A comprehensive sell-off on Friday following comments by Fed Chair Jerome Powell drove stocks to losses for the week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 4.22%, while the Standard & Poor's 500 dropped 4.04%. The Nasdaq Composite index fell 4.44% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, lost 1.10%.1,2,3
Stocks dropped on Friday following Powell's remarks reiterating the Fed's inflation-fighting resolve. While his comments did not break new ground, markets reacted severely, perhaps on worries that interest rate hikes may continue into next year.
After starting the week sharply lower on renewed rising interest rates and economic slowdown fears, markets staged a modest turnaround beginning mid-week. Stocks rallied on Thursday, sparked by a revised Gross Domestic Product estimate showing the economy's shrinking less than initially estimated. Thursday's rally also got a boost from regional Federal Reserve Bank presidents, who suggested future rate hikes may be in line with market expectations.
Powell at Jackson Hole
In his much-anticipated speech at the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium, Powell unflinchingly reaffirmed the Fed's commitment to raising rates to lower inflation, even if it results in causing pain to individuals and businesses.
Wall Street focused on Powell's presentation in the hope it might provide greater clarity on future Fed direction, though his remarks ultimately went no further than restating past communications. Powell commented, "We are moving our policy stance purposefully to a level that will be sufficiently restrictive to return inflation to two percent." This statement may have put to rest any thoughts that the Fed would soon pivot on rate hikes.4
This Week: Key Economic Data
Tuesday: Consumer Confidence. Job Openings and Turnover Survey (JOLTS).
Wednesday: Automated Data Processing (ADP) Employment Report.
Thursday: Jobless Claims. Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Manufacturing Index.
Friday: Employment Situation. Factory Orders.
Source: Econoday, August 26, 2022
This Week: Companies Reporting Earnings
Tuesday: Best Buy Co., Inc. (BBY), HP, Inc. (HPQ).
Thursday: Broadcom, Inc. (AVGO), Hormel Foods Corporation (HRL).
Source: Zacks, August 26, 2022
How to Check the Status of Your Federal Tax Refund
Filing taxes has become more seamless in recent years due to e-filing. It's also easy to check the status of your refund if you anticipate one. The IRS has a tool called Where's My Refund? where taxpayers can check the status of their refund within 24 hours of the IRS acknowledging the taxpayer's e-filed return. You can also see a personalized refund date after the return is processed.
You can access the tool online on the IRS website or via their app. You will see three phases: return received, refund approved, and refund sent. The IRS recommends setting up direct deposit to receive your refund even faster. They update the tool once a day.
* This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific, individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.
Tip adapted from IRS.gov5
What can run but never walks, has a mouth but never eats, has a head but never thinks, and has a bed but never sleeps?
Last week’s riddle: I am in the center of gravity, and part of every victory. I am clearly seen in the midst of a river. I could name three who are in love with me and have three associates in vice. What am I? Riddle answer: The letter "V."
Footnotes and Sources
2. The Wall Street Journal, August 26, 2022
3. The Wall Street Journal, August 26, 2022
4. The Wall Street Journal, August 26, 2022
5. IRS.gov, April 19, 2022
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Weekly Market Insights: Powell comments spur sell-off on Wall Street
August 29, 2022