The three major stock market indices all advanced last week, notching their second consecutive winning week. The NASDAQ Composite led the pack, rising 2% to 14,169. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 1.8% to 4,543 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged .3% higher, finishing the week at 34,861.
Equities continue to look past the Russian invasion of Ukraine and rising interest rates. The Federal Reserve is set to hike interest rates several more times. According to the CME FedWatch Tool, the federal-funds rate is predicted to end the year in a range of 2 ½ to 2 ¾ percent, hitting 3% in 2023.
Investors are continuing to come to terms with higher interest rates and are pricing in a more aggressive Fed, as the benchmark 10-year Treasury bond touched a multi-year high of 2.5 percent last week. Fed Chair Powell commented that some rate hikes could be ½ point moves if necessary (versus the more familiar ¼ point increases).
The Jobs Report (one of the more important and impactful economic numbers) for March is scheduled to be released this Friday. Expectations are the United States Department of Labor report will show the economy added about 462,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate improved a notch to 3.7%. Overall, as we mentioned previously, the financial markets continue to focus on inflation, interest rates, and geopolitical events – so investors should expect the market volatility to remain with us.
As always, please call us with any questions you may have or if you would like to set up a meeting.
All the best – Southport Station Financial Management, LLC