The following economic awareness entry is based on short-term events and therefore should not be taken as information towards making investment decisions, which are of a long-term nature. It is only meant to provide clarity regarding current economic events, as there is often a large degree of incorrect information dispersed through the media or other sources.
Economic Awareness: Inflation and Ukraine Fears Cool Markets
A hot inflation print and the growing concern of a Russian invasion of Ukraine sent stocks tumbling late in the week, leaving major indices lower for the five-trading days.
A Double Whammy
Mid-week, a fresh batch of positive corporate earnings surprises lifted investor sentiment, helping stocks claw back losses with technology stocks posting some of the sharpest gains. But January’s inflation report, set for release on Thursday morning, remained investors’ biggest concern.
When the report hit, it showed accelerating inflation, and stocks dropped and bond yields bounded higher. Stocks managed to recover from the initial reaction to the unexpectedly high inflation number. But when the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis commented that the Fed may consider a more aggressive move against inflation, stocks resumed their slide lower. The stock skid accelerated into Friday on White House reports that an invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces may be imminent.4
Prices of consumer goods accelerated in January, rising 0.6% from the previous month and 7.5% year-over-year. This annual inflation rate was the highest since 1982. Core inflation, which excludes the more volatile food and energy prices, was 6.0% higher from last January.5
Many economists and market analysts had expected inflation to moderate, but driven by a surge in prices of used cars, gasoline, and energy, inflation remained at elevated levels. The persistence of inflation at these heights has fueled investor concerns that the Fed might consider a more aggressive 50-basis points increase in short term interest rate.
This Week: Key Economic Data
Tuesday: Producer Price Index (PPI).
Wednesday: Retail Sales. Industrial Production. FOMC Minutes.
Thursday: Housing Starts. Jobless Claims.
Friday: Existing Home Sales. Index of Leading Economic Indicators.
Source: Econoday, February 11, 2022
This Week: Companies Reporting Earnings
Tuesday: Zoetis, Inc.(ZTS), Devon Energy Corporation (DVN), Marriott International, Inc. (MAR), ViacomCBS, Inc. (VIAC).
Wednesday: Nvidia Corporation (NVDA), Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO), Applied Materials, Inc. (AMAT), Shopify, Inc. (SHOP), DoorDash (DASH).
Thursday: Roku, Inc. (ROKU), Walmart, Inc. (WMT), The Southern Company (SO).
Friday: Deere & Company (DE).
Source: Zacks, February 11, 2022
“I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.“
– James Baldwin
How to Verify Your Identity When Calling the IRS
Having all this information handy before you call the IRS will make the process faster because IRS phone operators will only speak with the taxpayer or a legally designated representative.
* This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific, individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.
Tip adapted from IRS.gov6
How to Get the Recommended 10,000 Steps a Day
Getting 10,000 steps in throughout the day (or moving at all!) might sound like an impossible goal, but there are a few small tweaks you can make throughout your day to get those feet moving. Here are a few ideas:
Tip adapted from Organizing Moms7
What is the smallest number of cars that can be driven down the road in this formation: two cars ahead of a car, two cars behind a car, and a car between two cars?
Last week’s riddle: They never move, even when we walk on them, but signs and arrows may indicate that they go “up” and “down.” What are they? Answer: Stairs.
The blue domed churches of Agios Spyridonas and Anastaseos, Oia, Santorini, Greece.
Footnotes and Sources
1. The Wall Street Journal, February 11, 2022
2. The Wall Street Journal, February 11, 2022
3. The Wall Street Journal, February 11, 2022
4. CNBC, February 10, 2022
5. CNBC, February 10, 2022
6. IRS.gov, September 1, 2021
7. OrganizingMoms.com, September 30, 2020
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