With inflationary pressures running higher than many central bankers are comfortable with, calls for interest rate hikes have become louder. A number of important central bank meetings are set to take place in March including the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, Bank of Canada, Bank of England, and the Reserve Bank of Australia, to name a few. As such, March could be an important month for monetary policy shifts.
High inflation continues to cloud the economic outlook while its impact on the potential path of rate hikes has left markets unsettled. Inflation is a serious topic, but occasionally it’s useful to revisit it from a lighter perspective. Today is Valentine’s Day, and as we do every year, LPL Research takes a look at changing prices from the perspective of some popular ways to celebrate the day with our annual Valentine’s Day Index. Do you want to know what you might be paying this year for a night in, a night out, a special piece of jewelry, or even a vacation? LPL Research has you covered. Today is Valentine’s Day, a day when many celebrate romance, although the scope of the day has expanded to friendship and even just simple holiday fun. According to the National Retail Federation, Valentine’s Day ranks fourth in holiday spending, with average spending over the last three years well north of $150 per person. For those wondering what the holiday might cost compared to last year during this stretch of elevated inflation, LPL Research’s Valentine’s Day Inflation Index is the answer.
Corporate America has capped off an outstanding 2021 with an excellent fourth quarter earnings season so far. Entering 2021, the consensus estimate for S&P 500 Index earnings per share (EPS) was less than $170. Now with fourth quarter results mostly in the books, that number is 22% higher at $208. Here we recap another solid fourth quarter earnings season and discuss what the results could mean for earnings growth and stock market performance in 2022.
The near-10% correction in the S&P 500 Index and even larger drawdown in the Nasdaq have gotten a lot of attention this year. What hasn’t gotten as much attention—and maybe surprising to some—is the relative resilience in equity markets outside the U.S. In our special Winter Olympics edition of the Weekly Market Commentary, we hand out medals to the U.S., developed international, and emerging markets. Who do we think will get the gold? Read on to find out.
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