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Weekly Market Insights: Powell comments spur sell-off on Wall Street

Weekly Market Insights: Powell comments spur sell-off on Wall Street

August 31, 2022

A comprehensive sell-off on Friday, August 26th, following comments by Fed Chair Jerome Powell drove stocks to losses for the week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 4.22%, while the Standard & Poor's 500 dropped 4.04%. The Nasdaq Composite index fell 4.44% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, lost 1.10%.1,2,3

Under Pressure

Stocks dropped on Friday following Powell's remarks reiterating the Fed's inflation-fighting resolve. While his comments did not break new ground, markets reacted severely, perhaps on worries that interest rate hikes may continue into next year.

After starting the week sharply lower on renewed rising interest rates and economic slowdown fears, markets staged a modest turnaround beginning mid-week. Stocks rallied on Thursday, sparked by a revised Gross Domestic Product estimate showing the economy's shrinking less than initially estimated. Thursday's rally also got a boost from regional Federal Reserve Bank presidents, who suggested future rate hikes may be in line with market expectations.

Powell at Jackson Hole

In his much-anticipated speech at the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium, Powell unflinchingly reaffirmed the Fed's commitment to raising rates to lower inflation, even if it results in causing pain to individuals and businesses.

Wall Street focused on Powell's presentation in the hope it might provide greater clarity on future Fed direction, though his remarks ultimately went no further than restating past communications. Powell commented, "We are moving our policy stance purposefully to a level that will be sufficiently restrictive to return inflation to two percent." This statement may have put to rest any thoughts that the Fed would soon pivot on rate hikes.4  

Do you understand why so many of the Market's "eyes" are on the Fed? It is a complicated system that many do not fully understand. For a helpful overview click here to be taken to a great online resource for learning about investments called Investopedia. In addition to the article, there is a helpful video that is just over a minute long. I highly recommend watching the video and reading the article. 

In addition to the knowledge you will gain on the subject, if your spouse or a co-worker happens to pass by and see you watching a video about the Federal Reserve System, they will think you are super smart. This is always a bonus!

In my opinion, the Federal Reserve is only half done. Raising interest rates, which have been done this year and may continue into next year - according to Chairman Powell's vague comments at Jackson - can only do so much to curtail inflation. The other lever the Fed can pull is the monetary supply lever - increasing or decreasing the money supply in circulation. To work towards reducing inflation, the Fed will have to reduce the money supply in addition to raising interest rates. This sounds very scientific but the art comes with determining how drastic to reduce the money supply and for how long. 

This is where Chairman Powell's comments were most vague. I would expect the Markets to stay volatile until we start to get some more concrete details from the Fed as to their prescribed path forward. 

Just like toddlers, the Markets do not like uncertainties. 

This Week: Key Economic Data

Tuesday: Consumer Confidence. Job Openings and Turnover Survey (JOLTS).

Wednesday: Automated Data Processing (ADP) Employment Report.

Thursday: Jobless Claims. Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Manufacturing Index.

Friday: Employment Situation. Factory Orders.

Source: Econoday, August 26, 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: Best Buy Co., Inc. (BBY), HP, Inc. (HPQ).

Thursday: Broadcom, Inc. (AVGO), Hormel Foods Corporation (HRL).

Source: Zacks, August 26, 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.

"The road less traveled is sometimes fraught with barricades, bumps, and uncharted terrain. But it is on that road where your character is truly tested."

– Katie Couric

How to Check the Status of Your Federal Tax Refund

Filing taxes has become more seamless in recent years due to e-filing. It's also easy to check the status of your refund if you anticipate one. The IRS has a tool called Where's My Refund? where taxpayers can check the status of their refund within 24 hours of the IRS acknowledging the taxpayer's e-filed return. You can also see a personalized refund date after the return is processed.

You can access the tool online on the IRS website or via their app. You will see three phases: return received, refund approved, and refund sent. The IRS recommends setting up direct deposit to receive your refund even faster. They update the tool once a day.

* 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

Channel Your Inner Cat and Cow

The cat-cow stretch is fantastic for your back, pelvis, neck, and more. Plus, it's simple to learn and simple to do!

First, start on the floor on all fours. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart, and your knees should be hip-width apart. You can do the cat-cow stretch on a mat or carpeted floor.

Next, inhale a deep breath, arch your back, tilt your pelvis downward, and look to the ceiling. Don't force your neck too far up.

Then, exhale a big breath and curve your back (like a scary Halloween cat). Tuck your chin into your chest and pull your pelvis up as you curve your back.

The goal is to move through these movements with your breath.

Tip adapted from Very Well Fit6

What can run but never walks, has a mouth but never eats, has a head but never thinks, and has a bed but never sleeps?

Last week’s riddle: I am in the center of gravity, and part of every victory. I am clearly seen in the midst of a river. I could name three who are in love with me and have three associates in vice. What am I? Riddle answer: The letter "V."

The Fishing Village of Henningsvær, Norway

Footnotes and Sources

1. The Wall Street Journal, August 26, 2022

2. The Wall Street Journal, August 26, 2022

3. The Wall Street Journal, August 26, 2022

4. The Wall Street Journal, August 26, 2022

5., April 19, 2022

6., May 26, 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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