Rising Bond Yields and Fed Uncertainty Overshadow Positive Earnings:
Financial markets suffered last week due to rising bond yields and lingering uncertainty regarding whether we’ve reached the end of the Federal Reserve’s rate-hike cycle. This negative sentiment overshadowed otherwise positive corporate earnings data.
Over the last month, The Dow Jones Industrial Average returned –1.07%, while the S&P 500 returned –2.18%. The Nasdaq Composite Index returned –1.07%.
Source: Charles Schwab & Co, Inc.
Rising Yields Sink Stocks
Stocks rallied to start the week on earnings optimism before losing momentum over rising bond yields. Yields rose after traders speculated that strong economic data might persuade the Fed to raise rates. By mid-week, stocks turned lower as the 10-year Treasury yield moved above 4.9% for the first time since 2007, while mortgage rates hit 8%–the highest level since mid-2000.1
Stocks were under pressure Thursday as the 10-year Treasury yield moved closer to 5% and in response to comments from Fed Chair Powell that inflation remained too high. With the 10-year Treasury yield crossing above the 5% mark on Friday–and ahead of a weekend of uncertainty in the Middle East–stocks weakened further, ending a down week on a sour note.
Economic Strength, Housing Weakness
The economy continued to evidence surprising strength according to data released last week. Despite worries of a struggling consumer, consumers increased their spending as retail sales rose 0.7% in September–well above the forecast of a 0.3% rise, while industrial output jumped 0.3%, exceeding the forecast of a 0.1% gain.2
There were also updates on the state of housing. Housing starts rebounded 7.0% from August, though permits (an indicator of future housing starts) declined 4.4% month-over-month. Existing home sales were weak, falling 2.0% from August and 15.4% from a year ago. Existing home sales are on track to record their slowest year since 2011.3,4
This Week: Key Economic Data
Source: Bloomberg Finance L.P.
This Week: Companies Reporting Earnings
At Concord Asset Management, we design portfolios for the long run, with the ability to navigate various market cycles. However, you can have confidence that we are monitoring these market-moving events, and we will make reasonable, tactical adjustments as necessary.
Chief Investment Officer
Concord Asset Management
Footnotes and Sources
1CNBC, October 17, 2023
2CNBC, October 17, 2023
3CNN, October 18, 2023
4The Wall Street Journal, October 19, 2023
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