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Investing Economy Newsletter

The Stock Market is Confused

  • 1-min read

The labor market is still tighter than Miles Teller’s abs.

Fezco from Euphoria saying "You're confused? I am fucking confused bro" and the image is used in context of a confused stock market amid inflation and interest rate hikes
HBO / Tenor

This week, stocks have seemingly traded up on bad news, down on good news, and it’s just … confusing.

Here’s what happened last week. The yield curve has inverted (again), a harbinger of recession. Oil prices are coming down from insane highs over fears of recession. The U.S. housing market is cooling off. Unemployment claims rose by 4,000 over the previous week—maybe a sign of a cooling labor market—but the economy added a more-than-expected 372,000 jobs in June, which means the labor market is still tighter than Miles Teller’s abs.

Taken together, you’d think looming fears of recession would send stocks downward, right?

Not always. It looks like investors are confused. It’s not uncommon to see stocks trade slightly up and slightly down—but mostly sideways—for periods of time during a bear market. We could see a clearer trajectory after commodity prices stabilize and investors gain clarity on the Fed’s plans.

Looking ahead: Investors are now betting the Federal Reserve will remain unrelenting in its effort to tame inflation, which could spell more economic pain ahead: Investors have now priced in a 96% probability of a 75-bp rate hike in July, compared to an 86% probability a day before, per CME Group