Financial markets hit new 2022 lows and oil dropped by 5.7% on Friday to close out the week. Oil is now down 36% from its June high. Over the last two weeks, the S&P 500 has fallen by 9.2% and the Nasdaq by more than 10%. The 2-year treasury yield closed at 4.22%, the highest level in over a decade. The composite PMI in the US was in contractionary territory at 49.3, but that was up from 44.6 in August.
A Eurozone recession is pretty much a certainty now and the odds for a US recession seem to be rising by the day. And to make matters worse, Putin has doubled down on his so far losing strategy in Ukraine and called up 300,000 reservists and threatened nuclear strikes.
US stocks fell by 4.80% and bonds were off by 0.95%. The 2-year Treasury yield increased by 29 basis points. International stocks dropped by 3.30%.
On Tuesday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that CPI had increased by 8.3% since last year, higher than what was anticipated. The Core CPA, which excludes energy and food, was up by 6.3% compared to 5.9% in June and July, indicating that price pressures remain intense. The S&P fell by 4.3% after the news and the 10-year treasury yield increased to 3.42% from 3.297%. According to Ryan Sweet, senior director of economic research at Moody’s Analytics, the average household is spending $460 more each month to buy the same basket of goods and services as last year.
Markets are now anticipating a fed-funds rate of about 4.25% in December, implying 75 basis point increases in September and November, and then another 25 basis points in December. The terminal rate is anticipated to be 4.45% in April.
FedEx announced weak, very weak, preliminary earnings due to weak demand. The stock fell by 22%. Ray Dalio of Bridgewater writes that a 4.5% fed-funds rate could mean a 20% drop in equity prices.
US stocks fell by 3.5% for the week and were down by 3.73% for August. International stocks dropped by 4.49% and bonds took a 3.04% hit. Oil dropped by 9.20% and the dollar increased by 1.68% for the month.
Stocks are currently selling at 17.4x 2022 estimates for the S&P 500 and 16.1x 2023 numbers. The 2023 numbers peaked on about June 17 and have declined by about 3.33% since then. Much less than what was expected, but there is probably more to come.
Employment increased by 315,000 jobs in August, down from 526,000 in July. The increase is still considered a solid absolute number but indicates some cooling in the job market. The unemployment rose to 3.7%, up from 3.5%, as more workers entered the labor force. Those seeking work are now at 62.4% compared to 62.1% in July. Average hourly earnings were 5.2% higher than one year ago, consistent with the prior month. And month over month, the increase was 0.3%.
The Group of Seven agreed to an oil price cap for Russian oil, and in turn, Russia suspended natural-gas flows to Europe, although they blamed the stoppage on repairs. The oil price cap relies effectively relies on insurance to enforce its terms. In order to get insurance, buyers would have to observe the price limit. Almost all insurance for these types of shipments runs through G7 countries.