News of a new, highly virulent COVID variant triggered a market sell-off on Friday, sending stocks into negative territory for the week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 1.97%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 slumped 2.20%. The Nasdaq Composite index lost 3.52% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, dropped 1.68%.1,2,3
Each week I look for something interesting in the deeper data to highlight. Today let's look at interest rates:
Notice that the 1 Month and 1 Year % change indicators are almost all pointing up. This is consistent with what we have been saying all year that we are in a rising rates environment.
On the 1 Year % change column, the lone exception is CCC corporate bonds (aka "junk bonds.") With rates so low, those who can tolerate credit risk are buying up these issues which drives down the rate, so this is entirely expected.
On the 1 Mo. % change column, we see the US Corporate AAA is down by the smallest increment possible. I think that can be ignored as noise in the signal for now.
The last outlier is the 10 Year Treasury which is down from 1.63% a month ago to 1.48% on Friday. Amazingly, this drop happened entirely on Friday. If we had run this chart the day before Thanksgiving, the 10 Year Treasury closed at 1.64% - .01% higher than a month ago.
We should check back next week to see if any other rates are joining the 10 Year Treasury's decline or if it remains an outlier. Rates declining more broadly would be an indication that the bond market thinks the economy is going to slow. The bond market is not always right, but it is always worth watching.
Investors woke up on Black Friday to reports of a mutated COVID variant, reviving fears of potential new economic restrictions. U.S. markets were not alone, as stock prices in Europe and Asia also tumbled.
Friday’s market action saw declines in economic reopening stocks, such as travel and leisure, cyclicals, financials, and energy, while some of the so-called stay-at-home stocks and pharmaceutical stocks experienced gains. Yields retreated amid a flight to safety and the potential that this turn of events may lead to a slowdown in the Fed’s bond tapering program and a delay in contemplated rate hikes. Prior to Thanksgiving the markets had been choppy, but largely trending higher for the week, while yields had moved up with the re-nomination of Fed Chair Powell.
President Biden announced last week that he was re-nominating Jerome Powell to serve another term as chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, ending market speculation surrounding his re-nomination.
President Biden cited the need for stability and independence in a time of uncertainty in making his decision. While Powell’s re-nomination faced resistance, Senate approval is very likely. Coincident with Powell’s re-nomination, President Biden also nominated Lael Brainard, a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, to serve as vice chair. Investors can soon expect further Fed nominations by the Biden Administration to fill vacancies created by term expirations and retirements.
This Week: Key Economic Data
Tuesday: Consumer Confidence.
Wednesday: ADP (Automated Data Processing) Employment Report. ISM (Institute for Supply Management) Manufacturing Index.
Thursday: Jobless Claims.
Friday: Employment Situation. Factory Orders.
Source: Econoday, November 26, 2021
This Week: Companies Reporting Earnings
Tuesday: Salesforce.com, Inc. (CRM), Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company (HPE).
Wednesday: Okta, Inc. (OKTA), Snowflake, Inc. (SNOW), CrowdStrike (CRWD).
Thursday: Marvell Technology, Inc. (MRVL), Dollar General (DG), The Kroger Co. (KR), DocuSign (DOCU).
Source: Zacks, November 26, 2021
“You can’t judge right from looking at what’s wrong.”
– Bo Diddley
Protect Your Financial Safety in Case of a Natural Disaster
No matter where you live, you should be aware of possible natural disasters in your area and plan accordingly by considering the following tax tips:
* 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.gov4
The Scale Isn’t Everything: More-Comprehensive Ways to Measure Your Health
Put the scale away for a little while and try these techniques to focus on your overall health, rather than just a number:
These are just a few of the ways you can check in with yourself on your fitness and wellness journey without the scale.
Tip adapted from Daily Burn5
What nation has current and former capital cities whose names are anagrams of each other in the English language? (Hint: It is a major player in the global economy.)
Last week’s riddle: The Cage family has a mother, father, and six sons, and each son has one sister. So, how many people are in this family? Answer: Nine. A mother, father, six brothers, and one sister, as each brother has but one sister.
Village of Oia on the Greek island of Santorini at sunset.
Footnotes and Sources
2. The Wall Street Journal, November 26, 2021
3. The Wall Street Journal, November 26, 2021
4. IRS.gov, January 22, 2021
5. Daily Burn, June 24, 2021
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.
Copyright 2021 FMG Suite.
Weekly Market Insights: COVID-19 Variant Clobbers Markets
November 30, 2021