Quick Market Update - 1/19/22

The S&P is down 5.9% from its highs. My best guess is that we may have another 2%-5% to go with the pullback but, obviously, psychology can push that higher or lower. Generally speaking, I view the main reason for the correction in both stocks and bonds is related to markets digesting the more hawkish stance of the Federal Reserve. While the Fed telegraphed very well the path to ending their bond buying program, they also shifted to making it extremely likely that the first Fed rate hike will occur in March (rather than mid-year as most expected). At the same time, there has been conversation regarding the Fed selling some of their bond holdings to reduce their balance sheet - essentially doing Quantitative Tightening (the reverse of Quantitative Easing). I view the likely path of the Fed to be rational but the market always takes a little while to digest exactly what it all means going forward. The Fed was one of the Wildcards discussed in my 2022 Market Outlook (https://www.chesleytaft.com/post/2021-year-in-review-and-2022-market-outlook). Once the digestion is complete, the markets should stabilize (it could be tomorrow, over the next week or two as earnings season picks up or maybe through March when the Fed actually raises rates - it is hard to get the timing exactly right). In the end, I see no reason to change our call that 2022 will be a year of moderation compared to 2021 but that we can still make positive progress.