Provides a market round up, a selection of useful data points we use for our investment analysis, and some interesting articles/charts we have noticed recently.
The major US indexes endured a fourth consecutive week of losses, as growth fears were compounded by some disappointing earnings results from Amazon.com, which has a heavy weighting in many prominent indexes.
The S&P 500 Index moved further into correction territory, down roughly 14% from its recent peak, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite and small-cap Russell 2000 Index fell further into bear markets, down roughly 24% from their highs. Energy stocks outperformed within the S&P 500 after Russia announced that it was cutting off natural gas exports to Poland and Bulgaria.
The week’s economic data in the US offered ammunition for both those predicting “stagflation” or easing price pressures in the months ahead. The biggest data surprise may have been the Commerce Department’s advance estimate showing that the economy contracted at annualized rate of 1.4% in the first quarter, well below consensus expectations of a roughly 1.0% expansion. Falling inventory investment and a record trade deficit were mostly to blame, however, and most economists agreed that solid consumer spending (up 2.7%) and business investment (up 7.3%, well above expectations) suggested that it was too early to conclude that the data signalled the onset of a recession—often defined as two consecutive quarters of economic contraction.
In Oz, the S&P/ASX200 index closed on Friday with a last-minute surge to finish up 78.1 points, or 1.06 per cent for Friday. The gains on Thursday and Friday were the ASX200's best back-to-back days since May 25-26, 2020, although Tuesday's sharp selloff meant the index still closed out the week down half a percentage point. The heavyweight mining sector underperformed, climbing just 0.4 per cent as Fortescue Metals dipped 0.5 per cent to $21.63. BHP and Rio Tinto were both basically flat, at $48.01 and $112.83, respectively.
Goldminers were up, with Newcrest adding 0.6 per cent, Northern Star advancing 0.7 per cent and Evolution climbing 1.3 per cent. Coalminer Stanmore Resources climbed 5.3 to a new all-time high of $2.37, as the war in Ukraine pushes coal prices higher. Yancoal gained 1.5 per cent and New Hope Corporation was up 1.7 per cent.
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