Market Commentary — March 14, 2022

Another week of extreme volatility associated with the situation in Ukraine sent the NASDAQ into correction territory, down 22% below its peak. The S&P 500 is off 14% since its highs. Many consumer staples stocks, like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and food and consumer products, traded down on the announcement they were suspending business to Russia.

Commodity prices are surging, with oil reaching a 14-year high of $139 a barrel early in the week. Russia’s threat to ban nickel exports – it supplies over 9% of the world’s nickel – caused prices to double before trading was finally halted by the London Metal Exchange (LME). The unprecedented spike threatened the ability of the world’s largest producer, China’s Tsingshan Holding Group, to meet margin calls on its short positions.

All of this news, including inflation at the gas pump, has sent consumer sentiment, as gauged by the University of Michigan, to a decade new low 59.7. Next week the Fed meets and is expected to increase rates by a quarter percent on Wednesday. While the Fed’s rate hike is expected, investors will be watching to see what it has to say about inflation, the economy, and plans for future rate hikes.

In ETF news, the SEC rejected NYDIG and GlobalX’s spot Bitcoin ETF applications. ETF issuer Exchange Traded Concepts (ETC) is planning to launch another NFT ETF. The ETF, which tracks a Fount Investment Company (based in Korea) index, is designed to track the performance of businesses that develop, manufacture, distribute or sell products or services in token technology subindustries, according to the Thursday filing. Defiance ETFs last December launched its Digital Revolution ETF (NFTZ), which also invests in NFT marketplaces and issuers. That ETF has about $11 million of assets.

Next week marks the start of the March Madness NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Here is the schedule.

Selection Sunday: 6 p.m. ET March 13 on CBS
First Four: March 15-16
First round: March 17-18
Second round: March 19-20
Sweet 16: March 24-25
Elite Eight: March 26-27
Final Four: April 2
NCAA championship game: April 4

You can get a 2022 printable NCAA bracket here.

Prayers for Ukraine.

Jane Edmondson
CEO and Co-Founder

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