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Weekly Market Insights: Fed Signals More Aggressive Action on Interest Rates

Weekly Market Insights: Fed Signals More Aggressive Action on Interest Rates

April 12, 2022
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Stock prices fell last week in response to the Fed’s plan to combat inflation, which staked out a more aggressive stance than investors had anticipated.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.28%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 1.27%. The Nasdaq Composite index dropped 3.86% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, slid 2.05%.1,2,3

Fed Roils Markets

After a positive start to the week, stock prices turned lower on a more hawkish tone from Fed officials. On Tuesday, investors were surprised by comments from Fed governor Lael Brainard, one of the Fed’s more dovish members, who suggested the Fed could take a more aggressive approach with interest rates.

The unease extended into Wednesday when minutes of the last Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting were released, signaling a potentially faster pace in both interest rate hikes and the wind-down of the Fed’s balance sheet. Yields climbed steadily throughout the week as the bond market digested this new information. Particularly hard hit were high valuation stocks, as reflected in the 4% drop in the Nasdaq.

Fed Minutes

After raising the federal funds rate by 0.25% last month, the minutes from the March FOMC meeting made it clear the Fed is serious about fighting inflation with higher interest rates.

Fed officials indicated they might have hiked rates by a half percentage point in March had it not been for the uncertainty created by the invasion of Ukraine. Multiple Fed officials suggested that future rate hikes may reach 0.5%. Fed officials also discussed allowing up to a $95 billion monthly run off the Fed’s balance sheet, a faster pace than the market expected.4

This Week: Key Economic Data

Tuesday: Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Wednesday: Producer Price Index (PPI). 

Thursday: Jobless Claims. Retail Sales. Consumer Sentiment.

Friday: Industrial Production.

Source: Econoday, April 8, 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.

This Week: Companies Reporting Earnings

Tuesday: CarMax, Inc. (KMX), Albertsons Companies, Inc. (ACI).

Wednesday: JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Delta Air Lines, Inc. (DAL), BlackRock, Inc. (BLK).

Thursday: UnitedHealth Group (UNH), The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS), Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC), Morgan Stanley (MS), The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (PNC).

Source: Zacks, April 8, 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.

Beware of Phishing Scams

A phishing scam is when someone pretends to be a trusted source, such as a bank, tax preparer, or credit card company, to access your personal information.

To avoid falling victim to a phishing scam, here are some recommendations from the IRS:

  • Never open an email from a sender that you don’t recognize.
  • Never disclose personal information, including your passwords, bank account number, credit card number, or Social Security number, to anyone online. The IRS will never ask for this information via email.
  • When possible, use two-factor authentication to protect your accounts. Two-factor authentication requires a secondary form of identification (such as a phone number) to access your account.

* This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific, individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.

Tip adapted from IRS.gov5

Learn More 

Have questions about this update or want to know more? Contact us today!

Footnotes and Sources


1. The Wall Street Journal, April 8, 2022

2. The Wall Street Journal, April 8, 2022

3. The Wall Street Journal, April 8, 2022

4. CNBC, April 6, 2022

5. IRS.gov, August 26, 2021

6. DoYou.com, September 30, 2021