Markets Have Down Week As Escalation Continues in Russia/Ukraine War, Commodity Upside Spooking Markets
- The S&P 500 closed at 4,328.87 down from 4,384.65 last Friday. The VIX closed at $31.98 after peaking near $35 during trading Friday.
- Markets continue to process the economic implications of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Markets in Europe were particularly spooked as Russian forces shelled Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.
- Payroll numbers came in above expectations at 678,000; however, wages were pretty flat. Revisions added 92,000 jobs to the prior two months of gains.
- Commodity prices continue to be the main impact of the Ukraine invasion so far and we discuss some of the economic implications of the unfortunate Russian invasion of Ukraine.
We are now more than a week into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the escalation of sanctions against the belligerent country occurred faster than some predicted. This was the sixth straight week of weakness and the terrifying headlines of Ukraine surely are reasons for apprehension. Russia’s military appears to be having significant logistical problems. This mixed with a stolid and inspiring Ukrainian resistance has meant that Putin’s progress has been much slower, and costlier than many military analysts expected. We pointed out some of the issues that have emerged with his campaign earlier than most in our Signal From Noise last week. The southern town of Kherson fell, which is the first major urban center to fall. Kharkiv and Kyiv are still holding out, and Mauripol seems in trouble. Russian progress has been most quick on the Southern portion of the country. Markets have had a tough week but are up significantly from their February lows. The glass may be more half-full than you think.
However, as we’ve stated the way markets process these events is often markedly different than the way we experience them. Despite the choppiness and down-days over the week Mark Newton, Our Head of Technical Strategy has actually been positively surprised at how well the market has held up. He sees a breach to the downside of 4,279 as likely portending a re-test of February lows while a move past 4,417 should lead to a further move up.
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