The Profit Margin: January 18, 2022
Statistic of the Week
“At home” food prices are up about 6.5% over the past twelve month, and meat prices are up even more. Some are blaming a lack of competition in the meat packing industry. In 1977, the largest four meat packing firms controlled 25% of the market. Today, that figure stands at 82%.
Ireland is paying approximately 2,000 artists a basic income to help them recover from the pandemic. The suggested pay is approximately $10.85/hour and will last for three years. It is estimated that artists in the country were hit five times harder than the rest of the economy.
Market Moving Events
Monday: US Markets Closed Tuesday: Empire State Manufacturing Wednesday: Building Permits, Housing Starts Thursday: Jobless Claims, Existing Home Sales Friday: Leading Economic Indicators
Markets were turbulent last week as investors digested inflation news, corporate earnings events, Fed Chair Powell’s Senate confirmation hearing, and a slew of Federal Reserve governors making scheduled public comments. Despite a strong afternoon rally on Friday, all three major domestic averages finished the week in the red. The Nasdaq faired the best on the week, dropping only -0.28%.1 However, in the still young year, it is the worst performing index by a significant margin, down -4.80%.2 The S&P 500 dipped -0.30% for the week, while the DJIA retreated -0.88%.3 Treasury yields were volatile throughout the week. Yet, the 10-year Treasury yield was ultimately unchanged by Friday’s close, finishing at 1.77%.4 Consumer prices rose at an annualized rate of 7.0% in December, the highest reading since 1982.5 This is prompting some to recall the “misery index,” a reading of inflation plus the unemployment rate.6 The index is in double digits and is currently slightly more tolerable because of tight labor market conditions (low unemployment). While market participants are placing a 60% probability of four rate hikes in 20227 (a 7% CPI reading will cause that), a weaker-than-expected retail sales figure (chart right) coupled with a higher-than-expected initial jobless claims reading last week make for a murky milieu for the Fed. This week’s action is likely to be dominated by a series of key earnings reports. – Dan McElwee, CFP, ® MBA
Chart of the Week
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Statistic of the Week:
Yahoo Finance, Bloomberg Opinion
World Economic Forum, Ernst and Young
Market Moving Events:
Chart of the Week:
Haver, Clearnomics, Census Bureau
Commentary:1.Bloomberg2.Bloomberg3.Bloomberg4.Bloomberg5. Investor’s Business Daily6. Barron’s7. Barron’s