The Numbers & “Heat Map”

THE NUMBERS

The Sources: Index Returns: Morningstar Workstation. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Three, five and ten year returns are annualized. Interest Rates: Federal Reserve, Mortgage Bankers Association.

MARKET HEAT MAP
The health of the economy is a key driver of long-term returns in the stock market. Below, we assess the key economic conditions that we believe are of particular importance to investors.

US ECONOMY

CONSUMER HEALTH

NEUTRAL

Real GDP for Q2 2022 decreased at an annual rate of 0.6% (up from the first estimate of -0.9%) marking the second consecutive quarter of declining GDP. The second estimate for Q3 2022 shows Real GDP to have increased by an annual rate of 2.9%, up from the previous advance estimate that reported a 2.6% gain.

CORPORATE EARNINGS

NEUTRAL

The estimated growth rate for Q3 2022 is 2.2%, which was adjusted upwards from 2.2% last week. So far, with 99% of S&P500 companies reporting actual results, 70% of them reported a positive EPS surprise and 71% beat revenue expectations.

EMPLOYMENT

NEUTRAL

U.S. Nonfarm Payrolls for November 2022 increased by 263,000 and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.7%. Wages have risen more than expected at a rate of 5.1% YoY. Service sectors contributed the most to the increase in jobs while industries that are sensitive torising rates, such as construction and manufacturing, have started to level off.

INFLATION

NEGATIVE

The annual inflation rate in the U.S. increased by 7.7% for October 2022 compared to the expected 7.9% — showing some signs of deceleration. Core CPI was also reported below expectations at 6.3% versus the estimated 6.5%. Shelter, food, and gasoline remain the main contributors to elevated inflation.

FISCAL POLICY

NEUTRAL

Senator Manchin and Majority Leader Schumer reached an agreement on the latest tax and energy bill with incentives for green energy, electric cars, and conversely oil & gas companies for exploration. No changes in private equity taxes or higher tax rates for the very wealthy were enacted. The bill has been officially passed by the Senate. President Biden announced student loan forgiveness of up to $20,000 subject to income limitations.

MONETARY POLICY

NEGATIVE

The Fed approved a fourth consecutive 75 bps hike earlier this month which took its target range to 3.75%-4.00% – the highest it has been since 2008. The Fed hinted at potentially reducing the magnitude of future rate increases from 75 to 50 bps but also mentioned the possibility of a new higher target range closer to 5%.

GLOBAL CONSIDERATIONS

GEOPOLITICAL RISKS

NEGATIVE

Russia held controversial referendums for the annexation of four Ukrainian regions and the Russian Parliament unanimously recognized these regions as part of Russia. Ukraine and Western countries have condemned these actions by Russia by declaring them illegitimate and illegal. Additional sanctions are being imposed on Russia by many countries.

ECONOMIC RISKS

NEGATIVE

COVID-19 lockdowns in China are easing which should help the global supply chain recover. On the other hand, the Russian-Ukraine war does not show signs of abating. Gas supplies from Russia to Europe have decreased by 88% over the past year and EU countries have agreed to cut gas usage by 15% as gas prices have more than doubled. The U.S. is now dealing with a major diesel shortage with national reserves at their lowest levels since 1951 and a ban on Russian products that willintensify the issue.

The “Heat Map” is a subjective analysis based upon metrics that VNFA’s investment committee believes are important to financial markets and the economy. The “Heat Map” is designed for informational purposes only and is not intended for use as a basis for investment decisions.

The Numbers & “Heat Map”

THE NUMBERS

The Sources: Index Returns: Morningstar Workstation. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Three, five and ten year returns are annualized. Interest Rates: Federal Reserve, Mortgage Bankers Association.

MARKET HEAT MAP
The health of the economy is a key driver of long-term returns in the stock market. Below, we assess the key economic conditions that we believe are of particular importance to investors.

US ECONOMY

CONSUMER HEALTH

NEUTRAL

Real GDP for Q2 2022 decreased at an annual rate of 0.6% (up from the first estimate of -0.9%) marking the second consecutive quarter of declining GDP. The advance estimate for Q3 2022 shows Real GDP to have increased by an annual rate of 2.6%.

CORPORATE EARNINGS

NEUTRAL

The estimated growth rate for Q3 2022 is 2.2%, which was adjusted downward from 9.8% in June and 2.4% a month ago. So far, with 94% of S&P500 companies reporting actual results, 69% of them reported a positive EPS surprise and 71% beat revenue expectations.

