Extremely high inflation, a supply crunch and a war contributed to Wall Street’s weakest quarter since the pandemic. Wall Street’s leading indexes ended the quarter lower after four consecutive days of gains were replaced by Wednesday retreat.
This is what it looked like when the exchanges were closed:
- S&P 500 broad overall index down 1.56%, had its worst quarter since the first quarter of 2020 with an overall drop of nearly 5%
- The heavyweight Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 1.56 percent, and so far this year it has fallen just over 4.5 percent
- The Nasdaq Technology Index fell 1.54 percent, with a decline of nearly nine percent
At the same time, oil prices fell sharply, from levels of about $112 per barrel of North Sea oil (Brent spot) to around $107. Oil prices have fallen since it was known that the United States would release 1 million barrels of oil per day for six months.
negative in the first quarter
It was a turbulent first quarter in the stock markets, with US indices starting the year in a real slump – before recovering well since mid-March.
The first quarter of the year was the worst for all three major indicators since the start of the pandemic.
The US Federal Reserve’s actions to stem high inflation, as well as the war in Ukraine, remain among the biggest risk factors for investors to consider.
Inflation index over 39 years old
Market participants will also have to take a stand on the various data points that were released Thursday morning US time.
Among other things, the core personal consumption expenditures index, an indicator of average price increases for all domestic personal consumption in the US, rose as expected: 5.4 percent year on year in February, while expectations were 5.5 percent, According to Trading Economics.
This indicator is the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation, and thus it is worth noting that the year-over-year increase is the highest since 1983. On a monthly basis, core personal consumption expenditures rose 0.4 percent, just as expected.
US private consumption rose 0.2 percent month over month in February, while according to Trading Economics forecasts, a 0.5 percent increase was expected. Private income rose 0.5 percent, exactly as expected.
In addition, statistics from the US Department of Labor showed that the number of first-time applicants for unemployment benefits (unemployment claims) was 202,000 people last week – slightly higher than the initial estimate of 197,000.
Employment numbers are waiting
The labor market report for March will be released on Friday. US employment numbers are often referred to as “the hottest numbers of the month,” because the numbers give an indication of how things are going in the world’s most important economy.
These numbers are closely watched by the Federal Reserve (Fed), and they are also closely watched in financial markets around the world.
490,000 new jobs are expected to be created in the United States in March, according to Bloomberg. (Terms)Copyright Dagens Næringsliv AS and/or our suppliers. We would like you to share our cases using a link that leads directly to our pages. All or part of the Content may not be copied or otherwise used with written permission or as permitted by law. For additional terms look here.
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