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Stock market halts ahead of US non-farm report

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Relevance up to 07:00 2022-01-08 UTC+00

US stocks fluctuated between gains and losses on Thursday after investors found out they overestimated the Federal Reserve’s plan towards inflation.

The S&P 500 index was little changed by midday, trying to recover from the 1.9% fall caused by the Fed minutes, which suggested that the central bank was ready to raise rates earlier and higher than previously expected. The hawkish stance has hit the most risky assets, from high-value software stocks to newly publicly traded companies.

Treasury bonds also continued to decline, albeit slower than the previous days. The yield on 10-year bonds was near 1.73%. Dollar was also little changed.

The overtly hawkish stance of the Fed shook the financial markets because it made investors redefine the value of assets amid expected strong economic growth and higher interest rates. This marks a shift that has not been seen for at least three years, a time when volatility also spiked and led to a major drop in stocks.

“We knew coming into 2022 that the Fed was going to be a creator of volatility within the market and we’re seeing that right out of the gate at the start of the year,” said Lindsey Bell, chief strategist at Ally. “The good news is that today things seem to be stabilizing a little bit after yesterday’s knee-jerk reaction,” she added.

Meanwhile, DataTrek Research co-founder Nicholas Colas advised that investors should be careful over the next few days because “we’ve never seen the Federal Reserve both raise interest rates from zero and shrink its balance sheet. There has been a two-year hiatus in the cycle, so this is cause for concern. We do not predict a crash, but we understand why the market has fainted.”

San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly also said on Thursday that the US economy can almost reach the Fed’s goals. She explained that the US labor market “looks very strong,” but lacks millions of workers compared to before the pandemic. She said the reduction in the Fed’s balance sheet will occur after the normalization of the funds rate.

Mike Loewengart, managing director of E * Trade Financial, noted that “inflation is in the spotlight when it comes to potential Fed action. While hiring has certainly been a challenge, the employment picture has been improving and edging toward what it was pre-pandemic. So with the labor market somewhat under control, jobless claims are likely going to fade into the background while the Fed is focused on their inflation mandate. “

Other key events today are:

– release of EU CPI;

– non-farm employment report in the United States;

– employment data in Canada.

*The market analysis posted here is meant to increase your awareness, but not to give instructions to make a trade.

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