EMPLOYMENT

NEUTRAL

U.S. Nonfarm Payrolls for October 2022 increased by 261,000 and the unemployment rate rose from 3.5% in September to 3.7%. October’s gains were broad-based but primarily driven by manufacturing and healthcare sectors which added 32,000 and 53,000 jobs respectively.

INFLATION

NEGATIVE

The annual inflation rate in the U.S. increased by 7.7% for October 2022 compared to the expected 7.9% — showing some signs of deceleration. Core CPI was also reported below expectations at 6.3% versus the estimated 6.5%. Shelter, food, and gasoline remain the main contributors to elevated inflation.

FISCAL POLICY

NEUTRAL

Senator Manchin and Majority Leader Schumer reached an agreement on the latest tax and energy bill with incentives for green energy, electric cars, and conversely oil & gas companies for exploration. No changes in private equity taxes or higher tax rates for the very wealthy were enacted. The bill has been officially passed by the Senate. President Biden announced student loan forgiveness of up to $20,000 subject to income limitations.

MONETARY POLICY

NEGATIVE

The Fed approved a fourth consecutive 75 bps hike earlier this month which took its target range to 3.75%-4.00% – the highest it has been since 2008. The Fed hinted at potentially reducing the magnitude of future rate increases from 75 to 50 bps but also mentioned the possibility of a new higher target range closer to 5%.

GLOBAL CONSIDERATIONS

GEOPOLITICAL RISKS

NEGATIVE

Russia held controversial referendums for the annexation of four Ukrainian regions and the Russian Parliament unanimously recognized these regions as part of Russia. Ukraine and Western countries have condemned these actions by Russia by declaring them illegitimate and illegal. Additional sanctions are being imposed on Russia by many countries.

ECONOMIC RISKS

NEGATIVE

COVID-19 lockdowns in China are persistent and the ongoing Russian-Ukraine war is causing a major energy crisis in Europe. Gas supplies from Russia to Europe have decreased by 88% over the past year and EU countries have agreed to cut gas usage by 15% as gas prices have more than doubled. The U.S. is now dealing with a major diesel shortage with national reserves at their lowest levels since 1951 and a ban on Russian products that will intensify the issue.

The “Heat Map” is a subjective analysis based upon metrics that VNFA’s investment committee believes are important to financial markets and the economy. The “Heat Map” is designed for informational purposes only and is not intended for use as a basis for investment decisions.

The Numbers & “Heat Map”

THE NUMBERS

The Sources: Index Returns: Morningstar Workstation. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Three, five and ten year returns are annualized. Interest Rates: Federal Reserve, Mortgage Bankers Association.

MARKET HEAT MAP
The health of the economy is a key driver of long-term returns in the stock market. Below, we assess the key economic conditions that we believe are of particular importance to investors.

US ECONOMY

CONSUMER HEALTH

NEUTRAL Real GDP for Q2 2022 decreased at an annual rate of 0.6% (up from the first estimate of -0.9%) marking the second consecutive quarter of declining GDP. The advance estimate for Q3 2022 shows Real GDP to have increased by an annual rate of 2.6%.

CORPORATE EARNINGS

NEUTRAL The estimated growth rate for Q3 2022 is 2.2%, which was adjusted downward from 9.8% in June and 2.4% a month ago. So far, with 94% of S&P500 companies reporting actual results, 69% of them reported a positive EPS surprise and 71% beat revenue expectations.

EMPLOYMENT

NEUTRAL U.S. Nonfarm Payrolls for October 2022 increased by 261,000 and the unemployment rate rose from 3.5% in September to 3.7%. October’s gains were broad-based but primarily driven by manufacturing and healthcare sectors which added 32,000 and 53,000 jobs respectively.

INFLATION

NEGATIVE The annual inflation rate in the U.S. increased by 7.7% for October 2022 compared to the expected 7.9% — showing some signs of deceleration. Core CPI was also reported below expectations at 6.3% versus the estimated 6.5%. Shelter, food, and gasoline remain the main contributors to elevated inflation.

FISCAL POLICY

NEUTRAL Senator Manchin and Majority Leader Schumer reached an agreement on the latest tax and energy bill with incentives for green energy, electric cars, and conversely oil & gas companies for exploration. No changes in private equity taxes or higher tax rates for the very wealthy were enacted. The bill has been officially passed by the Senate. President Biden announced student loan forgiveness of up to $20,000 subject to income limitations.

