Economic Update

Market Week: January 18, 2022

The Markets (as of market close January 14, 2022) 

Equities closed generally lower last week, with only the Global Dow ending the week in the black. Inflation, or more likely the Federal Reserve’s response to rising prices, may have influenced investors. Markets are still adjusting to the anticipated tighter monetary policy from the Fed, which is planning on raising interest rates several times this year. The central bank is also considering reducing the size of its balance sheet, which means less demand for bonds. Ten-year Treasury yields ended the week flat. The dollar dipped lower, while crude oil prices rose nearly 7.0%, reaching $84.23 per barrel. Gold advanced, but remains marginally below its 2021 year-end price.

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Market Week: January 10, 2022

The Markets (as of market close January 7, 2022) 

After beginning the week on a high note, stocks couldn’t maintain that momentum, ending the week in the
red. Following a record close on Monday, the S&P 500 ended the week down 1.9%, the worst start to a
year since 2016. Some investors may be concerned that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates faster
than had been anticipated. The Nasdaq fell 4.5%, its worst week since February 2021. Treasury yields
continued to mount in anticipation of higher interest rates. While the December employment report showed
a slightly underwhelming 199,000 new jobs added, the unemployment rate fell to a pandemic-era low of
3.9%, possibly adding further fodder for the Fed to continue its hawkish bent.

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Market Week: January 3, 2022

The Markets (as of market close December 31, 2021) 

The last week of 2021 saw stocks close generally higher, with only the Nasdaq slipping lower. The Dow
ended the week up 1.1%, followed by the S&P 500, the Global Dow, and the Russell 2000. The week
between Christmas and New Year’s Day is generally marked by thin trading, and last week was no
exception. Most of the market sectors closed the week in the black, led by real estate, utilities, materials,
and consumer staples. Ten-year Treasury yields inched higher, crude oil prices rose $1.66 per barrel, while
the dollar dipped lower. 

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Annual Market Review 2021

The year 2021 was one of extreme change. January saw the inauguration of President Joe Biden, but not
before protesters sieged the United States Capitol. Despite the initial tumult, the year began with hope that
increased availability of coronavirus vaccinations would lead to the end of the pandemic. Unfortunately,
throughout the year, the emergence of virus mutations, coupled with the uneven distribution of vaccines,
saw millions more people become ill or perish after contracting the virus.

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Market Week: December 27, 2021

The Markets (as of market close December 23, 2021)

Wall Street closed the holiday-shortened week at record levels as investors seemed to speculate that the economic recovery could weather the growing number of coronavirus cases. The S&P 500 closed the week at a record high. The Nasdaq and the Russell 2000 ended up over 3.0%. Ten-year Treasury yields, gold, and crude oil prices climbed higher, while the dollar dipped lower. The market sectors were mixed, with consumer discretionary, communication services, and information technology leading the gainers.

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Market Week: December 20, 2021

The Markets (as of market close December 17, 2021)

Omicron, escalating prices, and the tightening of monetary policy by central banks in the United States and around the world took center stage last week. The prospect of higher interest rates in 2022 could make it less appealing to own riskier investments. All of the stock market indexes ended the week in the red, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq taking the biggest hit. Ten-year Treasury yields fell 8 basis points, and the price of gold increased, as some investors took a more defensive stance. The dollar rose and crude oil prices fell, albeit slightly.

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Market Week: December 13, 2021

The Markets (as of market close December 10, 2021)

Stocks closed last week higher for the first time in three weeks. The S&P 500 enjoyed its best weekly gain since February. Fears over the effects of the Omicron variant on economic growth seemed to subside somewhat as each of the benchmark indexes recorded notable gains. Information technology drove much of the rally, advancing 6.0% last week. Markets also seemed to react to favorable economic news. Weekly unemployment claims were the lowest since 1969, while the number of new jobs available rose to 11.0 million. Inflation rose again, but in line with expectations, reinforcing the premise that the Federal Reserve will accelerate the tapering of its bond purchases. The Dow posted the largest weekly gain, followed by the S&P 500, the Nasdaq, the Global Dow, and the Russell 2000. Treasury yields and crude oil prices advanced, while the dollar and gold prices dipped.

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Market Week: December 6, 2021

The Markets (as of market close December 3, 2021)

Wall Street could not maintain its early momentum, closing the week down. Lower-than-expected employment, new reports of Omicron variant cases, and a hawkish stance from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell led to uncertainty in the market. Each of the benchmark indexes ended the week lower, led by the small caps of the Russell 2000 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq. Treasury yields fell 14 basis points to 1.34%. Crude oil prices continued the longest streak of weekly losses since 2018, falling 2.9%, a skid that has run for six consecutive weeks. The dollar and gold prices changed little. Only utilities and real estate were able to eke out gains among the market sectors.

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Market Month: November 2021

The Markets (as of market close November 30, 2021)

Stocks ended November generally lower, with only the Nasdaq able to eke out a gain. The Global Dow and the Russell 2000 each lost more than 4.25%. The Dow fell 3.7% and the S&P 500 dropped 0.8%. The Nasdaq gained 0.3%.

Despite some positive economic news, global and domestic markets were sent reeling in November following reports of a new coronavirus strain. The Omicron variant, first discovered in South Africa, prompted several countries, including the United States, to impose travel restrictions. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell indicated that the coronavirus variant could hinder economic recovery efforts and impact the country’s response to surging inflation. Nevertheless, Powell also suggested that the central bank could end its asset purchase program a few months sooner than planned, apparently signaling confidence in the economic recovery, despite concerns over the Omicron variant. Inflation continued to rise, as supply-chain bottlenecks and labor shortages prompted price hikes at both the manufacturing and retail levels

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Market Week: November 29, 2021

The Markets (as of market close November 26, 2021)

Thanksgiving week proved to be a tumultuous one for investors. Each of the benchmark indexes listed here ended the week in the red following news of a new COVID variant in South Africa. In response, several countries, including the United States, initiated travel bans and tightened border controls. Crude oil prices fell 13.5% in the week as the new coronavirus strain sparked fears that lockdowns would hurt global demand. The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell 10 basis points to close below 1.55% for the first time in several sessions.

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