Broker Check


| February 15, 2022

First, Happy Valentine's Day! We hope you spend some time today with those you love.


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. The Dow Jones Industrial Average skidded 1.00%, while the Standard &

Poor’s 500 retreated 1.82%. The Nasdaq Composite index slumped 2.18%. The

MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, advanced 2.26%.


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.


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. 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.


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.


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).


Markets were down heavily on Friday but recovered some from their deepest point

of losses going into the close. This selling was mostly prompted by the White House

announcing the potential imminent invasion of Ukraine with what seemed like a

deep sense of urgency. We’re not sure what’s going on in Vladimir Putin’s head by

any means and we’re not discounting the possibility of an invasion, we will only

remind you that most of the time geopolitical risks have a limited effect on the

course of markets. Effects can be abrupt but are usually short-lived.

We’ll also remind you that during times when headline risks seem to be swirling

around and markets are sensitive, it can be very hard to not put your finger on the

sell button. Please remember that stocks ultimately are about earnings, and

earnings are largely about economic strength. Is the market facing a significant

amount of headwinds? Yes, it is. But let’s also remember that the US Consumer and

Corporates are both much stronger than pre-COVID in terms of liquidity. As of

today, of the 350 companies of the S&P 500 that have reported so far (70% of the

S&P 500), overall results are beating estimates by a median of 7%. And 81% of those

reporting are beating earnings estimates. That doesn’t sound like a dying economy

to me.

Have a great week!