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Berthel Insights 03-21-2022

Berthel Insights 03-21-2022

March 21, 2022
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Weekly Motivation

Be it high or low, it doesn’t matter.  I need to stay calm and neutral all the time.

Vijay Shankar – Indian Cricketer

 

Berthel Insight 

We’ve talked in this space before about strategy abandonment…and how common it is for inexperienced investors to abandon strategy at precisely the wrong moment.  Today, let’s discuss the recent rise in concern over the direction of interest rates, and connect it directly to strategy abandonment.

There seems little doubt today that interest rates are on the rise and that may cause some investors to question the direction of the markets and the economy in general.  When benchmarks move in this fashion, it becomes tempting to want to change direction.  It might be helpful to your clients, to remind them of the ultimate goal of the Fed and policymakers relative to interest rates, and to provide context.

The question surrounding interest rates isn’t whether or not they will rise, but instead it’s how many rate hikes it will take to move interest rates back to a “neutral policy rate” …a rate that neither stimulates nor restrains economic growth.  As the Fed considers and executes rate hikes, they do so with an eye on achieving neutrality.  The Fed apparently believes that the economy is strong enough to absorb an interest rate hike.

In light of the pandemic, inflation and the brewing conflict in Eastern Europe, this neutral policy or “policy normalization” may be difficult to achieve.  It is important to pay attention to rates and to other economic signals and indicators, but it is also important to provide your clients with the context and perspective that will allow them…and you to maintain an eye on the long-term and to avoid strategy abandonment.

With the Fed embarking on a new course of monetary tightening amid continued fighting in Ukraine, stocks staged a powerful, broad-based rally last week.

BITES

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 5.49%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 6.16%. The Nasdaq Composite index soared 8.18% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, advanced 5.17%.1,2,3

Stocks Roar

After surrendering gains on Monday, stocks surged higher for four consecutive days. The rally was propelled by strong economic data, the outcome of last week’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, and reports that Russia made interest payments on its sovereign debt, avoiding technical default.

The uptrend began with a drop in oil prices and a lighter-than-expected wholesale inflation report. Stock prices initially buckled following Wednesday’s hawkish FOMC announcement, but turned higher as investors interpreted the Fed’s news as a welcome plan to combat inflation. Stocks extended their gains into the final two trading sessions, cementing their best weekly performance since November 2020.4

The Fed’s Plan

For the first time since 2018, the Federal Reserve hiked the federal funds rate, increasing it by 0.25% and signaling that it expected to raise rates at a faster pace than originally outlined in December. Based on its projections of future fed fund rates, the Fed may implement seven quarter-point rate hikes this year and another three to four next year.5

In a statement following the FOMC meeting, Fed officials expressed rising concerns over inflationary pressures made more acute by the war in Ukraine. Members also indicated that they would soon announce a plan to reduce the Fed’s $9 trillion balance sheet.6

This Week: Key Economic Data

Wednesday: New Home Sales.

Thursday: Jobless Claims. Durable Goods Orders. Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) Composite Flash.

Friday: Consumer Sentiment.

Source: Econoday, March 18, 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

Monday: Nike, Inc. (NKE).

Tuesday: Adobe, Inc. (ADBE).

Wednesday: General Mills, Inc. (GIS).

Source: Zacks, March 18, 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.

Footnotes and Sources


1. The Wall Street Journal, March 18, 2022

2. The Wall Street Journal, March 18, 2022

3. The Wall Street Journal, March 18, 2022

4. CNBC, March 18, 2022

5. The Wall Street Journal, March 16, 2022

6. The Wall Street Journal, March 16, 2022

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.

The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions, may not materialize, and are subject to revision without notice.

The market indexes discussed are unmanaged, and generally, considered representative of their respective markets. Index performance is not indicative of the past performance of a particular investment. Indexes do not incur management fees, costs, and expenses. Individuals cannot directly invest in unmanaged indexes. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is an unmanaged index that is generally considered representative of large-capitalization companies on the U.S. stock market. Nasdaq Composite is an index of the common stocks and similar securities listed on the NASDAQ stock market and is considered a broad indicator of the performance of technology and growth companies. The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) and serves as a benchmark of the performance of major international equity markets, as represented by 21 major MSCI indexes from Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia. The S&P 500 Composite Index is an unmanaged group of securities that are considered to be representative of the stock market in general.

U.S. Treasury Notes are guaranteed by the federal government as to the timely payment of principal and interest. However, if you sell a Treasury Note prior to maturity, it may be worth more or less than the original price paid. Fixed income investments are subject to various risks including changes in interest rates, credit quality, inflation risk, market valuations, prepayments, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors.

International investments carry additional risks, which include differences in financial reporting standards, currency exchange rates, political risks unique to a specific country, foreign taxes and regulations, and the potential for illiquid markets. These factors may result in greater share price volatility.

Please consult your financial professional for additional information.

This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG is not affiliated with the named representative, financial professional, Registered Investment Advisor, Broker-Dealer, nor state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and they should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.

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