Source: Econoday, February 18, 2022
The Econoday economic calendar lists upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision.
Companies Reporting Earnings
Tuesday: The Home Depot, Inc. (HD), Palo Alto Networks, Inc. (PANW), Agilent Technologies, Inc. (A).
Wednesday: Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (LOW), The TJX Companies, Inc. (TJX), eBay, Inc. (EBAY), Booking Holdings, Inc. (BKNG).
Thursday: Block, Inc. (SQ), Dell Technologies, Inc. (DELL), VMware, Inc. (VMW), Ingersoll Rand, Inc. (IR), AnheuserBusch InBev (BUD).
Friday: Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. (BRK.B), EOG Resources, Inc. (EOG).
Source: Zacks, February 18, 2022
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. 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. Companies may reschedule when they report earnings without notice.