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January 31, 2022 – Market Insights

January 31, 2022
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An exceptionally volatile week, marked by wide intraday price swings, whipsawed investors with stocks ending higher following a surge to the upside on the final trading day of the week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.34%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 0.77%. The Nasdaq Composite index ended flat (+0.01%) for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, declined 3.54%.1,2,3

Market Volatility

Rising bond yields, Federal Reserve uncertainty, and escalating tensions on the Ukrainian-Russian border unsettled markets all week. The week opened with two successive days of deep early losses that were erased by furious, late-afternoon rebounds. The following two-trading sessions that started with strong gains that evaporated with late-session selling.

The most dramatic session was Monday, in which stocks ended slightly higher after hitting intraday lows that saw the NASDAQ fall 4.9%, the Dow shed 1,115 points, and the S&P 500 moved into correction territory. Technology was at the epicenter of the volatility all week as rate fears weighed on sector. Stocks rebounded strongly on Friday, managing to conclude a week on an upbeat note.4

Fed Readies Market for Rate Hikes

Last week’s meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) left rates unchanged, though officials signaled short-term rates would likely be raised at its next meeting in March. As expected, the Fed also approved one last round of bond purchases, bringing quantitative easing to an end by March.5

Left a bit more nebulous were details on the pace and timing of reducing the Fed’s balance sheet, a lingering worry of some investors. But Fed Chair Powell indicated that shrinking the Fed’s asset holdings may occur at a faster rate than in past periods of balance-sheet reductions, such as in 2014 and 2017.6

This Week: Key Economic Data

Tuesday: ISM (Institute for Supply Management) Manufacturing Index. JOLTS (Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey).

Wednesday: ADP (Automated Data Processing) Employment Report.

Thursday: Factory Orders. Jobless Claims. ISM (Institute for Supply Management) Services Index.

Friday: Employment Situation.

Source: Econoday, January 28, 2022
The Econoday economic calendar lists upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision.

Footnotes and Sources

1. The Wall Street Journal, January 28, 2022

2. The Wall Street Journal, January 28, 2022

3. The Wall Street Journal, January 28, 2022

4. CNBC, January 24, 2022

5. The Wall Street Journal, January 26, 2022

6. The Wall Street Journal, January 26, 2022