Market Update 05/02/22

Markets remain volatile from April 26 to May 2 as investors navigate earnings reports, rising inflation and monetary policy.

The major indexes began the week extending their April losses with the S&P 500 falling 2.8% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 2.4%. Similarly, the Nasdaq composite dropped 4%, logging its largest single-day percentage decline since September 2020.

Tesla Inc. was the worst-performing stock in the Nasdaq, declining 12%, following an announcement by CEO Elon Musk stating that he has put up Tesla stock as collateral for his acquisition of Twitter Inc.

Wednesday was marked by a volatile trading session with the major indexes finishing slightly higher than the previous day. In the bond market, the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note ticked higher to 2.817%, advancing towards its highest level since 2018.

“Volatility in the stock market hasn’t sustained at such a high level since the 2008 financial crisis, with the exception of the start of the pandemic. Bond volatility is the highest since the financial crisis outright,” John Roe, the head of multi-asset funds at Legal & General Investment Management Ltd., told The Wall Street Journal

Following two days of rocky market movement, the major indexes rallied on Thursday, led by technology stocks that saw a boost from positive Meta Platforms Inc. earnings. Meta stock rose 18%, to $205.73, helping the Nasdaq close 3.1% higher. Meta’s stock increase reflects the company’s announcement that they added significantly more users to the platform, than investors expected.

Nonetheless, Thursday’s technology rally was short lived, with the Nasdaq dropping 4.2% on Friday, bringing the Index’s 2022 losses to 21%, its worst start to a year on record. Likewise, The S&P 500 and the Dow experienced their worst monthly performance since March 2020, closing down 8.8% and 4.9% respectively. Some of the most reliable technology companies have experienced dramatic declines such as the FAANG companies, which have collectively lost $1 trillion in market value during the month of April.

To conclude April, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.885%, its biggest monthly gain since December 2009. By Monday, the yield hit 3% for the first time since 2018. The rapidly rising yields along with prolonged inflation continue to drive volatility while punishing the technology sector as investors fear profit suppression from these growth stocks.

“[Earnings are] supporting the market to some extent, but I don’t think it’s enough to support it higher. The risks are just piling up,” Seema Shah, the chief strategist at Principal Global Investors LLC, told The Wall Street Journal.

So far, 2022 has been one of the worst years in stock market history as uncertainty surrounding inflation, monetary policy and geopolitics remains prevalent. Investors will look towards the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting on May 5 to seek out additional guidance on the plan for monetary policy tightening, with an anticipation of a half percentage rate hike.