MONETARY POLICY

NEGATIVE The Fed approved a fourth consecutive 75 bps hike earlier this month which took its target range to 3.75%-4.00% – the highest it has been since 2008. The Fed hinted at potentially reducing the magnitude of future rate increases from 75 to 50 bps but also mentioned the possibility of a new higher target range closer to 5%.

GLOBAL CONSIDERATIONS

GEOPOLITICAL RISKS NEGATIVE Russia held controversial referendums for the annexation of four Ukrainian regions and the Russian Parliament unanimously recognized these regions as part of Russia. Ukraine and Western countries have condemned these actions by Russia by declaring them illegitimate and illegal. Additional sanctions are being imposed on Russia by many countries.

ECONOMIC RISKS

NEGATIVE COVID-19 lockdowns in China are persistent and the ongoing Russian-Ukraine war is causing a major energy crisis in Europe. Gas supplies from Russia to Europe have decreased by 88% over the past year and EU countries have agreed to cut gas usage by 15% as gas prices have more than doubled. The U.S. is now dealing with a major diesel shortage with national reserves at their lowest levels since 1951 and a ban on Russian products that will intensify the issue.

The “Heat Map” is a subjective analysis based upon metrics that VNFA’s investment committee believes are important to financial markets and the economy. The “Heat Map” is designed for informational purposes only and is not intended for use as a basis for investment decisions.

The Numbers & “Heat Map”

THE NUMBERS
The Sources: Index Returns: Morningstar Workstation. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Three, five and ten year returns are annualized. Interest Rates: Federal Reserve, Mortgage Bankers Association.

MARKET HEAT MAP
The health of the economy is a key driver of long-term returns in the stock market. Below, we assess the key economic conditions that we believe are of particular importance to investors.

US ECONOMY

CONSUMER HEALTH

NEUTRAL

According to the second estimate, real GDP for Q2 2022 decreased at an annual rate of 0.6% (up from the first estimate of -0.9%) marking the second consecutive quarter of declining GDP. The advance estimate for Q3 2022 shows Real GDP to have increased by an annual rate of 2.6%.

CORPORATE EARNINGS

NEUTRAL

The estimated growth rate for Q3 2022 is 2.2%, which was adjusted downward from 9.8% in June and 2.4% three weeks ago. So far, with 85% of S&P500 companies reporting actual results, 70% of them reported a positive EPS surprise and 71% beat revenue expectations.

EMPLOYMENT

NEUTRAL

U.S. Nonfarm Payrolls for October 2022 increased by 261,000 and the unemployment rate rose from 3.5% in September to 3.7%. October’s gains were broad-based but primarily driven by manufacturing and healthcare sectors which added 32,000 and 53,000 jobs respectively.

INFLATION

NEGATIVE

The annual inflation rate in the U.S. increased by 8.2% for September 2022 — down slightly from 8.3% in August but still a stubbornly high result and above expectations. Core CPI increased by 6.6% year-over-year marking the highest gain since August 1982. CPI for the month of October will be released on Thursday morning and it is expected to come in at 7.9%. Core CPI is projected to be6.5%.

FISCAL POLICY

NEUTRAL

Senator Manchin and Majority Leader Schumer reached an agreement on the latest tax and energy bill with incentives for green energy, electric cars, and conversely oil & gas companies for exploration. No changes in private equity taxes or higher tax rates for the very wealthy were enacted. The bill has been officially passed by the Senate. President Biden announced student loan forgiveness of up to $20,000 subject to income limitations.

MONETARY POLICY

NEGATIVE

The Fed approved a fourth consecutive 75 bps hike last week which took its target range to 3.75%- 4.00% – the highest it has been since 2008. The Fed hinted at potentially reducing the magnitude of future rate increases from 75 to 50 bps but also mentioned the possibility of a new higher target range closer to 5%.

GLOBAL CONSIDERATIONS

GEOPOLITICAL RISKS

NEGATIVE

Russia held controversial referendums for the annexation of four Ukrainian regions and the Russian Parliament unanimously recognized these regions as part of Russia. Ukraine and Western countries have condemned these actions by Russia by declaring them illegitimate and illegal. Additional sanctions are being imposed on Russia by many countries.

