Market Update 06/20/22

Caryl Anne Francia, Business Editor

The stock market took a wild ride from June 14 to June 20, as investors remained concerned over inflation and a possible recession amid the Federal Reserve’s June meeting.

The trend for the rest of the week was seemingly set after dismal losses on June 13, during which the S&P 500 entered bear market territory. Tuesday saw a continuation of Monday’s decline, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.5% and the S&P 500 fell 0.38%.

The Nasdaq composite, however, rose narrowly 0.18%. Stocks from FedEx Corp. played a part, leading the market by adding 14.35% after the company increased its dividends.

In light of fears of a recession and the previous day’s cryptocurrency crash, trading platform Coinbase Global Inc. announced it would lay off 18% of its workforce. The same day, real estate brokerage service Redfin said it will lay off 8% of its workforce due to a slowing demand. Shares for both companies dropped.

There was some optimism when stocks rallied on Wednesday, after the Fed announced an interest rate hike by 75 basis points, its highest rate increase since 1994.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell previously said an increase of this size was not being considered. After the meeting, Powell said he does not expect similar hikes to be common but acknowledged that one is likely following the Fed’s upcoming July meeting.

Thursday saw a reverse from the previous day’s rally, with the Dow down 2.4%, the S&P 500 down 3.24% and the Nasdaq down 4.08%. Technology stocks weakened, with Twitter Inc. down notably 1.7% after a meeting with Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk raised concerns about potential layoffs.

The decline may be attributed to the release of the monthly business outlook survey from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Manufacturing Index, which fell to its first negative reading since May 2020. Additionally, the 30-year rate on mortgages rose to 5.78%, its highest level since 2008.

“[The Fed] is having a profoundly disruptive effect on real-estate markets,” Mike Fratantoni, the chief economist for the Mortgage Bankers Association, told The Wall Street Journal. “Demand for housing has dropped pretty sharply, and we’re beginning to see commercial real estate slow.”

By Friday’s close, all three major indexes ended mixed, with the Nasdaq and S&P 500 gaining but the Dow dropping slightly. After a 0.11% climb from Monday to Tuesday, the 10-year Treasury yield continued slipping the rest of the week, indicating rising bond prices.

Still, the week ended with some of the most significant losses since 2020. Overall, the Dow and Nasdaq both fell 4.8% while the S&P 500 fell 5.8%.

Domestic markets were closed on Monday in observance of Juneteenth. Nevertheless, economic uncertainty was still the topic of conversations. Recession fears continue to be exacerbated by prolonged inflation, and the Fed appears to be losing the trust of the public.

“The central banks, who have been our friends for a very long time, are telling us we should expect pain,” Hani Redha, a portfolio manager for PineBridge Investments LLC, told The Wall Street Journal. “That inflation number is the only thing that matters right now. Even if we see growth slowing a lot, that will not be enough to cause the Fed to change course.”

With the volatility of the previous week in the past, investors should continue to monitor the Fed for further comment andbrace for impact in the absence of certainty.