Volatility returned this week, with equity markets seeing the biggest single-day decline since May, with the S&P 500 down 1.7% on Monday, though at one point, it was down nearly 3% intraday. The market recovered throughout the week, with the S&P 500 ending the week up 0.52%.
The volatility stemmed from concerns over the ability of a massive Chinese real estate company, Evergrande, to meet its debt payments. With more than $300B in liabilities and reportedly missing a 9/23 due date for an $83M coupon payment (with 30 days to make the payment before being in technical default), fears of the problems spreading took hold early in the week. Hoping to calm things, the People’s Bank of China put over $70B of cash into the banking system.
The Fed effectively announced tapering is likely to begin later this year. The market suspected this, but the comments alluded it could begin following their next meeting in early November and could last through at least the first half of next year. The updated FOMC dot plot shows more members believe some rate hikes may be warranted in 2022, and nearly all members thinking 2023 will see additional hikes.