Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through March 19th

U.S. stocks notched their best week since November 2020. The S&P 500 gained 6.2% and the Dow rose 5.5% for the week. Foreign markets also posted strong gains, with the FTSE All World Ex US up 0.7% for the week. The 10-year Treasury yield increased to 2.15% from 2% the week prior. US crude ended the week at $104.70 down from $109.33 the week prior.

The Fed increased the federal-funds rate, for the first time since 2018, by 0.25% to a target range between 0.25% and 0.50%. The Fed signaled the likelihood of raising rates up to six more times this year in an escalating effort to slow inflation.

Americans increased retail spending in February. Spending showed signs of slowing from the pace set at the start of the year.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage rose above 4% for the first time since 2019. Existing-home sales declined 7.2% in February as rising mortgage-interest rates increased borrowing costs.

For the third time in as many policy meetings, the Bank of England raised its key interest rate to 0.75% from 0.50%.

Surging Covid-19 cases have led to lockdowns in Chinese manufacturing hubs Shenzhen and Changchun, halting production at many electronics and auto plants which could add additional stress to supply chains.

Ukraine’s president met with the U.S. Congress to ask for further military assistance, new sanctions, and accelerate shipments of weapons.

There is no guarantee that any investment strategy, including those described here, will be successful. Any investment or investment strategy can lose money. Past performance does not guarantee or predict future results. You should not assume that any discussion or information contained herein serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Raffa Wealth Management, LLC. This information was gathered from reliable sources, but we cannot guarantee accuracy. Indexes do not reflect the fees associated with actual investments and such fees would reduce the performance illustrated. Source: FMG Suite, LLC.
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