Global stocks moved lower this week amid the intensifying conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is sparking investor worries about supply shortages, sending commodities surging. WTI Crude Oil is now trading around $112 per barrel, up over 20% in the last week. In addition to geopolitical concerns, investors also focused on Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s semiannual testimony on monetary policy. In prepared comments, Powell said: “We will use our policy tools as appropriate to prevent higher inflation from becoming entrenched while promoting a sustainable expansion and a strong labor market. We have phased out our net asset purchases. With inflation well above two percent and a strong labor market, we expect it will be appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate at our meeting later this month.”
In economic data, ADP reported companies added 475,000 jobs in February, better than the estimate for 320,000 new positions. The ADP Employment report is calculated monthly as a precursor to the nonfarm payrolls from the Labor Department. That report is due out Friday and calls for a consensus of 390,000 new jobs for February, with the unemployment rate expected to fall from 4.0% to 3.9%. In bonds, interest rates moved lower over the last week, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury note trading around 1.83% mid-week.
Source: GSAM, Daily Upside, JPM, FactSet
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