Market Update 11/07/22

Mark Amstislavskiy

Markets were mostly down from Nov. 1 through Nov. 7 amid tightening monetary policy.

Stocks declined on Tuesday after the U.S. Department of Labor released data that suggested the labor market remained relatively tight.

Federal job openings increased to 10.7 million for September, which is a worrisome statistic considering the Federal Reserve’s December meeting. The Dow Jones Industrial Index shed 0.2%, the Nasdaq composite shed 0.9% and the S&P 500 shed 0.4%.

“These days, good news is bad news,” Marco Pirondini — who is the equities head at the U.S. division of asset management company Amundi — told The Wall Street Journal. “We probably would prefer to see some slowdown in the economy in order for inflation to start to come down and for the Fed to be able to slow down its actions and rhetoric.”

Major indexes continued declining into Wednesday after the Fed announced a fourth interest rate increase of 75 basis points, bringing the target federal funds rate between 3.75% and 4%.

While Fed Chair Jerome Powell hinted at a potential slowdown for future increases, he maintained that the Fed would need to see a substantial slowdown in inflation before considering a pivot. The Dow lost 1.55%, while the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 plummeted 3.36% and 2.5%, respectively.

Yields rose while stocks fell on Thursday as investors made sense of Powell’s remarks and sought insight into the future of monetary policy. The yield on 2-year Treasurys rose to 4.699%, which is its highest level since 2007. The Dow declined 0.46%, the Nasdaq slid 1.7% and S&P 500 lost 1.06%.

While strong labor market data and resilient corporate earnings suggested that the economy is holding up in the face of rising rates, they also indicated a need for continued tightening. Stocks suffered with the prospect of higher-than-expected rates being needed to slow the economy.

“It pushed back against the perhaps naive view in the market that the Federal Reserve will either be tightening or accommodative,” Edward Park, who is the chief investment officer at Brooks Macdonald, told Morningstar. Looking further ahead, markets are having to consider a higherfor-longer backdrop in terms of interest rates.”

Friday reaffirmed signs of a tight labor market as employers added 261,000 jobs in October. Major indexes finished higher, with the Dow gaining 1.26%, the Nasdaq rising 1.3% and the S&P 500 advancing 1.36%.

But the markets were still down over the course of the week. The Dow, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 recorded losses of 1.4%, 5.6% and 3.3% respectively.

Gains carried over into the following Monday, as the Dow gained 1.31%, the Nasdaq rose 0.85% and the S&P 500 advanced 0.96%. While some investors project volatility due to the midterm elections, interest rates remain the primary determinant of market conditions.

With the Fed showing no signs of easing up on monetary policy, investors will look to inflation data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to determine whether a Fed pivot is on the horizon.