Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through January 29th

US stocks rallied to finish one of their most tumultuous weeks in memory. The S&P 500 gained 0.8% while the Dow was up 1.3% for the week. Positive corporate earnings helped US stocks rally late in the week. Foreign markets saw a decline with the FTSE All World Ex US ending the week down 3.61%. Tensions between Russia and Ukraine continue to push foreign markets lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury was relatively flat ending the week at 1.78%.

Rising inflation and the spread of the Omicron variant dented U.S. household spending in December.

Federal Reserve signaled that it would begin steadily raising interest rates in mid-March, its latest move toward removing stimulus to bring down inflation.

U.S. economy grew rapidly in the fourth quarter, advancing to a 6.9% annual rate and capping the strongest year of growth in nearly four decades. But the economy recently has run into obstacles that could lead to more modest expansion this year, economists said.

NATO allies are bolstering the alliance’s eastern flank in response to Russia’s military buildup around Ukraine, as the EU set out plans for loans and grants for Kyiv worth more than $1.3 billion and the Pentagon ordered thousands of troops to prepare for possible deployment.

The U.S. is prepared to impose export controls on critical sectors of the Russian economy if Putin invades Ukraine, and is working to soften market shocks if Russia withholds energy supplies in retaliation, officials said.

Imbalances in the Chinese economy have worsened and delayed China’s transition to consumption-led growth, the IMF said.

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