‘Strange week’ filled with conflicting signals in financial markets begins to wind down

It’s been a head-scratching week in various asset classes — one that left investors and traders coming away with different conclusions about what lies ahead after data released showed US inflation easing more than forecasters expected. Some are describing the stock market as “euphoric” about the possibility that the worst of inflation is behind. Major … Read more

Financial market’s best inflation traders missed the downside surprises. Now they’re lowering 2022 expectations.

Inflation has been nothing but full of surprises — remaining persistently hot for the past year when professional forecasters expected it to fade, then turning even lower than broadly expected for July. The consumer-price index report for last month, released on Wednesday, surprised to the downside — with an 8.5% annual headline rate below the … Read more

Stock-market investors cheer July inflation data. Big-name firms like PIMCO aren’t so sure.

Wednesday’s release of the consumer-price index report for July contained enough downside surprises to give stock investors hope that the worst of inflation may be behind. Yet an undercurrent of worry remained at big-name firms like PIMCO, where the focus was on stickier components of the data that may only get worse. According to PIMCO … Read more

Consumers are pessimistic about inflation and the economy, sentiment poll shows

The numbers: A survey of consumer sentiment posted a final reading of 51.5 at the end of July, up slightly from earlier in the month but still near the lowest level on record. Americans are very worried about inflation and trying to cut expenses. The survey initially produced a 51.1 reading earlier in the month. … Read more

US economy shrinks in the second quarter, GDP shows, and invites talk of recession

The numbers: The US economy shrank at an annual 0.9% pace in the second quarter to mark the second decline in a row, intensifying a debate over whether the US has already sunk into a recession. Gross domestic product, the scorecard of sorts for the economy, had shrunk at a 1.6% pace in the first … Read more

Here’s the threat to markets if investors ignore ‘nontrivial’ stagflation risk

Financial market participants completely missed the non-transitory nature of inflation over the past year, failing in what one portfolio manager describes as “spectacular fashion.” Now, as investors and traders worry about the prospects of a US or global recession, they’re staying tuned to profit warnings like the one from Walmart Inc., which demonstrate that inflation … Read more

Opinion: Semiconductors are too important for our economy and security to let partisan spats in Congress derail popular legislation

One of the biggest supply-chain challenges we face today is getting more semiconductors, which are essential to products like automobiles, computers, solar panels and weapons systems. Despite this challenge, it has been almost two years since Congress first passed the CHIPS Act—by wide bipartisan margins. Now, it is time to get this essential legislation over … Read more

‘The good, the bad and the ugly’: here’s how the market might react to the latest US inflation data

Expectations for US inflation have fallen over the past month thanks largely to the drop in industrial and agricultural commodity prices. This trend has shown up in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Survey of Consumer Expectations, which saw expectations for inflation both three years and five years from now both decline in June. … Read more

Small businesses haven’t been this pessimistic about the economy in 48 years

Small-business owners have never been more pessimistic about the future of the economy — no thanks to high inflation and talk of recession. The share of small firms that expect business conditions to improve in the next six months fell in June to the lowest level on record, the National Federation of Independent Business said … Read more