Economic Market Summary

Market Down and Dirty

Last Week’s Economic/Market Summary


  • U.S. equities moved mostly lower last week in the holiday shortened trading period.
    • S&P 500 -0.05% Dow +0.63%, Russell 2000 -2.53%, Nasdaq -1.10%1
      • The All-Country World Index declined -0.11%.1
    • S&P 500 sub-sectors were mixed last week.
      • Energy, Utilities, & Healthcare led to the upside with gains over 3.88%.1
      • Consumer Discretionary & Industrials led to the downside. 1
    • The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) declined last week to end at 18.48. 1
  • US Treasury bond yields dropped notably last week.
    • US 2yr -0.24% at 3.82%, 10yr -0.18% to 3.30%, 30yr -0.20% to 3.54%.1
    • The inversion of the 2/10yr has went back to -0.60% from -0.40% just 2 weeks ago. 1
  • Commodities as an aggregate asset class moved higher last week led by oil.
    • WTI Crude gained 6.29%.1
    • Gold rose +1.93%.1
    • The US Dollar index declined -0.60%.1
  • In our opinion, U.S. economic data was mixed last week.
    • The JOLTS index saw job opening drop to their lowest level since May of 2021. 1
    • Other job data showed slightly lower numbers but reiterated a strong labor market. 1
    • US services data slowed more than expected following recent manufacturing data lower. 1
  • An index of equities outside the US (FTSE All-World ex-US) rose +0.34%.1


  • US Equities softened a bit as weak volume dominated trading action on the shortened week.
    • All major indices were negative last week outside of the Dow Jones Industrial Average which managed to squeak out a small gain thanks to the Energy sector.
      • Growth oriented areas of the market led to the downside with the Nasdaq dropping -1.1% and the small-cap tracking Russell 2000 declining over 2.5%.1
    • The services sector showing waning demand after months of manufacturing data showing the same seemed to give investors a pause in piling into equities.
  • US equity sectors were mixed last week.
    • Energy spiked over 4% following the unexpected OPEC+ cut to oil production. 1
      • If demand continues to soften as a result of a recession, we believe crude & energy equities will come under heavy downward pressure.
    • Defensive Utilities & Healthcare were the other leaders to the upside. 1
    • Consumer Discretionary led to the downside by a wide margin as any signs of labor market weakness could lead to a reduction in consumer’s spending habits.
  • US Treasury yields dropped across the curve last week, led by the 2 year.
    • After softening a bit, credit spreads shot higher last week1 indicating continued caution in lending to weaker balance sheet companies.
    • Yields were volatile last week as liquidity in the bond market continues to keep the MOVE Index at heightened levels.
    • With economic data continuing to point to a decline in activity, the bond market is anticipating the Fed being forced to stop raising interest rates.
      • The current odds stand at about a 70% chance of a 0.25% hike in May. 1
  • OPEC+’s surprise oil-production cut sent shock waves through financial markets and pushed crude prices up by the most in a year.
    • Now that the dust has started to settle, one question looms large: Will that price rally stick, or fade away?
    • It could end up being the ultimate test of what matters more to the market: tighter supplies, or the lackluster demand picture.
    • That will likely bring more uncertainty over the direction of prices — a complicated development for the Federal Reserve and the world’s central bankers in their ongoing battle against inflation.
  • All eyes are on the latest CPI inflation reading this week along with the beginning of earnings season.
    • With CPI, has the Fed beaten back inflation or will the sticky core pressure continue higher?
    • Even as inflation has remained elevated, how much can the Fed hike & keep rates elevated?
  • No matter what the answers to these questions are, the fact remains that access to capital has tightened tremendously so far in 2023 and a slowdown of some kind most likely is under way.
    • The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow model is currently forecasting 1st quarter GDP growth of 1.5%, down from its peak estimate of 3.5% in March. 1

Ryan A. Mumy, CFP®,

AIF® – Chief Investment Officer

Contact: 828/855-9400 or 

 1 Source: Bloomberg – 4/6/2023 

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