Hello and welcome to this week’s Jones Financial Blog! Our goal at Jones & Associates is to help keep you up to date with interesting current economic/market happenings as well as some proprietary portfolio happenings. Knowledge is power and thought we would share some of ours with you. Enjoy!
All data is for the week ended March 11, 2022.
The equities markets in the US were down, with the S&P 500 declining 2.84%, the Russell 2000 dropping 1.03% and the NASDAQ down 3.51%. Overseas, the developed markets (MSCI EAFE) increased 0.57% while the emerging markets (MSCI EM) dropped 5.07%. Within the US, the best performing sectors were energy and utilities while consumer staples and technology were the biggest laggards.By style, value outperformed growth and small caps outperformed large caps (1).
Interest rates rose and bond values fell, with the yields on 2-year, 10-year and 30-year treasuries rising by 25 basis points, 26 basis points and 20 basis points, respectively. That resulted in a 2.00% rate for 10-years, which is down from 2.64% at this time in 2019. (1)
The price of West Texas crude fell 5.49% last week to $109.33 per barrel. (2) One of the largest suppliers in OPEC, the UAE, said that it favors productions increases and will be encouraging OPEC to consider higher production levels. This comes as Ukraine’s president said he’s prepared for certain compromises with Russia, which could result in more Russian oil available to the West. (3)
Inflation- the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 7.9% on a year-over year basis. Core CPI – which excludes volatile food and energy items—rose 6.4% year-over-year. Fuel oil and Used cars & trucks led the increases with 43.6% and 41.2% price hikes over the last year. (4)
The consumer sentiment index fell to 59.7 in the early weeks of March, its lowest level since 2011 and a nearly 3 point decline from February’s final reading. The survey is heavily influenced by recent trends in the stock markets together with high fuel prices, rising interest rates and the crisis in Ukraine. (5)
Proprietary portfolio happenings:
Company News (6)
G40i holdings Iberdrola SA (IBDRY), a utility based in Spain, Allianz SE (ALIZY) and Munich Re (MURGY), insurance companies based in Germany, rose 8.88%, 6.94% and 6.93%, respectively last week. Gains can be attributed to a general alleviation of fear around western Europe as the prospects improved for a truce in Ukraine.
Travel & Leisure Co. (TNL), a Core Select and Contrarian Choice holding, rose 4.43% last week following the board’s announcement of another increase to their dividend, bringing the total increase to 33% over the past year. The increase is attributed to the strength management is seeing in their travel business. (7)
Did You Know? Every “c’ in Pacific Ocean is pronounced differently.
(6) All weekly changes in company stock prices: Yahoo Finance