As we have been saying for several of our previous quarterly economic updates, as inflation goes, so goes the U.S. economy. A quick and rapid descent of inflation will take pressure off the Fed to con...
Market Commentary: Week of April 18, 2022
Written by John Tuohy
April 18, 2022
Last week, the financial markets took hits from all directions. On the inflation front, March CPI and PPI came in at levels not seen since the late 1970s to early 1980s. On the war front, the conflict continued to rage as we move closer to direct engagement with Russia by announcing to deliver more and heavier weapons to Ukraine. Meanwhile, COVID-19 is still alive and well as China continues draconian containment methods like shutting down major cities such as Shanghai.
Equity markets were hit hard while the USD continued to strengthen, especially against the Yen as monetary policy goals and economic prospects continue to diverge. Crude oil resumed its upward trajectory with WTI futures back over $100 per barrel by the shortened week’s end.
In rates, we saw Treasury classic short-covering rally as bets were made for horrific March CPI and PPI and we “only” got terrible. Liquidity in Treasury markets continues to be reported as poor, so the covering (buying) had an outsized effect. The two-year note essentially took at least one Fed tightening out Tuesday and Wednesday but promptly put it back in by the early close on Thursday.
Earnings season started with our major banks and the results were mixed. Banks like Goldman Sachs posted huge and higher than expected fixed-income trading gains that were attributed to the extreme volatility in rates. On the other hand, JP Morgan disappointed more on their forward outlook than on their reported first-quarter earnings.
- S&P 500, fell 2.14% for the week. The average daily move was 1.09%.
- The NASDAQ dropped 2.62% for the week. The average daily move for the week was 1.66%.
- The 2-year Treasury yield dropped 6 basis points for the week closing 2.46% on Thursday. High year over year 2.52%, low yield .10%.
- The 10-year Treasury yield surged another 12 basis points higher for the week, closing at 2.82% Thursday, a new year-over-year high. Year-over-year high yield 2.82%, low yield .91%.
- The VIX Index rose 7% for the week, closing at 22.7 Thursday. Year-over-year high 36.45 and low 15.07.
- The MOVE Index declined 4% for the week, closing at 119.66 on Thursday. Year-over-year high 140.03 and low 42.53.
- 5-year Investment Grade Corporates (as measured by Markit CDX) spreads widened 2 basis points for the week closing at 71 basis points Thursday. High spread year-over-year high 78 and low of 46.56.
- High Yield corporate debt (as measured by Markit CDX) widened by 8 basis points, closing at 408 basis points on Thursday. Year-over-year high 411, and low 269.
- U.S. Dollar Index rose 0.7% for the week closing at a new yearly high on Friday. Year-over-year high 100.5 and low 89.44.
- WTI Crude rose 9% for the week using the June WTI Futures contract, closing at 106.38 Thursday. Year-over-year high 123.70, and low 47.62.
- Gold, as measured by the June 2022 futures contract, rose 1.5% for the week closing at 1,975 on Friday. High price for the front contract year over year is 2,043 and low 1,678.
- Bitcoin fell 5.6%, closing at 40,404 Friday. High price year over year 67,734 and low 29,865.
The Week Ahead
We come in this morning with bond yields under continued upward pressure. Equity markets in the U.S. look a bit shaky. The U.S. Dollar continues to strengthen along with gold and oil. When the dollar moves up sharply with commodities like oil (which trade in dollars) that means more pain for non-oil producers such as Europe and Asia.
Earnings season for stocks continues. This week, we get some of the multinational bell-weathers like Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble. Antennas will be up to see how margins have held up, along with forward guidance as to whether margins will continue to hold as inflation shows little sign of abating. It is a relatively quiet week with regard to economic data.
An index is unmanaged and not available for direct investment. Definitions sourced from Bloomberg.
- The Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Negative Yielding Debt Market Value Index represents the portion of the Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Index that measures the aggregate value of global debt with a negative yield.
- The S&P 500® is widely regarded as the best single gauge of large-cap U.S. equities and serves as the foundation for a wide range of investment products. The index includes 500 leading companies and captures approximately 80% coverage of available market capitalization.
- The NASDAQ Composite Index is a broad-based capitalization-weighted index of stocks in all three NASDAQ tiers: Global Select, Global Market and Capital Market. The index was developed with a base level of 100 as of February 5, 1971.
- The Cboe Volatility Index® (VIX) is a calculation designed to produce a measure of constant, 30-day expected volatility of the US stock market, derived from real-time, mid-quote prices of weekly S&P 500® Index (SPX) call and put options with a range of 23 to 37 days to expiration.
- The ICE BofA MOVE Index is a yield curve weighted index of the normalized implied volatility on 1-month Treasury options. It is the weighted average of implied volatilities on the CT2 (Current 2 Year Government Note), CT5 (Current 5 Year Government Note), CT10 (Current 10 Year Government Note), and CT30 (Current 30 Year Government Note), with weights 0.2/0.2/0.4/0.2 respectively.
- The Markit CDX North America Investment Grade Index is composed of 125 equally weighted credit default swaps on investment grade entities, distributed among 6 sub-indices: High Volatility, Consumer, Energy, Financial, Industrial, and Technology, Media & Tele-communications. Markit CDX indices roll every 6 months in March & September.
- The Markit CDX North America High Yield Index is composed of 100 non-investment grade entities, distributed among 2 sub-indices: B, BB. All entities are domiciled in North America. Markit CDX indices roll every 6 months in March & September.
- The U.S. Dollar Index (USDX) indicates the general international value of the USD. The USDX does this by averaging the exchange rates between the USD and major world currencies. Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) US computes this by using the rates supplied by some 500 banks.
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John Tuohy is CEO of SWBC Investment Services, LLC, a Broker/Dealer and SWBC Investment Company, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor (RIA). In his role, John is responsible for identifying, developing, and executing the division's strategic plan and all business development, sales, and marketing activities.
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