It was a tough quarter for stocks as the markets dealt with and continues to deal with the war in Ukraine, runaway inflation, rising interest rates and the seemingly never ending Covid dynamic. For Q1, both the Dow Jones Industrial Average (see chart here) and the S&P 500 (see chart here) lost nearly 5%. The Nasdaq Composite (see chart here) lost more ground closing out the quarter down 9%. Last but not least, the small-cap Russell 2000 (see chart here ) also closed Q1 down 9 %.
As mentioned above, it was a tough quarter for stocks and indexes but with the current state of global backdrop my feelings are we are quite lucky to not of experienced more of a drawdown. In fact, I am very surprised if not shocked that we did not see a 20 percent sell-off or more due to these major headwinds. So, this begs the question as to why there was not more of a correction? Could it be corporate earnings will surprise the street once Q1 earnings reporting season kicks off here in April? Or could it be that while interest rates are going up and will continue to do so, that rates are still relatively low, and money continues to get put to work in the overall markets? I do think that this upcoming earnings reporting season will be one of the most important metrics in years pertaining to whether stocks find their footing or continue to be under pressure. The one other metric I will be paying close attention to is yield curve inversion. For the first time in years the 2-year Treasury yield surpassed the 10-year and historically when that happens the chances for a recession increase. So, as you see there is much to learn over the coming weeks and throughout the summer.
Last but not least, when I look at the current technical shape of the aforementioned key indexes, all of them are trading right around their respective 20-day, 100-day and 200-day moving averages. Based on this action it is possible that we see a breakout above and/or a breakdown below these historic support and resistance lines.
Good luck to all 🙂