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Over the last several weeks, the risk of an economic downturn in the United States has increased with inflation continuing higher, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine triggering unprecedented sanctions, and the Fed beginning its rate hiking cycle. While inflation and the anticipation of rising rates have been driving markets for several months, the invasion of Ukraine in February and the resultant economic sanctions on Russia have added a new dynamic to the equation, driving up commodity inflation and making the Fed’s job of controlling pricing pressures without triggering an economic slowdown even trickier. With many U.S. stock indices dipping into correction territory this year, every new data point and indicator will be heavily scrutinized.
In this newsletter we examine these dynamics and try to provide perspective as it relates to the current market environment.
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