The Independent Market Observer

Market Thoughts for July 2022 [Video]

July 1, 2022

June was a terrible month, with stock markets in the U.S. and abroad down substantially and developed international markets hit the hardest. The underlying reason? The Fed. With inflation high, the Fed has raised interest rates over the past six months, which has driven the risks of a recession. Still, the economic news is healthy. Companies are hiring, supporting spending growth, and business investment is sound.

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Market Thoughts for June 2022 [Video]

June 1, 2022

Markets started to stabilize in May. The Dow and S&P 500 ended the month with small gains, while the Nasdaq’s loss was small by recent standards. International markets edged up a bit more than U.S. markets, while fixed income showed gains. The primary driver here was interest rates, which showed signs of stabilizing. Further, hiring remained strong, supporting spending growth, and business investment was healthy.

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Market Thoughts for May 2022 [Video]

May 3, 2022

April was one of the worst months for the markets since the start of the pandemic.U.S. markets were down between 5 percent for the Dow and 14 percent for the Nasdaq, while international markets fell between 5 percent and 7 percent. Rising interest rates drove the declines, with the Fed signaling it intended to keep tightening monetary policy. Still, the U.S. economic news was positive. Hiring remained strong, supporting consumer confidence, and business confidence and investment remained healthy.

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Market Thoughts for April 2022 [Video]

April 1, 2022

We saw a bounce in stock markets for March, but everything was down between 3 percent and 8 percent for the first quarter. The reasons for this were twofold. First, with inflation at a 40-year high, the Fed was forced to raise interest rates. Second, the Russian invasion of Ukraine unsettled markets. Still, there were some positives. Hiring was strong, and business confidence and investment were healthy.

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Market Thoughts for March 2022 [Video]

March 1, 2022

Markets were down across the board in February, with U.S. indices dropping between 3 percent and 4 percent, while international markets were down 2 percent to 3 percent. Still, markets bounced back a bit to end the month. The reasons for this were twofold: interest rates pulled back in the U.S. and the medical news continued to improve.

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Market Thoughts for February 2022 [Video]

February 1, 2022

After a strong close to 2021, markets pulled back to start the year, with U.S. indices dropping between 3 and 10 percent. On the medical front, the Omicron wave continued. As case growth rose to new highs, consumer and business confidence took a hit. Finally, January reports showed inflation at a 40-year high, and the Fed announced a rate hike in March was very likely.

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Market Thoughts for January 2022 [Video]

January 4, 2022

The year closed on a strong note, with the Dow and S&P showing gains. The Nasdaq struggled a bit, but it ended December in the green. On the medical front, the omicron variant drove COVID cases to new highs. Still, the economic data kept getting better. Consumer confidence numbers bounced back, and consumer spending kept growing. Further, business confidence and investment remain very high.

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Market Thoughts for December 2021 [Video]

December 1, 2021

After a strong October, November saw generally weak performance in the markets. In the U.S., the Nasdaq showed a small gain, but the S&P and the Dow were down. These results were driven by the emergence of the Omicron variant and the Fed’s announcement that it would start to normalize monetary policy. Still, hiring for October was healthy, and layoffs dropped to pre-pandemic levels in November.

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Market Thoughts for November 2021 [Video]

November 2, 2021

After a difficult September, the markets saw a bounce in October. Both the Nasdaq and the S&P gained more than 7 percent, and the Dow was up almost 6 percent. These results were driven by the stabilization of key economic data. Job growth declined in September, but a higher October result is expected as labor demand remains strong. Plus, consumer confidence has stabilized.

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Market Thoughts for October 2021 [Video]

October 4, 2021

September was a bad month for the markets. In the U.S., all three major indices were down. Developed markets dropped, and emerging markets did worst of all. These declines resulted from the weakening of the economic data, driven by the spread of the Delta wave of the virus. Job growth was down, layoffs trended up, and consumer confidence dropped.

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Certain sections of this commentary contain forward-looking statements that are based on our reasonable expectations, estimates, projections, and assumptions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks and uncertainties, which are difficult to predict. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Diversification does not assure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets.

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