Monthly Market Update

The Monthly Market Update is part of our ongoing commitment to investor education and research. These posts often spark discussion and provide insight into our perspective on current financial markets and economic events.

July 2022 Monthly Market Update

Stock and bond markets rallied in July, providing some consolation for 2022’s poor first-half performance. Despite high inflation data in June, some investors felt optimistic about the potential for inflation to moderate. Most commodities, including gasoline, copper, lumber, wheat, and corn, saw sharp declines. Import prices also fell, aided by the strong dollar and slowing… Read More »

June 2022 Monthly Market Update

The second quarter was marked by broad declines in bond and stock prices as markets contend with rising interest rates and a weakening economic outlook. Last year, the economy and financial markets were riding a tailwind of stimulus in two forms: 1) significant deficit spending by the federal government and 2) ultra-low interest rate policies… Read More »

May 2022 Monthly Market Update

Major stock market indices ended the month of May roughly flat, following a poor April. 2022 has been a challenging year for risk assets. In general, riskier parts of the market have shed more than the broader market, as one might expect during periods of elevated volatility. Year-to-date, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, composed of… Read More »

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 »