ECONOMIC RISKS

NEGATIVE

COVID-19 lockdowns in China are persistent and the ongoing Russian-Ukraine war is causing a major energy crisis in Europe. Gas supplies from Russia to Europe have decreased by 88% over the past year and EU countries have agreed to cut gas usage by 15% as gas prices have more than doubled. The U.S. is now dealing with a major diesel shortage with national reserves at their lowest levels since 1951 and a ban on Russian products that will intensify the issue.

The “Heat Map” is a subjective analysis based upon metrics that VNFA’s investment committee believes are important to financial markets and the economy. The “Heat Map” is designed for informational purposes only and is not intended for use as a basis for investment decisions.

The Numbers & “Heat Map”

THE NUMBERS
The Sources: Index Returns: Morningstar Workstation. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Three, five and ten year returns are annualized. Interest Rates: Federal Reserve, Mortgage Bankers Association.

MARKET HEAT MAP
The health of the economy is a key driver of long-term returns in the stock market. Below, we assess the key economic conditions that we believe are of particular importance to investors.

US ECONOMY

CONSUMER HEALTH

NEUTRAL

According to the second estimate, real GDP for Q2 2022 decreased at an annual rate of 0.6% (up from the first estimate of -0.9%) marking the second consecutive quarter of declining GDP. The advance estimate for Q3 2022 shows Real GDP to have increased by an annual rate of 2.6%.

CORPORATE EARNINGS

NEUTRAL

The estimated growth rate for Q3 2022 is 2.2%, which was adjusted downward from 9.8% in June and 2.4% three weeks ago. So far, with 85% of S&P500 companies reporting actual results, 70% of them reported a positive EPS surprise and 71% beat revenue expectations.

EMPLOYMENT

NEUTRAL U.S. Nonfarm Payrolls for October 2022 increased by 261,000 and the unemployment rate rose from 3.5% in September to 3.7%. October’s gains were broad-based but primarily driven by manufacturing and healthcare sectors which added 32,000 and 53,000 jobs respectively.

INFLATION

NEGATIVE

The annual inflation rate in the U.S. increased by 8.2% for September 2022 — down slightly from 8.3% in August but still a stubbornly high result and above expectations. Core CPI increased by 6.6% year-over-year marking the highest gain since August 1982. CPI for the month of October will be released on Thursday morning and it is expected to come in at 7.9%. Core CPI is projected to be6.5%.

FISCAL POLICY

NEUTRAL

Senator Manchin and Majority Leader Schumer reached an agreement on the latest tax and energy bill with incentives for green energy, electric cars, and conversely oil & gas companies for exploration. No changes in private equity taxes or higher tax rates for the very wealthy were enacted. The bill has been officially passed by the Senate. President Biden announced student loan forgiveness of up to $20,000 subject to income limitations.

MONETARY POLICY

NEGATIVE

The Fed approved a fourth consecutive 75 bps hike last week which took its target range to 3.75%- 4.00% – the highest it has been since 2008. The Fed hinted at potentially reducing the magnitude of future rate increases from 75 to 50 bps but also mentioned the possibility of a new higher target range closer to 5%.

GLOBAL CONSIDERATIONS

GEOPOLITICAL RISKS

NEGATIVE

Russia held controversial referendums for the annexation of four Ukrainian regions and the Russian Parliament unanimously recognized these regions as part of Russia. Ukraine and Western countries have condemned these actions by Russia by declaring them illegitimate and illegal. Additional sanctions are being imposed on Russia by many countries.

ECONOMIC RISKS

NEGATIVE

COVID-19 lockdowns in China are persistent and the ongoing Russian-Ukraine war is causing a major energy crisis in Europe. Gas supplies from Russia to Europe have decreased by 88% over the past year and EU countries have agreed to cut gas usage by 15% as gas prices have more than doubled. The U.S. is now dealing with a major diesel shortage with national reserves at their lowest levels since 1951 and a ban on Russian products that will intensify the issue.

The “Heat Map” is a subjective analysis based upon metrics that VNFA’s investment committee believes are important to financial markets and the economy. The “Heat Map” is designed for informational purposes only and is not intended for use as a basis for investment decisions.

Current Market Observations

Last week, we saw diverging pressures on the markets resulting in diverging results on equity indexing. Hopes of a FED slowing their aggressive interest rate hikes moved equity markets higher across the board and bond yields lower, but weak earnings releases from “Big Tech” equities (AMZN, GOOG, META) weighed heavily on the tech-heavy NASDAQ. Still, all major indexes moved higher for the week (see details below) and the 10-Year US Treasury ended the week at 4.02%, 23 basis points lower than the previous week. 

