Weakness in housing continued this week but is not necessarily indicative of a significant reduction in demand. Pending home sales dropped by 4.1% in February from January. All regions were down outside of the Northeast.
Last Wednesday China made comments that it intends to keep capital markets stable and support overseas listings. It was deemed to be similar in nature to European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s “Whatever it takes” speech that ended the euro crisis a decade ago.
In an unsurprising move, the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee voted to increase the federal funds rate by 0.25% to a range of 0.25-0.50%. The widely signaled moved is the start of an increase cycle.
Equities continued to face pressure with most major indices posting a new closing low this week. The downside was muted by a sharp rally on Wednesday that left most domestic indices down 2-4% on the week.
Russia-Ukraine war news dominated headlines this week contributing to market fluctuations. The S&P 500 is up 3.85% this week after sharp moves down last week. The largest contributor to performance was a 7.97% increase in the Energy sector.