Last week was brutal for retailers as major earnings announcements showed how they have been hit very hard by huge cost increases. Wal-Mart started the week off shocking the market with its very weak earnings outlook and then there was Target.
Its stock price got absolutely crushed in the wake of its results being released.
There’s no question now that the Federal Reserve is in full hawkish mode. The release last week of the minutes of the previous FOMC meeting left no doubt that they are on an aggressive path to squelch inflation through demand destruction and tightening financial conditions.
The Fed finally raised short-term interest rates last week. The market is expecting a very fast and steep rate hike cycle as this chart shows. This is a far cry from Powell reiterating that the Fed wouldn’t raise rates until the end of 2023 at the earliest.
Investors are always asking the question what inning are we in when it comes to where we are in a particular cycle. It’s a pertinent question related to housing as it has had a tremendous run in terms of home price appreciation, equity build-up among homeowners, and tremendous profits for builders and investors.
The Fed blinked and acknowledged that inflation may not be transitory. When combined with its perception that the labor market is on the way to being healed, Jerome Powell has moved up the Fed’s estimate of the first rate hike by more than a year.
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