Rarely have market prognosticators disagreed by such a broad margin on the path forward for inflation and the Federal Reserve’s efforts to fight it.
Some 162 companies in the S&P 500 Index received target price reductions Thursday compared with only 62 increases, according to Bloomberg data. The difference marked one of the sharpest swings in analyst sentiment in the 11 years of the series.
The seasonally adjusted median home sale price jumped 3.6% in April from March, the biggest increase in Zillow data dating to 2012. Inventory is starting to rise slightly, but it’s still so low that it’s vastly outstripped by demand, fueling housing appreciation.
The latest US inflation report should be a reality check for Wall Street, but many investors are still wearing rose-colored glasses. Bond yields ticked slightly higher Wednesday after the Labor Department reported that consumer prices rose more than forecast last month, but they are still nowhere near reflecting the monetary policy path it may take to rein in inflation.
The threat of U.S. stagflation has investors treating supermarkets and other consumer staples companies like the high-flying tech stocks of yesteryear. The shares have trounced their consumer discretionary peers by the widest margin in two decades, and the outperformance probably has room to continue.
There are many ways to lose money in down markets, and buying fleeting rebounds is among the best. The Nasdaq Composite Index boomeranged 10% last week from its March 14 low, safety-trade gold posted its worst week since June 2021 and money poured into speculative exchange-traded funds including Cathie Wood’s ARK Innovation ETF.
For all their daily volatility, U.S. stocks have been on a bumpy round trip to nowhere since Russia’s bloody invasion of Ukraine began three weeks ago. The S&P 500 Index, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite Index have all been basically flat in the period.
U.S. stocks slumped the most in 17 months on Monday, but the “buy the dip” mentality isn’t dead in the U.S. — and stock analysts are part of the reason it’s likely to stick around awhile. Research on individual stocks is as bullish as it has been in two decades by some measures.
The combination of high U.S. inflation and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has discombobulated U.S. markets. From Friday to Monday, traders effectively reduced the number of expected rate increases by the Federal Reserve to six from seven by next February, even though, by most accounts, the inflation outlook has only worsened.
The crypto job market in the U.S. is mirroring the decentralized ethos of the industry itself -- it’s everywhere.
Just days into the massive effort to vaccinate Americans, the nation’s governors are already parrying competing demands from companies and other interest groups over who will get the next round of doses.
The American pandemic’s most sustained increase in Covid-19 infections appears poised to get even longer, a worrisome indicator for overworked doctors and nurses.