Close Close
Popular Financial Topics Discover relevant content from across the suite of ALM legal publications From the Industry More content from ThinkAdvisor and select sponsors Investment Advisor Issue Gallery Read digital editions of Investment Advisor Magazine Tax Facts Get clear, current, and reliable answers to pressing tax questions
Luminaries Awards
Bloomberg chart showing rising stock prices on Nov. 20, 2022

Portfolio > Economy & Markets

Stocks Skyrocket on Inflation Relief Rally

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

Stocks surged in a buy-everything relief rally after slower-than-projected price growth spurred bets the Federal Reserve can downshift its aggressive rate-hike path.

The S&P 500 climbed 5.5% for the best first-day reaction to a CPI report since at least 2003 when records began. About 96% of stocks in the benchmark were in the green, the broadest advance since Oct. 4, according to Bloomberg data. The rally caught short-sellers wrong-footed, helping spur the outsized gains.

Crypto markets stabilized despite the turmoil surrounding crypto exchange FTX.

Headline inflation came in at 7.7%, the lowest since January, before Russia’s war in Ukraine pushed up commodity prices. More important for the Fed, the core measure that excludes food and energy slowed more than anticipated.

Thursday’s intense rally only partially clawed back steep losses this year for risk assets hammered by Fed’s tightening. The S&P 500 is still down 17% in 2022 and the Nasdaq 100 is off nearly 30%, with both headed for their worst years since 2008.

Most-shorted stocks post the biggest rally since April 2020

Treasuries soared across the board, sending the rate on two-year notes, more sensitive to monetary policy, down 28 basis points. Rates traders pared bets on Fed hikes, with swaps indicating now that a 50-basis-point increase in December is far more likely than a 75-basis-point move.

“The first downside surprise in inflation in several months will inevitably be received by an equity market ovation,” Seema Shah, chief global strategist at Principal Asset Management, wrote. “A 0.5% hike, rather than 0.75%, in December is clearly on the cards but, until we have had a run of these types of CPI reports, a pause is still some way out.”

reasury yields dive after CPI shows inflation slowing

Fed officials appeared to back a downshift in rate hikes after a stretch of four jumbo-sized increases. They also stressed the need for policy to remain tight.

Dallas Fed President Lorie Logan said it may soon be appropriated to slow the pace to better assess economic conditions. San Francisco’s Mary Daly said the moderation was “good news,” but noted “one month of data does not a victory make.” She also said “pausing is not the discussion, the discussion is stepping down.”

Swaps markets pulled back bets on a peak rate to slightly less than 4.9% in the first half of next year, from more 5% before the CPI data.

More Reactions

Rick Rieder, chief investment officer of global fixed income at BlackRock Financial Management Inc.: “Today’s CPI report showed some moderate improvement as some of the previously elevated excessively high inflation-drivers, such as used cars, started to decline at a faster pace.”

Michael Landsberg, chief investment officer, Landsberg Bennett Private Wealth Management “We are preparing for an environment where interest rates remain higher for longer. Investors should be more concerned with the effect that rising rates into a decelerating economy has on their portfolio values rather than the current level of inflation.”

Max Gokhman, chief investment officer for AlphaTrAI: “We expected that there would be deceleration of core goods prices, but seeing services slump too was a bigger bonus than any banker will get this year. That said, this won’t budge the Fed to rethink a 50bp hike in December, so traders curb their initial enthusiasm.”

Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote Bank: “Hallelujah! We finally saw a strong beat in terms of inflation in the US. Both the headline and the core figures came lower than expected. And that helped softening the hawkish Fed expectations, pull the US dollar and the yields lower. The soft inflation has been a puff of fresh air for the entire market.”

Guillermo Hernandez Sampere, head of trading at asset manager MPPM GmbH: “Pivot Party to start right now, short squeeze will ignite the rally. If the remaining cash comes to work we’ve seen the lows for a while.”

James Athey, investment director at Aberdeen Asset Management: “Equities will love this and are likely to pick up the baton and keep running. Of course that may make the Fed uncomfortable at this early stage in the disinflation process and so watch out for Fedspeak if equities get too frothy.”

Update on Upticks

Some of the main moves in markets Thursday include the following:

  • The S&P 500 rose 5.5% as of 4:00 p.m. New York time
  • The Nasdaq 100 rose 7.5%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 3.7%
  • The MSCI World index rose 4.5%
  • Bitcoin rose 10% to $18,080.76

This story was produced with the assistance of Bloomberg Automation.

(Image: Bloomberg)

Copyright 2022 Bloomberg. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.