Weekly Market Performance – Markets Finish Mixed Amid Geopolitical and Inflation Worries

Weekly Market Performance – Markets Finish Mixed Amid Geopolitical and Inflation Worries

March 25, 2022

Index Performance

View enlarged chart.

U.S. and International Equities

Markets Finish Mixed

This week, the markets ended mixed. The Russia-Ukraine conflict and its effects on inflation had added to existing monetary policy uncertainty giving market participants pause during the last two months. This week, traders added risk to portfolios in mostly large U.S. company names amid pockets of increasingly attractive equity valuations and oversold conditions.

Energy, which was last week’s laggard, continued its leadership among sectors this week.  This sector has dominated all S&P 500 Index sector returns year to date on the back of higher oil prices.  The Materials and Utilities sectors had strong showings this week, as these sectors appear to be inflation-resistant to some traders.

Fixed Income Lower

The Bloomberg Aggregate Bond Index finished lower and continuing its downward trend in 2022. High-yield corporate bonds, as tracked by the Bloomberg High Yield index, fared no better as traders continue to weigh the effects of inflation on fixed income even as high yield bonds are showing somewhat stretched spreads versus treasuries.

Commodities higher

After pulling back for two straight weeks, crude oil continued its trek higher on the back of supply concerns amid the geopolitical landscape in Eastern Europe. In addition, natural gas prices rallied double-digits this week. Additionally, the major metals, gold and silver, finished the week higher as traders bid commodities higher on inflation worries.

Economic Weekly Roundup

Durable Goods Decline

U.S. factory orders for durable goods dropped more than economists expected in February. This breaks a five month long streak of increases. Bookings for all durable goods declined over 2%, with economists expecting only a fractional drop in orders. Shipments of capital goods excluding aircraft and defense rose 0.5 percent, indicating that business investment will likely add to GDP growth this quarter.

Home Sales Soft 

U.S. new home sales declined in February. This represents a second straight month of decline, suggesting that relatively high prices and rising mortgage rates could be keeping prospective buyers away from the market.  This being said, the median sales price of a new home increased over 10% in February from a year earlier to over $400,000.

Jobless Claims Better than Expected

Initial claims for unemployment insurance for the week ending March 19 came in below last weeks’ total as well as below economists’ expectations. In addition, continuing claims declined from the prior week, this was below economists’ estimates as well. The data continues to illustrate a tight labor market that is unlikely to dissuade the Fed from focusing on the inflation side of its mandate in the rest of 2022.

Week Ahead

The following economic data is slated to be released during the week ahead:

  • Monday: February wholesale inventories,
  • Tuesday: Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) job openings, January Federal Housing Finance Agency Home Price Index, S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index, March consumer confidence
  • Wednesday: March ADP employment survey, Q4 GDP (revised)
  • Thursday: Weekly initial and continuing unemployment claims, February personal consumption expenditure and personal income
  • Friday: March employment report, March Markit and Institute for Supply Management PMI manufacturing, February construction spending,



This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no assurance that the views or strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. Any economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and are subject to change.

References to markets, asset classes, and sectors are generally regarding the corresponding market index. Indexes are unmanaged statistical composites and cannot be invested into directly. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment and do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All market and index data comes from FactSet and MarketWatch.

Any company names noted herein are for educational purposes only and not an indication of trading intent or a solicitation of their products or services. LPL Financial doesn’t provide research on individual equities. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

U.S. Treasuries may be considered “safe haven” investments but do carry some degree of risk including interest rate, credit, and market risk. Bonds are subject to market and interest rate risk if sold prior to maturity. Bond values will decline as interest rates rise and bonds are subject to availability and change in price.

For a list of descriptions of the indexes referenced in this publication, please visit our website at lplresearch.com/definitions.

This Research material was prepared by LPL Financial LLC.

Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial (LPL), a registered investment advisor and broker-dealer (member FINRA/SIPC).

Insurance products are offered through LPL or its licensed affiliates. To the extent you are receiving investment advice from a separately registered independent investment advisor that is not an LPL affiliate, please note LPL makes no representation with respect to such entity.

  • Not Insured by FDIC/NCUA or Any Other Government Agency
  • Not Bank/Credit Union Guaranteed
  • Not Bank/Credit Union Deposits or Obligations
  • May Lose Value

For Public Use – Tracking #1-05260912