Weekly Markets (as of 10/28/2022; change since 10/24/2022) 

Global Markets 

As noted above, weekly returns were favorable across all major indexes and returns for the full month of October 2022 are shaping up to be some of the best monthly returns in decades. Solid consumer spending, as evidenced by earnings releases from Visa and American Express, continue to fuel economic growth. Last week, U.S. Real GDP (Gross Domestic Product) for the 3rd quarter was released and the number came in at +2.60%, compared to -0.60% for the 2nd quarter of 2022 and +2.70% for the full year 2021. (See Chart 1 below from Valley National Financial Advisors & Y Charts). What we found telling was how GDP has now normalized moving closer to recent historical averages compared to wild pandemic-related swings we saw previously. 

Mortgage rates continue to move higher in response to higher interest rates overall. This has had a drastic impact on the housing market. Last week, the National Association of Realtors released U.S. Pending Home Sales data that was significantly below expectations (-10.17% vs expected of –4.0%) (See Chart 2 below from Valley National Financial Advisors and Y Charts showing the 30 Year Mortgage Rate vs U.S. Pending Home Sales). 

While not a devastating impact on the economy, housing is a key component of economic growth especially given the knock-on effects of home sales – additional purchases of appliances, home improvements made, sales of replacement furniture and fixtures all contribute to or detract from economic activity. 

This week the Federal Reserve meets, and expectations are for another +0.75% rate hike. This is expected so any move higher or lower will have an impact on the markets because, as we all know, markets hate uncertainty. Additionally, about 1/3 of the S&P 500 Index Companies report earnings this week, which will also have a corresponding impact on the markets if the data is more positive or negative compared to Wall Street analysts’ predictions. 

What to Watch 

  • U.S. Job Openings: Total Nonfarm for September 2022, released 11/01/22 (Prior +10.05m) 
  • Target Federal Funds Rate by Federal Open Markets Committee released 11/02/22, current upper range 3.25% 
  • U.S. Initial Claims for Unemployment Ins. for week of 10/29/22, released 11/3/11 (prior 217k) 

There has been a modest turnaround in equities and the month of October has rewarded patient investors handsomely. 10-Year US Treasury yields have come off their recent highs (4.33%), moving lower to 4.02% but markets have yet to express optimism that yields have peaked. The FED meets this week and markets have priced in a +0.75% bump in the Fed Funds Target. The language around that move and additional directional information from Fed Chair Jay Powell is what we are really waiting for with Wednesday’s announcement. Global uncertainty is focused on the Russian/Ukraine war and Covid related lockdowns in China – thankfully, these are not new uncertainties, and the markets continue to accurately price in the story. Watch for impactful data this week while also remaining focused on the long-term trends. Reach out to us at Valley National Financial Advisors for any additional information. 

The Numbers & “Heat Map”

THE NUMBERS
The Sources: Index Returns: Morningstar Workstation. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Three, five and ten year returns are annualized. Interest Rates: Federal Reserve, Mortgage Bankers Association.

MARKET HEAT MAP
The health of the economy is a key driver of long-term returns in the stock market. Below, we assess the key economic conditions that we believe are of particular importance to investors.

US ECONOMY

CONSUMER HEALTH

NEUTRAL According to the second estimate, real GDP for Q2 2022 decreased at an annual rate of 0.6% (up from the first estimate of -0.9%) marking the second consecutive quarter of declining GDP. The advance estimate for Q3 2022 shows Real GDP to have increased by an annual rate of 2.6%.

CORPORATE EARNINGS

NEUTRAL The estimated growth rate for Q3 2022 is 2.2%, which was adjusted downward from 9.8% in June and 2.4% two weeks ago. So far, with 52% of S&P500 companies reporting actual results, 71% of them reported a positive EPS surprise and 68% beat revenue expectations.

EMPLOYMENT

NEUTRAL U.S. Nonfarm Payrolls for September 2022 increased by 263,000 and the unemployment rate fell back to the June and July level of 3.5% after spiking slightly in August to 3.7%. Professional and business services, health care, and leisure and hospitality were among the sectors with the most notable job gains.
INFLATION NEGATIVE The annual inflation rate in the U.S. increased by 8.2% for September 2022 — down slightly from 8.3% in August but still a stubbornly high result and above expectations. Core CPI increased by 6.6% year-over-year marking the highest gain since August 1982. Food and shelter were the main contributors to the increase in CPI, gasoline index fell slightly but overall energy prices are expected to rebound again. Used car prices are also not declining as much as expected.

