Most US stocks were lower again last week as the Russian war in Ukraine ground on. Once again, energy was the only sector in the S&P 500 to finish higher on the week. Interestingly, European stocks fared somewhat better in the latter half of last week, rebounding significantly after reaching YTD lows on Tuesday. Emerging market benchmarks were dragged lower by weakness in Chinese equities, which closed at 4+ year lows on Friday.
The selloff in bonds continued as investors lost hope that a silver lining of the war in Ukraine might be a less hawkish Fed. 2y Treasury yields rose 27bp, 10y yield gained 26bp to a fresh pandemic high of 1.99%, and 30y yields rose 19bp. After expectations for 2022 rate hikes fell in the days following the invasion, Fed Funds Futures markets are now pricing in a total of seven 25bp hikes by year end. See the Chart of the Week for a time series of 2022 rate hike expectations.
Last week brought some welcome relief in commodity prices, particularly oil which eased lower despite a US ban on Russian oil imports.
In economic news, the University of Michigan consumer sentiment gauge weakened in preliminary March data, with 1y forward inflation expectations rising to +5.4% while longer term (5-10y) expectations remains anchored at +3.0%.
Meanwhile, CPI data showed strong price gains in February:
* Headline CPI rose 0.8% sequentially to reach +7.9% y/y
* Core CPI (ex food and energy) rose 0.5% sequentially to +6.4% y/y