Financial Market Update – Week of 10/23

Welcome to this week’s financial market update! Looking at last week, the S&P 500 fell by 2.39%, the Nasdaq 100 traded lower by 2.90%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average decreased by 1.61%.

Relentless U.S. Consumers 

The resilience of the U.S. consumer has proven impressive. Retail sales rose 0.7% in September versus August–exceeding the Dow Jones estimates for a 0.3% rise. Retail sales data figures are not adjusted for inflation.

Miscellaneous stores led the way with an increase of 3% over the month. Many folks will ask, ”What is a miscellaneous store?” It seems many Americans are spending their money in a more value-oriented fashion–at retailers like thrift stores offering used merchandise at discount prices.

Impacts on the Fed 

The Retail Sales report is of great importance, as it can contribute to the future of the Fed’s monetary policy. Markets are currently pricing in a Fed that is done hiking rates during this cycle (though this can change). With the consumer being so strong, however, the Fed’s job can become more challenging.

Again, the Retail Sales data is not adjusted for inflation–so a rise in sales could potentially be partially offset by higher prices.

Credit card balances continue to climb to record levels too, topping $1 Trillion in the most recent Household Debt and Credit Report issued by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. That is Q2 data, and we should get Q3 data over the next month.

10-year Note Yields Rise

Equity markets were hanging on to the moves of 10-year treasury yields last week, seemingly paying attention to each change or tick with high sensitivity.

The benchmark yield touched a high of just under 5% last week, peaking near 4.993%, and settling last week near 4.923%.

Some treasury market analysts have cited a supply imbalance in the treasury markets. Given the current state of the U.S. government deficit, investors (countries, institutional investors, individuals, etc) are demanding a higher rate to take on the U.S. debt. Notably, households are taking on U.S. debt (buying treasury notes and other products) at an increasing rate.

Powell Speech

FOMC speeches were plentiful last week. The highlight was Fed Chair Powell’s prepared remarks at the Economic Club of New York.

Notable takeaways from Chair Powell’s luncheon remarks include, “Inflation is still too high, and a few months of good data are only the beginning of what it will take to build confidence that inflation is moving down sustainably toward our goal.”

You can catch the full Chair Powell speech here.

Uncertainty Pulls the Strings

Markets like clarity and certainty, and we have a healthy dose of the opposite right now. The Middle East, persistent inflation, unknown Fed policy, and rising bond yields are all factoring into the fear equation.

The “higher for longer” interest rate scenario seems to be holding up in recent months. Portfolio adjustments can often be wise and may potentially help an investor’s bottom line over time. Snap decisions, though, have the potential to hurt investors over time.

We are in a seasonally strong time of the year for U.S. equities, although many macro headwinds are fighting the trend. Should market volatility continue, remember that the most successful long-term investors are often fearless in nature.

Please call our office at 706-534-2351 or email one of our team members if you have any questions or concerns!



The Trademark Capital® Team

This material is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, accounting, tax, investment, or other professional advice. Trademark Capital’s investment strategies are built using quantitative, proprietary algorithms that are designed to identify and react to changing market conditions. However, investors should be aware that no investment strategy or risk management technique can guarantee returns or eliminate risk in any given market environment. As with all investments, Trademark Capital Management’s investment strategies are subject to risk and may lose money. The investment strategies presented are not appropriate for every investor and individual clients should review with their financial advisors the terms and conditions and risk involved with specific products or services. Due to our active risk management, our managed portfolios may underperform during bull markets. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

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