Broker Check
Weekly Market Insights: Rate Hike Talk Sinks Stocks

Weekly Market Insights: Rate Hike Talk Sinks Stocks

January 27, 2022
Share |

Stocks extended their January retreat as worries over inflation and rising bond yields continued to exert downward pressure on prices.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 4.58%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 sank 5.68%. The Nasdaq Composite index dropped 7.55% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, slipped 0.61%.1,2,3

Another Turbulent Week

After the holiday weekend, stocks found little respite from this month’s selling pressures. The week began with the 10-year Treasury yield hitting a two-year high that triggered a broad retreat in stocks, with technology and other high-growth companies bearing the brunt of the losses. The Nasdaq Composite officially entered correction territory and closed below its 200-day moving average for the first time since April 2020.4

Stocks struggled throughout the week, rallying in early trading on both Wednesday and Thursday on solid corporate earnings and stabilizing bond yields, only to end lower on late-day selling. While last year may have been distinguished by “buying on the dip,” this week reflected a different mindset, “selling on the rebound.” Stocks extended their losses in the final hours of the Friday trading session to conclude a difficult week.

Rate Hike Expectations Rise

Recent market volatility has stemmed predominantly from inflation concerns and how aggressive the Fed will be in fighting it. This reaction reflects the market's pricing of rate hike probabilities, and their estimation of the Fed's reaction.

Last week's interest rate futures suggested that investors expect four or five rate hikes this year, up from three to four the previous week. Markets are pricing a 32% probability of 4-5 rate hikes by December and a nearly 28% probability of 5-6 rate hikes by year-end. Of course, the Fed will act independently of the market, but it provides insight into the recent run-up in yields and continuing pressure on high-growth stock valuations.5,6