After rallying in March, equity markets retreated last week. Investors expressed concern over the Federal Reserve (Fed) meeting minutes released on Wednesday, which communicated plans to reduce their balance sheet (alongside raising interest rates throughout the year).
Since our last monthly update, it’s fair to state that the Russia / Ukraine war and resulting energy and commodity price increases have clouded the outlook for US and global economic growth.
Risk assets, in general, advanced last week, building upon a big bounce upward the week prior. The S&P 500, a proxy for US large-cap stocks, gained 1.8 percent for the week and the MSCI ACWI, a proxy for global large-cap stocks, advanced 1.2 percent.
In a week full of headlines, investors found more positive news than negative and equity markets responded by rallying across the board last week.
The conflict in Ukraine has entered its third week and the destruction it has caused to the country and citizens has only intensified. The United Nations now estimates that 2.7 million people have fled the country since the invasion.
Any attempts for an investment management firm to accurately describe the horror and tragedy that is occurring in Ukraine would undoubtedly fall short.
The situation in Ukraine deteriorated rapidly this past week, moving quickly from a tense situation into a full-fledged Russian invasion that has put Ukraine’s 44 million people in jeopardy and shaken European security.
The situation in Ukraine has deteriorated quickly the past few days.
The situation in Ukraine continued to take center stage last week, crowding out most other financial news. US President Joe Biden, citing US intelligence agency information, stated that he believes Russia will attack Ukraine in the coming days.
Two all-too-familiar stories dominated the financial news cycle last week: inflation and the situation in Ukraine.