Read the highlights of this week’s commentary from Helios:
- Global stocks and bonds declined due to concerns that the conflict between Israel and Hamas might escalate into a broader Middle East confrontation and the potential impact on oil prices.
- Recent stock market swings have been driven by geopolitical concerns, rising Treasury yields, and sustained high-interest rates. A pattern in the VIX suggests traders expect more short-term market volatility.
- Two-year Treasury yields rose to a 17-year high of 5.19% in response to an unexpected rise in September retail sales, fueling predictions that the Federal Reserve may hike interest rates again before the end of the year.
- Consumer spending remains strong, challenging economists’ projections of a downturn due to pandemic-related savings being used up.
- U.S. existing home sales fell to the lowest level since 2010 last month, marking a nearly 19% decline year-over-year. Housing affordability, as measured by the National Association of Realtors, fell to its lowest since records began in 1989.