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Arguably one of the biggest fears that has gripped the markets over the last few months has been the potential for the Fed to begin raising interest rates. With inflation running high and the economy streaming back to life, that reality is getting closer. This week, traders finally got some confirmation on when that may happen. The Federal Reserve signaled that it will begin raising rates sometime in 2023, and while that’s still awhile away, traders reacted negatively to the news that easy money may come to an end.
Likewise, economic data this week painted a less-than-bullish picture for the U.S. economy. Metrics such as consumer sales, manufacturing and key housing data all came in less than expected. This was in contrast to a spike in other inflation-related data, putting traders on notice about the state of the economy.
As for corporate actions this week, a lack of news and earnings reports kept stocks from hitting new highs and failed to lift traders’ spirits. A lack of progress on the massive infrastructure bill didn’t help either.
All in all, the Federal Reserve and its potential to lift rates managed to affect investors’ motivations this week and kept a tight lid on the broader indices. The summer doldrums are certainly here.
Be sure to check out our previous Wrap here, when positive economic data lifted stocks over the week.