Dashboard

April 2022 Economic Dashboard

Stocks and bonds sold off in April as interest rates continued to rise and the U.S. dollar index hit a 20-year high. All else equal, a stronger dollar applies downward pressure to inflation as imports become cheaper. The strengthening dollar and rising interest rates are not unrelated. Europe and Japan’s central banks are hardly budging… Read More »

March 2022 Economic Dashboard

Markets stumbled out of the gate this year as fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine became a tragic reality. Despite the geopolitical turmoil, the Dow and S&P 500 ended the quarter higher than before the war began. The consequences of the conflict, including international sanctions, will significantly impact the global economy. Russia is a… Read More »

February 2022 Economic Dashboard

The Russia-Ukraine conflict dominated financial headlines in February, leading to modest declines for U.S. stock indices. Interest rates continued to climb most of the month but dropped following the invasion. Mounting international sanctions have put the Russian Ruble into free-fall, as businesses and individuals rush to sell Russian assets. The U.S. economy and stock market… Read More »

January 2022 Economic Dashboard

January was an eventful month in financial markets. Fourth quarter real GDP growth came in at 6.9% as businesses replenished inventory and consumer spending remained strong despite less government stimulus. The Federal Reserve continued to accelerate plans for interest rate hikes, signaling a likely first hike in March to combat inflation. How inflation responds to… Read More »

December 2021 Economic Dashboard

2021 was an outstanding year for U.S. stocks. The S&P 500 rallied nearly 30% on low volatility by historical standards (there was not a single correction of 6% or more). Fiscal and monetary stimulus, combined with a rapidly reopening economy, helped propel the market higher. We enter 2022 with a much stronger economy than a… Read More »

November 2021 Economic Dashboard

November was a mixed month for stock markets, with a late-month selloff erasing early gains. Energy commodities were especially hard hit, as the U.S. crude oil benchmark declined 20%. The latest COVID variant to emerge, Omicron, spread fresh fear as several major economies increased restrictive measures. Monetary policy, both in the U.S. and abroad, continued… Read More »

October 2021 Economic Dashboard

Major U.S. stock market indices rebounded to new all-time highs in October following September declines. Crude oil benchmarks climbed to multi-year highs while natural gas remained elevated. Third quarter real GDP grew 2.0% annualized, with the delta variant, moderating fiscal stimulus, supply chain shortages, and subdued labor participation weighing on the economic recovery. Consumer spending… Read More »

September 2021 Economic Dashboard

Major stock markets declined in September, ending the third quarter with mixed results. The Fed has indicated a future reduction in the COVID-related purchases of treasuries and mortgages in the months ahead. At quarter end, Congress had not agreed to lift the debt ceiling. Despite the domestic headlines, the U.S. stock market outperformed again in… Read More »

August 2021 Economic Dashboard

August was a relatively calm month for markets. Economic data continued to show inflation running hot, but not broad-based. Autos, especially used, account for roughly 1/3 of the rise in the consumer price index. Markets continued to shrug off inflation data. Most major indices climbed higher in August, with the S&P 500 rising 2.9%. Commodities play a crucial role… Read More »

July 2021 Economic Dashboard

July marked another positive month for U.S. equities, with the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average posting gains of 2.8% and 1.3%, respectively. A majority of S&P 500 companies reported second quarter earnings results during the month. Aggregate S&P 500 earnings are on track for an all-time high while easily clearing the prior year’s… Read More »

June 2021 Economic Dashboard

All major U.S. stock market indices posted another strong quarter of gains as the economy continued to reopen. The confluence of pent-up demand, prior government stimulus, and record household savings fueled robust consumer spending. The pandemic-induced shift in spending to goods continued early in the quarter. Spending began to shift back to services later in… Read More »

May 2021 Economic Dashboard

The S&P 500 index managed a modest gain of 0.5% in May on muted volatility. Inflation continues to dominate headlines as several commodities reached all-time highs and consumer price indices saw their largest spikes in decades. The major central banks of the world continue to view recent inflation as transitory. The Federal Reserve is willing… Read More »