Economic Market Summary

Market Down and Dirty

Last Week’s Economic/Market Summary


  • U.S. equities showed resilience last week in volatile trading as all major indices ended higher.
    • S&P 500 +1.41% Dow +1.18%, Russell 2000 +0.53%, Nasdaq +1.67%1
      • The All-Country World Index gained +1.45%.1
    • S&P 500 sub-sectors were mostly higher last week.
      • Technology & Materials were the best performers last week. 1
      • Real Estate & Utilities were the only negative sectors. 1
    • The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) declined nearly 15% to end at 21.72. 1
  • US Treasury bond yields moved mostly lower last week, especially shorter maturities.
    • US 2yr -0.05% at 3.76%, 10yr -0.01% to 3.38%, 30yr +0.04% to 3.64%.1
    • The bond market continues to price in a recession for the economy.
  • Commodities as an aggregate asset class moved higher last week.
    • WTI Crude gained 3.69%.1
    • Gold declined 0.55%.1
    • The US Dollar index declined -0.58%.1
  • In our opinion, U.S. economic data was mixed last week.
    • The Federal Reserve hiked interest rates 0.25% at their policy meeting last week. 1
    • A dip in mortgage rates helped the US housing sector’s latest data releases. 1
    • The latest purchase managers index showed a surge in demand in March for orders. 1
  • An index of equities outside the US (FTSE All-World ex-US) rose +1.89%.1


  • US Equities ended last week with gains across the board for major indices.
    • The Nasdaq once again led to the upside with a gain of 1.67%.1
      • With the recent ramp in the tech-heavy Nasdaq, the index sits only 5% below its 2023 highest levels. 1
    • Amid all the confusion and volatility of late, the Nasdaq 100 has stood out as one of the best-performing assets this year, thanks to the dominance of cash-rich tech mega caps.
  • US equity sectors were mostly higher last week, led by growth-oriented areas.
    • The rate sensitive areas of Utilities & Real Estate were the only negative performers with declines slightly less than 2%.1
    • Last week’s price action of sectors indicated a pretty clear week of “risk on” trading despite the economic backdrop appearing to grow more dim.
  • US Treasury yields for the most part moved lower last week, led by the short end of the curve.
    • Bond investors are piling into wagers that a US recession is around the corner amid a growing gap between how the markets & the Federal Reserve see the economy’s outlook.
    • Traders have severely cut bets on further Fed rate hikes this year despite overtures from Fed Chair Powell who indicated this week that rate reductions in 2023 weren’t on his mind.
    • While the Fed Funds Futures market is pricing in over 1% in cuts in 2023 from the Fed, Fed officials continue to state this isn’t their “base case” and repeat “higher for longer” messaging. 1
      • As a result of this uncertainty, volatility in the fixed income markets has skyrocketed to levels not seen in decades. 1
    • With volatility in fixed income elevated, many investors are steering clear of lower credit quality bond issues.
      • Credit spreads, or what rate investors demand for investing in lower credit quality/riskier bonds, have risen over 1% in the last 2 weeks. 1
    • The next hot topic in the world of liquidity & credit will be Commercial Real Estate as those loans are shorter in their maturities.
      • If liquidity & access to credit were to continue to dwindle, volatility could come roaring in this asset class.
  • Amid the confusion and volatility, no one seems to have a firm view on the impact of the banking turmoil going on in the world…including the Fed.
    • While almost everyone including Fed Chair Jerome Powell expects the crisis to contribute to a tightening of financial conditions, consensus is scant on the exact scope of the damage.
      • Among numerous attempts to quantity the impact of lending turmoil on monetary policy, estimates range from 0.50% to 1.50% in the equivalent of rate hikes. 1
    • It’s the same when trying to gauge the effect on standard economic indicators.
      • At Citigroup Inc., strategists suggest the banking crisis is already curbing consumer demand, citing the firm’s data on credit card spending.
      • By contrast, card users at JPMorgan and Bank of America Corp. have stayed buoyant, separate reports from their economists show.
  • We continue to let the events of the world unfold from a very defensive portfolio stance and will remain diligent in watching the data before deploying any capital.

Ryan A. Mumy, CFP®,

AIF® – Chief Investment Officer

Contact: 828/855-9400 or 

 1 Source: Bloomberg – 3/24/2023 

Disclosures: The information provided in this paper is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product, and should not be construed as investment, legal or tax advice. Capital Investment Advisory Services, LLC makes no warranties with regard to the information or results obtained by third parties and its use and disclaim any liability arising out of or reliance on the information. This information is subject to change and, although based on information that Capital Investment Advisory Services, LLC considers reliable, it is not guaranteed as to accuracy or completeness. Source information is obtained from independent financial data suppliers. For investment related terms definitions, please visit: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Additional information about CIAS and its Form ADV Part 2A are available on the SEC’s website at Advisory services through Capital Investment Advisory Services, LLC Securities may be offered through Capital Investment Group, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC Both firms located at 100 E. Six Forks Rd. Suite 200, Raleigh, NC 27609 919-831-2370