US Markets started September on a weak note, after the Monday holiday, extending a slide that started at the end of August, as hawkish comments from Fed policymakers and data signaling U.S. economic momentum raised fears of aggressive interest rate hikes.
The S&P is down nearly 18% so far this year, while the Nasdaq has shed over 26% as rising interest rates hurt megacap technology and growth stocks.
Central Banks are being data dependant – meaning their rapid rate-lifting cycle decisions are determined by the emerging data stream.
Overnight The Institute for Supply Management’s services index unexpectedly improved to 56.9 last month, while S&P Global’s final August gauge of business activity dropped to 43.7. In both surveys, a reading of 50 is the dividing line between expansion and contraction. The last time the ISM measure exceeded the S&P Global gauge by that much was during the depths of the pandemic in April 2020.
The most striking divergence in these two prominent gauges of US services activity since April 2020 can probably be traced in large part to what types of companies are surveyed and differences in methodology.
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