Article by Sam Sweitzer
The stock market kicked off the fourth quarter with a powerful rally in October and added to those gains into November until investors were blindsided by news of the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, and testimony by Fed Chair Jerome Powell that escalating inflation and an improving labor market warranted consideration of an acceleration of its bond purchase tapering plans.
Markets, as a rule, do not like surprises and uncertainty and the combination of a new variant and a suddenly more hawkish Fed sent stocks into a skid that largely erased the November’s accumulated gains. Market reaction to the Omicron news was exacerbated by when the news hit – on Black Friday, a day that typically provides less liquidity since many investors and trades are on holiday.
Periodically, we combine the latest information about the economy as well as updates from our office at Anson Analytics.