Good Life Advisors – Talking Points – Week 8

Sell the Pre-Invasion buy the Actual Invasion 

Geopolitics dominated headlines this week, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine the key factor to the week’s price action. However, markets rallied as sanctions on Russia were seen as a less severe than expected, while expectations around the Fed policy path were also a bit of a tailwind as market pricing for a 50 bp March Fed rate hike fell following the invasion. That reversal on Thursday actually became statistically significant, with the Nasdaq closing 6.5% higher than the low of the day.   

However, some of the week’s Fedspeak still leaned hawkish, while there was also a focus on rising energy costs amid geopolitical turmoil, which could ultimately force the Fed and other central banks to tighten more than markets currently expect. In the tail end of earnings season, there has been some disappointment over disappointing Q1 guidance, with slower EPS revisions and rising fears of further margin pressures from wages. And while consensus is for the Russia and Ukraine conflict to end quickly, the full extent of Putin intentions in Ukraine remains unclear and agreement on talks so far seems unlikely.

Markets saw diminished odds of a 50 bp rate hike following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. CME’s FedWatch tool  is now showing a 24% chance of a 50 bp rate hike in March, down from over 90% following the hotter-than-expected January CPI print. Several Fed officials this week said that it’s too early to tell if geopolitical tensions will impact Fed policy, but some analysts noted that it offers an offramp for the Fed to hike 25 bp instead of 50 bp. Fed Governor Waller said this week that he still supports a 50 bp hike in March and 100 bp of hikes in the first half of the year. Some economists also cautioned that the geopolitical situation has made the Fed’s ability to engineer a soft landing more difficult, particularly given the threat of higher energy and commodity prices. In that vein on Thursday oil hit $100 a barrel for the 1st time since 2014

On the earnings front FactSet shows a blended earnings growth rate for the S&P 500 at 30.7% based on 95% of SPX companies reporting. This marks the fourth straight quarter of earnings growth above 30%. There were some cautious takeaways though. Some of the key themes out of this week’s batch of earnings included some disappointment over forward guidance, particularly margin headwinds from expected wage growth and little easing of supply chain and input cost pressures. It seems likely that this will be the last quarter over 30% eps growth.

US equities were higher this week, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq positive after posting back-to-back weekly declines. Growth was a bit of an outperformer to value factor, while sector performance was fairly mixed. FANMAGs were mostly higher, while software and semis were firmer. Fintech, solar, profitless tech, and cybersecurity were also better, reversing some of their big recent declines. Industrial metals, ag chemicals, hospitals, medtech/biotech, pharma, roads, and energy were also better. Reopening trade was mixed, with airlines higher but cruise lines and gaming weaker. Retail was also lower on the week amid some cautious earnings takeaways and concerns about consumer spending outlook. Some rate sensitive groups were also weaker this week including banks, insurance, and homebuildersAutos, EVs machinery on DE (6.0%) earnings, gold miners, specialty chemicals, credit cards, Chinese internets were also weaker. Treasuries were weaker with the curve flattening. The dollar was stronger on the major crosses, though ruble weakness was the big FX story of the week, falling to record lows. Gold finished the week down 0.6%. Bitcoin futures were down 1.6%. WTI crude settled the week up 1.5% at $91.59, though well-off Thursday’s peak of $100.54

The peak to trough drawdown from the all-time high (4818) January 4th until the low Thursday (4114) was 14.6% on the S&P 500 (intra-day prices). With Thursday’s big reversal and Fridays 2% plus move, the S&P500 is only down 8% for the year. 


Fixed Income

January FOMC Statement        Credit, Liquidity and Balance Sheet     Federal Reserve Dot Plots Dec 21′

US Corporate Debt Tops 7 Trillion. yields    FOMC Policy Normalization Statement     Longer Run Goals August 2020


Global Bond Yields


Foreign Exchange Market



Energy Complex

The Baker Hughes rig count increased by 5 this week. There are 650 oil and gas rigs operating in the US – Up 248 over last year.


