The road has been bumpy all week. The nervousness continues. And the volatility continues. It is corporate reporting season and the surprises have been many. We know perfectly well that we are in a transition process. Cheap money’s days are numbered. And we are entering a new era of a little less cheap money. Consequently, asset prices must adjust to the new reality. Markets are rediscovering prices. These are not pessimistic times. But these are not times of optimism either. We are somewhere in between. It could be said that what dominates is skepticism and caution.
We still don’t have a consensus on what’s going on. Without a doubt, the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England are preparing to raise rates. Bond buying is coming to an end. Of course inflation is too high. But employment continues to grow. In fact, the economy is not all bad. Because, well, the recovery measures worked. No one expects a recession this year. So the outlook for a bearish cycle in the markets is called into question. This mixed environment translates into volatility.
Ironically, many of the corporate reports for the last quarter of last year fell short of expectations. Apparently, the end of the year was a disappointment in more ways than one. Facebook (NASDAQ:) (now Meta) was queen of the downcasts this week. But there is more. PayPal (NASDAQ:) was not far behind. Rather, this has not been the best week for FAANGM stocks, the financial sector and others.
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