FISCAL POLICY

NEUTRAL Senator Manchin and Majority Leader Schumer reached an agreement on the latest tax and energy bill with incentives for green energy, electric cars, and conversely oil & gas companies for exploration. No changes in private equity taxes or higher tax rates for the very wealthy were enacted. The bill has been officially passed by the Senate. Last week, President Biden announced student loan forgiveness of up to $20,000 subject to income limitations.

MONETARY POLICY

NEGATIVE With inflation still running hot, Fed Chairman Jay Powell is clear on his path to slow the economy enough to cool inflation. The Fed raised rates by 0.75% in September, bringing its target rate to 3.00-3.25%, and suggesting that additional 75bps rate hikes are likely in the coming months. The next Fed meeting will be taking place this week.

GLOBAL CONSIDERATIONS

GEOPOLITICAL RISKS

NEGATIVE Russia held controversial referendums for the annexation of four Ukrainian regions and the Russian Parliament unanimously recognized these regions as part of Russia. Ukraine and Western countries have condemned these actions by Russia by declaring them illegitimate and illegal. Additional sanctions are being imposed on Russia by many countries.

ECONOMIC RISKS

NEGATIVE COVID-19 lockdowns in China are persistent and the ongoing Russian-Ukraine war is causing a major energy crisis in Europe. Putin shut down the pipeline that supplies Europe with natural gas indefinitely until all sanctions affecting Russia are lifted. Gas supplies from Russia to Europe have decreased by 88% over the past year and EU countries have agreed to cut gas usage by 15% as gas prices have more than doubled.

The “Heat Map” is a subjective analysis based upon metrics that VNFA’s investment committee believes are important to financial markets and the economy. The “Heat Map” is designed for informational purposes only and is not intended for use as a basis for investment decisions.

The Numbers & “Heat Map”

THE NUMBERS
The Sources: Index Returns: Morningstar Workstation. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Three, five and ten year returns are annualized. Interest Rates: Federal Reserve, Mortgage Bankers Association.

MARKET HEAT MAP
The health of the economy is a key driver of long-term returns in the stock market. Below, we assess the key economic conditions that we believe are of particular importance to investors.

US ECONOMY

CONSUMER HEALTH

NEUTRAL

Q1 2022 Real GDP shrunk at a 1.6% annual rate. The main factors that resulted in a decrease in GDP were a surge in imports and trade deficit highlighting that the U.S. is buying more goods from foreign countries. According to the second estimate, real GDP for Q2 2022 decreased at an annual rate of 0.6% (up from the first estimate of -0.9%) marking the second consecutive quarter of declining GDP. Some retail outlets are reporting excess inventories which could signify a slowdown in consumer demand.

CORPORATE EARNINGS

NEUTRAL

The estimated growth rate for Q3 2022 is 1.5%, which was adjusted downward from 9.8% in June and 2.4% two weeks ago. So far, with 20% of S&P500 companies reporting actual results, 72% of them reported a positive EPS surprise and 70% beat revenue expectations.

EMPLOYMENT

NEUTRAL U.S. Nonfarm Payrolls for September 2022 increased by 263,000 and the unemployment rate fell back to the June and July level of 3.5% after spiking slightly in August to 3.7%. Professional and business services, health care, and leisure and hospitality were among the sectors with the most notable job gains.

INFLATION

NEGATIVE

The annual inflation rate in the U.S. increased by 8.2% for September 2022 — down slightly from 8.3% in August but still a stubbornly high result and above expectations. Core CPI increased by 6.6% year-over-year marking the highest gain since August 1982. Food and shelter were the main contributors to the increase in CPI, gasoline index fell slightly but overall energy prices are expected to rebound again. Used car prices are also not declining as much as expected.

FISCAL POLICY

NEUTRAL Senator Manchin and Majority Leader Schumer reached an agreement on the latest tax and energy bill with incentives for green energy, electric cars, and conversely oil & gas companies for exploration. No changes in private equity taxes or higher tax rates for the very wealthy were enacted. The bill has been officially passed by the Senate. Last week, President Biden announced student loan forgiveness of up to $20,000 subject to income limitations.