Metals Complex


Employment Picture 

Weekly Unemployment Claims – Released Thursday 2/24/2022 – The week ending February 19th observed a decrease of 17k in initial claims currently at 232k. The four-week moving average of initial jobless claims decreased 7.25k to 236.25k.

January Jobs Report  BLS Summary Released 2/4/2022 – The US Economy added 467k nonfarm jobs in January and the Unemployment rate was little changed at 4.0%. Average hourly earnings increased by 23 cents to $31.63.  Hiring highlights include +151k Leisure and Hospitality, +86k Professional and Business Services, and +61k Retail Trade.

  • Average hourly earnings increased by 23 cents to $31.63.
  • U3 unemployment rate was little changed at 4.0%. U6 unemployment rate declined to 7.1%.
  • The labor force participation rate was unchanged at 62.2%.
  • Average work week fell by 0.2 hours to 34.5 hours.

Job Openings & Labor Turnover Survey JOLTS – Released 2/1/2022 – The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the number and rate of job openings was little changed at 10.9 million on the last business day of December. Over the month, hires decreased to 6.3 million and separations decreased to 5.9 million.  Within separations, the quits rate was little changed at 2.9%. The layoffs and discharges rates were also little changed at 0.8%.

Employment Cost Index – Released 1/28/2022 – Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 1.0% for the 3-month period ending in December 2021. The 12-month period ending in December 2021 saw compensation costs increase by 4.0%. The 12-month period ending December 2020 increased 2.5%. Wages and salaries increased 4.5 percent over the year and increased 2.6 percent for the 12-month period ending in December 2020. Benefit costs increased 2.8 percent over the year and increased 2.3 percent for the 12-month period ending in December 2020. This report is published quarterly.


This Week’s Economic Data

Links take you to the data source 

Personal Income – Released 2/25/2022 – Personal income increased $9.0 billion or 0.1 percent in January according to estimates released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Disposable personal income (DPI) increased $19.8 billion or 0.1 percent and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $337.2 billion or 2.1 percent.

Durable Goods – Released 2/25/2022 – New orders for manufactured durable goods in January increased $4.3 billion or 1.6% to $277.5 billion. Transportation equipment led the increase rising $3.3 billion or 3.4% to $87.6 billion.

Second Estimate of 4th Quarter 2021 GDP – Released 2/24/2022 – Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 7.0 percent in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to the second estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. GDP increased 2.3 percent in the third quarter of 2021.  The second estimate is based on source data that are more complete than that of the advance estimate. The increase in real GDP primarily reflected increases in private inventory investment, exports, personal consumption expenditures (PCE), and nonresidential fixed investment that were partly offset by decreases in both federal and state and local government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased. The updated estimates primarily reflected upward revisions to nonresidential fixed investment, state and local government spending, and residential fixed investment that were partly offset by downward revisions to personal consumption expenditures (PCE) and exports.

New Residential Sales  Released 2/24/2022 – Sales of new single-family homes decreased 4.5% to 801k, seasonally adjusted, in January. The median sales price of new homes sold in January was $423,300 with an average sales price of $496,900. At the end of January, the seasonally adjusted estimate of new homes for sale was 406k. This represents a supply of 6.1 months at the current sales rate.

Consumer Confidence  Released 2/22/2022 The Consumer confidence index decreased in February following a decrease in January. The Index now stands at 110.5, down from 111.1 in January.


Recent Economic Data

Links take you to the data source 

Existing Home Sales – Released 2/18/2022 – Existing home sales increased in January following a decline in December. Sales increased 6.7% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 6.50 million in January. Sales decreased 2.3% year-over-year. Housing inventory sits at 860k units. Down 2.3% from December’s inventory. Down 16.5% over last year. Unsold inventory sits at a 1.7-month supply. The median existing home price for all housing types was $350,300 which is up 15.4% from January 2021. This marks 119 consecutive months of year-over-year increases, the longest-running streak on record.

Housing Starts  Released 2/17/2022 – New home starts in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.638 million; down 4.1% below December, and 0.8% above last January’s rate. Building Permits were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.899 million, up 0.7% compared to December, and up 0.8% over last year.

Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization – Released 2/16/2022 – In January Industrial production increased 1.4%. Manufacturing increased 0.2%. Utilities output increased 9.9%. Mining output increased 1.0%. Total industrial production was 4.1% higher in January than a year ago.  Total capacity utilization increased 1.0% to 77.6% in January which is 1.9% below its long run average.

Retail Sales – Released 2/16/2022 – U.S. retail sales for January increased 3.8% to $649.8 billion and retail sales are 13.0% above January 2021.  U.S. retail sales for the November 2021 through January 2022 period were up 16.1% from the same period a year ago.

Producer Price Index – Released 2/15/2022 – The Producer Price Index for final demand increased 1.0% in January. PPI less food and energy increased 0.8%. The change in PPI for final demand has increased 9.7% year/y.

Consumer Price Index – Released 2/10/2022 – Consumer prices rose 0.6% m/m in January following a 0.6% gain in December. Consumer prices are up 7.5% for the 12-month period ending in January. Core consumer prices increased 0.6% m/m in January following a 0.6% gain in December.

U.S. Trade Balance  Released 2/8/2022 –  According to the U.S. Census Bureau of Economic Analysis the goods and services deficit increased in December by $1.4 billion to $80.7 billion. December exports were $228.1 billion, $3.4 billion more than November exports. December imports were $308.9 billion, $4.8 billion more than November imports. In 2021 the goods and services deficit increased $182.4 billion or 27.0%, from the same period in 2020. 2021 exports and imports increased $394.1 billion or 18.5% and increased $576.5 billion or 20.5% respectively.

Consumer Credit  Released 2/7/2022 – Consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.9 percent in December. Revolving credit increased at an annual rate of 6.6 percent, while nonrevolving credit increased at an annual rate of 5.7 percent.

US Light Vehicle Sales – Released 2/4/2022 – U.S. light vehicle sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 15.042 million units in January.

PMI Non-Manufacturing Index  Released 2/3/2022 – Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in December for the 20th consecutive month. ISM Non-Manufacturing registered 59.9 percent, which is 2.4 percentage points below the adjusted December reading of 62.3 percent.

PMI Manufacturing Index – Released 2/1/2022 – January PMI decreased 1.2% to 57.6% down from December’s reading of 58.8%. The New Orders Index was 57.9% down 3.1% from December’s reading of 61.0%. The Production Index registered 57.8%, down 1.6%.

U.S. Construction Spending  Released 2/1/2022 – Construction spending increased 0.2% in December measuring at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,639.9 billion. The December figure is 9.0% above the December 2020 estimate. Private construction spending was 0.7% above the revised November estimate at $1,283.8 billion. Public construction spending was 1.6% below the revised November estimate at $352.7 billion.

Chicago PMI  Released 1/31/2021 Chicago PMI increased to 65.2 points in January. Among the main five indicators, order backlogs, employment and supplier deliveries all increased, while production and orders fell across the month.


Next week we get data on Chicago PMI, U.S. Construction Spending, PMI Manufacturing, PMI Services, and the February Jobs Report.


Data Sources:

Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
Congressional Budget Office (CBO)
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED Charts)

CME Fed Watch
U.S. Treasury – Yields
U.S. Census Bureau
Institute for Supply Management (ISM)
Weekly DOL Employment Data
BLS Monthly Jobs Report

US Energy Admin (EIA)
BLS Consumer Price Index CPI
BLS Producer Price Index PPI
Atlanta Fed GDPNOW
NY Fed Nowcast GDP
US Census Bureau Housing Starts

Consumer Credit
USCB Retail Sales
Construction Spending
Federal Reserve Dot Plots
NY Empire Index
Philadelphia Federal Reserve
P/E Ratio Data -Yardeni Research

Technical Analysis Info: – Financial Charts
Exponential vs Simple moving average

Other Links:

1973 Arab Oil Embargo
Hunt Brothers Silver
Long-Term Capital bailout