Economic Market Summary

Market Down and Dirty

Last Week’s Economic/Market Summary


  • U.S. equities ended the week lower as a spike in volatility & interest rates seemed to weigh on investors.
    • S&P 500 -1.05% Dow -0.17%, Russell 2000 -3.39%, Nasdaq -2.41%1
      • The All-Country World Index declined -1.44%.1
    • S&P 500 sub-sectors were all lower outside of Energy.
      • Energy was the sole positive sector with a gain of almost 5%.1
      • Consumer Discretionary & Real Estate led to the downside with losses over 2%.1
    • The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) gained 12% to finish above the 20 level. 1
  • US Treasury bond yields moved higher last week across the maturity curve.
    • US 2yr +0.20% at 4.50%, 10yr +0.21% to 3.74%, 30yr +0.20% to 3.83%.1
    • Comments from Fed officials & economic data surprises seemed to reignite inflation fears.
  • Commodities as an aggregate asset class were higher last week.
    • WTI Crude rose +8.65%.1
    • Gold was flat on the week.
    • The US Dollar index rose +0.63%.1
  • In our opinion, U.S. economic data was mixed last week.
    • US exports fell in the latest release as global economic activity slowed. 1
    • Consumer sentiment increased slightly in February. 1
    • Consumer credit rose by the smallest amount in 2 years in its latest release. 1
  • An index of equities outside the US (FTSE All-World ex-US) declined by 1.14%.1


  • US Equities ended the week lower as the recent bounce higher in equities seems to have become exhausted by fresh inflation concerns.
    • The Dow Jones Industrial Average was the best performer at -0.17%.1
    • The small-cap tracking Russell 2000 led to the downside with a loss over 3.3%.1
  • All eyes are on fresh Consumer Price Index inflation data this Tuesday.
    • Many are anticipating the CPI report to show prices not moderating the way the Federal Reserve would like to see.
      • A surprising rise in gas & used-car prices last month1 may interrupt the several months long trend of declining inflation.
    • Investors increased their hedges last week causing a double digit spike in the VIX volatility index. 1
      • Trading days were exceptionally turbulent last year when CPI data was released with the S&P 500 falling in 7 of the 12 days. 1
      • Over the past 6 months, the S&P 500 has seen as average move of 2.6% in either direction on CPI day which is the highest since 2009. 1
  • S&P 500 sub-sectors were lower last week.
    • Energy was the sole gaining sector on the back of Russia responding with decreased output and comments from Saudi’s oil minister backing not increasing supply by OPEC+.
  • US Treasury yields moved higher as the 2/10 yield curve stayed extremely inverted.
    • The US Treasury benchmark lost 1.25% last week, its worst in 3 months. 1
    • A reversal in the consumer price index trend could empower the Fed to keep raising rates while keeping them higher for longer to achieve price stability.
      • This would dash the hopes that have been driving equities & bonds higher in ’23.
  • With 70% of S&P 500 companies having reported earnings, the takeaway is pretty clear that the 2-year run of swelling corporate profits is over.
    • The year over year blended earnings decline thus far is -4.9%1 with the biggest technology companies that once seemed shielded from negativity also feeling the effects of slowing demand and a weaker digital-advertising market.
      • Collectively, Meta Platforms Inc., Apple, Inc., Microsoft Corp., and Alphabet missed consensus earnings estimates by 8%.1
      • Big tech stocks have rallied amid rising expectations for a soft economic landing, optimism on China’s reopening, and an investor rotation back into stocks that were hit the hardest last year.
    • While 69% of companies have still been able to beat lowered analyst expectations, the share of those delivering negative surprises rose to the highest level since the onset of Covid. 1
    • Profit margins have remained under pressure across industries with companies forced to grapple with inflation, a tight labor supply, and waning pricing power.
      • While the job market has remained surprisingly resilient so far in the face of the Fed’s rate hikes, many companies are moving rapidly to cut their workforces in anticipation of a deeper slowdown.

Ryan A. Mumy, CFP®,

AIF® – Chief Investment Officer

Contact: 828/855-9400 or 

 1 Source: Bloomberg – 2/10/2023 

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