MONETARY POLICY

NEGATIVE

With inflation still running hot, Fed Chairman Jay Powell is clear on his path to slow the economy enough to cool inflation. The Fed raised rates by 0.75% in September, bringing its target rate to 3.00-3.25%, and suggesting that additional 75bps rate hikes are likely in the coming months.

GLOBAL CONSIDERATIONS

GEOPOLITICAL RISKS

NEGATIVE

Russia held controversial referendums for the annexation of four Ukrainian regions and the Russian Parliament unanimously recognized these regions as part of Russia. Ukraine and Western countries have condemned these actions by Russia by declaring them illegitimate and illegal. Additional sanctions are being imposed on Russia by many countries.

ECONOMIC RISKS

NEGATIVE

COVID-19 lockdowns in China are persistent and the ongoing Russian-Ukraine war is causing a major energy crisis in Europe. Putin shut down the pipeline that supplies Europe with natural gas indefinitely until all sanctions affecting Russia are lifted. Gas supplies from Russia to Europe have decreased by 88% over the past year and EU countries have agreed to cut gas usage by 15% as gas prices have more than doubled.

The “Heat Map” is a subjective analysis based upon metrics that VNFA’s investment committee believes are important to financial markets and the economy. The “Heat Map” is designed for informational purposes only and is not intended for use as a basis for investment decisions.

The Numbers & “Heat Map”

THE NUMBERS
The Sources: Index Returns: Morningstar Workstation. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Three, five and ten year returns are annualized. Interest Rates: Federal Reserve, Mortgage Bankers Association.

MARKET HEAT MAP
The health of the economy is a key driver of long-term returns in the stock market. Below, we assess the key economic conditions that we believe are of particular importance to investors.

US ECONOMY

CONSUMER HEALTH

NEUTRAL

Q1 2022 Real GDP shrunk at a 1.6% annual rate. The main factors that resulted in a decrease in GDP were a surge in imports and trade deficit highlighting that the U.S. is buying more goods from foreign countries. According to the second estimate, real GDP for Q2 2022 decreased at an annual rate of 0.6% (up from the first estimate of -0.9%) marking the second consecutive quarter of declining GDP. Some retail outlets are reporting excess inventories which could signify a slowdown in consumer demand.

CORPORATE EARNINGS

NEUTRAL

The estimated growth rate for Q3 2022 is 1.6%, which was adjusted downward from 9.8% in June and 2.4% last week. So far, with 7% of S&P500 companies reporting actual results, 69% of them reported a positive EPS surprise and 67% beat revenue expectations.

EMPLOYMENT

NEUTRAL

U.S. Nonfarm Payrolls for September 2022 increased by 263,000 and the unemployment rate fell back to the June and July level of 3.5% after spiking slightly in August to 3.7%. Professional and business services, health care, and leisure and hospitality were among the sectors with the most notable job gains.

INFLATION

NEGATIVE

The annual inflation rate in the U.S. increased by 8.2% for September 2022 — down slightly from 8.3% in August but still a stubbornly high result and above expectations. Core CPI increased by 6.6% year-over-year marking the highest gain since August 1982. Food and shelter were the main contributors to the increase in CPI, gasoline index fell slightly but overall energy prices are expected to rebound again. Used car prices are also not declining as much as expected.

FISCAL POLICY

NEUTRAL

Senator Manchin and Majority Leader Schumer reached an agreement on the latest tax and energy bill with incentives for green energy, electric cars, and conversely oil & gas companies for exploration. No changes in private equity taxes or higher tax rates for the very wealthy were enacted. The bill has been officially passed by the Senate. Last week, President Biden announced student loan forgiveness of up to $20,000 subject to income limitations.

MONETARY POLICY

NEGATIVE

With inflation still running hot, Fed Chairman Jay Powell is clear on his path to slow the economy enough to cool inflation. The Fed raised rates by 0.75% in September, bringing its target rate to 3.00-3.25%, and suggesting that additional 75bps rate hikes are likely in the coming months.

GLOBAL CONSIDERATIONS

GEOPOLITICAL RISKS

NEGATIVE

Russia held controversial referendums for the annexation of four Ukrainian regions and the Russian Parliament unanimously recognized these regions as part of Russia. Ukraine and Western countries have condemned these actions by Russia by declaring them illegitimate and illegal. Additional sanctions are being imposed on Russia by many countries.

