Economic Market Summary

Market Down and Dirty

Last Week’s Economic/Market Summary


  • U.S. equity indices were for the most part slightly higher last week.
    • S&P 500 +0.05% Dow -0.12%, Russell 2000 +0.70%, Nasdaq +0.66%1
      • The All-Country World Index gained 0.43%.1 
    • S&P 500 sub-sectors were mixed last week as cyclicals led to the downside.
      • Real Estate & Utilities led to the upside with gains of 4.5% & 3.7%.1 
      • Financials, Energy, & Industrials led to the downside. 
      • The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) declined 6% to end at 19.52. 1 
  • The bond market was mixed as the 2yr now yields more than the 10yr & 30yr.
    • US 2yr +0.19% at 2.45%, 10yr -0.11% at 2.38%, 30yr -0.18% to 2.42%.1 
    • The 2yr US Treasury yield exceeded the 30yr for the first time since 2007. 1 
  • Commodities as an aggregate asset class moved lower last week.
    • WTI Crude declined 13%.1 
    • Gold was down 1.75%.1 
    • The US Dollar index slid -0.23%.1 
  • In our opinion, U.S. economic data was mixed last week.
    • Non-Farm Payrolls came in slightly under expectations while the unemployment rate dropped. 1 
    • Demand for workers has leveled off & quits are no longer rising according to the JOLTS report. 1 
    • Core PCE inflation index came in at +5.4% since last year as consumer spending dropped. 1 
  • An index of equities outside the US (FTSE All-World ex-US) outperformed at +0.77%.1 


  • US stock markets ended mostly higher last week. 
    • Strong economic data throughout the week seemed to be diminished by concerns in the bond market as it ended. 
    • The S&P 500 squeaked out a small gain for its longest weekly winning streak since November. 1 
    • The small-cap tracking Russell 2000 & Nasdaq led to the upside. 
      • The Dow Jones Industrial Average was the lone negative performer on the week. 
  • S&P 500 subsectors finished the week mixed. 
    • The traditional cyclical areas of the market led to the downside last week.
      • Financials -3.3%, Energy -2.15%, & Industrials -1.48%1 
      • Energy followed WTI crude lower as the US administration imposed a plan to release barrels of oil from the country’s strategic reserve. 
    • Real Estate & Utilities led the positive sectors.
      • They seemed to move higher as longer-term interest rates moved lower. 
  • The US Treasury market saw inversion happen on the yield curve.
    • This is when the shorter maturities yields are higher than the longer dated issues. 
    • Last week saw the 2 year US Treasury invert against the 10 year as well as the 30 year. 1 
      • This increases concerns that a recession could be on the horizon. 
    • These moves in the interest rate market followed economic data that led many in the market to assume the Fed will hike by 0.50% at their next scheduled meeting. 
      • The futures market is pricing in a 79% probability of such a hike at the Fed’s May meeting1 
  • Commodities as an asset class moved firmly lower last week, led by oil. 
    • WTI Crude oil dropped 13% last week on the back of several demand concerns. 1 
      • China is dealing with a continued outbreak of Covid and continues its strict shutdowns in some of their business hubs. 
      • The US announced a massive release from its strategic crude oil reserves. 
        • The UK and Japan followed this move with scheduled releases of their own. 
    • Gold and other precious metals also saw weakness last week. 
      • Despite this, gold ended the 1st quarter up 5.9%.1 
  • Various methods of tracking the business cycle are indicating it is weakening. 
    • The yield curve has been flattening for some time and finally inverted last week. 
    • Nominal GDP and labor force participation are indicating slowing 5yr GDP growth rates are to be expected moving forward. 1 
    • ISM data on manufacturing, orders, & inventories are also rolling over. 1 
  • While the above is important to know and follow, we remind readers that the stock market is not the economy and vice versa. 
    • While all of these data points indicate things could be slowing down, this does not mean the equity markets will fall dramatically…even if there is a recession. 
    • A move sideways for some time by equities as the economic engine works through some rough patches is also a possibility. 
      • This outcome would be considered a “soft landing” many have been striving for. 

Ryan A. Mumy, CFP®,
AIF® – Chief Investment Officer

Contact: 828/855-9400 or 

 1 Source: Bloomberg – 4/1/2022  

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