Weekly Market Report: May 20, 2022

A hawkish FOMC and increasing speculation surrounding the recession narrative led risk markets to another rough week with the S&P 500 flirting with bear market territory, posting a seventh consecutive down week while high yield credit spreads closed in on 5%. Interestingly, international equity markets posted strong gains last week across the board. Bonds benefited from a flight to quality bid last week with yields falling 10-15bps on longer maturities while the strengthening USD took a breather, falling 1.35% on the week. Commodity markets posted modest gains with oil up 2.5% to $113 and natural gas rising another 5.5%.

Market Anecdotes

• The extreme volatility and price declines of the S&P 500 has left the market 19% below the early January high but still 78% above the March 23, 2020, low.
• Market technicals haven’t fully reached washed out levels with 10day A/D of 46% and put/call ratios holding up while percentage below 50/200dma and the lower BB of 3,848 looking more oversold. IIAS bull-bear of -15.2% is lower than any reading since the GFC.
• While market corrections are always unsettling, it’s worth remembering how frequent and deep they occur. The median non-recession correction is -12.5% and recession corrections hover around -24%.
• Earnings, dividends, and multiple expansion/contraction are the drivers of stock market returns and the latter has both giveth (2020-2021) and taketh (2022) in grand fashion in recent years.
• 95% of S&P 500 companies have reported a beat rate and margin of 77% and 4.7% respectively but the negative price reaction of 0.5% to positive EPS surprises.
• Market narratives from the Fed and U.S. Treasury Secretary left investors feeling like a policy of hope or luck to avoid recession is pretty fragile but a strong labor market, healthy consumer balance sheets, moderating inflation, and supply chain normalization offer a solid footing.
• Robust consumer balance sheets (demand) support a constructive view of forward growth expectations with $4t in checking and loose currency and $4.5t in money market holdings.
• After breaking above the key psychological level of 3% earlier this month, 10yr UST yields have settled down into the 280’s.

This communication is provided for informational purposes only and is not an offer, recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell any security or other investment. This communication does not constitute, nor should it be regarded as, investment research or a research report, a securities or investment recommendation, nor does it provide information reasonably sufficient upon which to base an investment decision. Additional analysis of your or your client’s specific parameters would be required to make an investment decision. This communication is not based on the investment objectives, strategies, goals, financial circumstances, needs or risk tolerance of any client or portfolio and is not presented as suitable to any other particular client or portfolio.

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