ECONOMIC RISKS

NEGATIVE

COVID-19 lockdowns in China are persistent and the ongoing Russian-Ukraine war is causing a major energy crisis in Europe. Putin shut down the pipeline that supplies Europe with natural gas indefinitely until all sanctions affecting Russia are lifted. Gas supplies from Russia to Europe have decreased by 88% over the past year and EU countries have agreed to cut gas usage by 15% as gas prices have more than doubled.

The “Heat Map” is a subjective analysis based upon metrics that VNFA’s investment committee believes are important to financial markets and the economy. The “Heat Map” is designed for informational purposes only and is not intended for use as a basis for investment decisions.

The Numbers & “Heat Map”

THE NUMBERS
The Sources: Index Returns: Morningstar Workstation. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Three, five and ten year returns are annualized. Interest Rates: Federal Reserve, Mortgage Bankers Association.

MARKET HEAT MAP
The health of the economy is a key driver of long-term returns in the stock market. Below, we assess the key economic conditions that we believe are of particular importance to investors.

US ECONOMY

CONSUMER HEALTH

NEUTRAL Q1 2022 Real GDP shrunk at a 1.6% annual rate. The main factors that resulted in a decrease in GDP were a surge in imports and trade deficit highlighting that the U.S. is buying more goods from foreign countries. According to the second estimate, real GDP for Q2 2022 decreased at an annual rate of 0.6% (up from the first estimate of -0.9%) marking the second consecutive quarter of declining GDP. Some retail outlets are reporting excess inventories which could signify a slowdown in consumer demand.

CORPORATE EARNINGS

NEUTRAL The earnings growth rate for Q2 2022 was 6.7% (up from previous estimates of 4.3%) which marked a new post-pandemic low; but still solidly in the “growth” stage. The estimated growth rate for Q3 2022 is 2.4%, which was adjusted downward from 9.8% in June. 14 out of 20 S&P 500 companies that reported earnings beat estimated EPS and 13 beat revenue expectations.

EMPLOYMENT

NEUTRAL

U.S. Nonfarm Payrolls for September 2022 increased by 263,000 and the unemployment rate fell back to the June and July level of 3.5% after spiking slightly in August to 3.7%. Professional and business services, health care, and leisure and hospitality were among the sectors with the most notable job gains.

INFLATION

NEGATIVE

The annual inflation rate in the U.S. increased by 8.3% for August 2022 — below the 8.5% in July but above the expected 8.1%. Food prices saw the largest increases since 1979 (11.4%), shelter and used cars also impacted inflation significantly. Core CPI increased 6.3% year-over-year, the most since March, and up from 5.9% in both June and July. Updated CPI will be released this Wednesday and PPI on Thursday.

FISCAL POLICY

NEUTRAL Senator Manchin and Majority Leader Schumer reached an agreement on the latest tax and energy bill with incentives for green energy, electric cars, and conversely oil & gas companies for exploration. No changes in private equity taxes or higher tax rates for the very wealthy were enacted. The bill has been officially passed by the Senate. Last week, President Biden announced student loan forgiveness of up to $20,000 subject to income limitations.

MONETARY POLICY

NEGATIVE With inflation still running hot, Fed Chairman Jay Powell is clear on his path to slow the economy enough to cool inflation. The Fed raised rates by 0.75% two weeks ago, bringing its target rate to 3.00-3.25%, and suggesting that additional rate hikes are likely in the coming months.

GLOBAL CONSIDERATIONS

GEOPOLITICAL RISKS

NEGATIVE

Russia held controversial referendums for the annexation of four Ukrainian regions and the Russian Parliament unanimously recognized these regions as part of Russia. Ukraine and Western countries have condemned these actions by Russia by declaring them illegitimate and illegal. Additional sanctions are being imposed on Russia by many countries.

ECONOMIC RISKS

NEGATIVE

COVID-19 lockdowns in China are persistent and the ongoing Russian-Ukraine war is causing a major energy crisis in Europe. Putin shut down the pipeline that supplies Europe with natural gas indefinitely until all sanctions affecting Russia are lifted. European countries are struggling to find alternative energy resources and are starting to implement significant restrictions on the use of energy in households and businesses.

The “Heat Map” is a subjective analysis based upon metrics that VNFA’s investment committee believes are important to financial markets and the economy. The “Heat Map” is designed for informational purposes only and is not intended for use as a basis for investment decisions.