Market Insights, December 2022

Monthly Market Roundup | U.S. Equities

Big Movers in December 2022


Universal Health Services (UHS): The hospital operator continued to climb after a strong quarterly report in October.


Organon (OGN): The drug maker climbed as risk-averse investors favored health-care stocks.


Align Technology (ALGN): The maker of orthodontic products held its ground after losing three-quarters of its value since mid-2021.


Tesla (TSLA): The electric-car maker had its worst month ever as demand weakened and CEO Elon Musk faced distractions from his purchase of Twitter.


Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH): The cruise line fell as analysts worried about cost pressures and high debt levels. The stock had rallied more than 50% between mid-October and mid-November.


NRG Energy (NRG): The utility company paid a 33% premium to acquire Vivint Smart Home (VVNT). It surprised investors who expected NRG to spend its cash on share buybacks.

Key Economic Events Last Month

upData shows more strength in job marketNon-farm payrolls and wages rose more than expected in December and unemployment fell more than forecast. While the news was positive for the economy, it fueled worries about interest-rate hikes. (2/12)
upHousing at a crossroads?Consumer prices rose just 0.1% in November, less than the 0.3% estimate. Core inflation, which excludes food and energy, was also cooler than feared. (13/12)
downFed hikes rates, gives a hawkish outlookThe Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 50 basis points and provided hawkish guidance for future policy. Their quarterly projections anticipated slower economic growth, higher unemployment and a higher maximum interest rate. (14/12)
downRetail sales crater as auto sector slowsRetail sales plunged 0.6% in November, twice the forecast decline. Big-ticket items like furniture and automobiles contracted, a potential sign of weaker economic growth. (15/12)

Key Futures Contracts

Product NameCurrent MonthExpirationNext Month1-Mon%
S&P 500 E-Mini (@ES)ESH23(March) 17 Mar 23ESM23(June) -6.1%
*S&P 500 E-Mini Micro (@MES)MESH23 (March) 17 Mar 23MESM23 (June) -6.1%
Nasdaq-100 E-Mini (@NQ)NQH23 (March) 17 Mar 23NQM23 (June) -9.3%
*Nasdaq-100 E-Mini Micro (@MNQ)MNQH23 (March) 17 Mar 23MNQM23 (June) -9.3%
Dow Jones E-Mini (@YM)YMH23 (March) 17 Mar 23YMM23 (June) -4.5%%
*Dow Jones E-Mini Micro (@MYM)MYMH23 (March) 17 Mar 23MYMM23 (June) -4.5%%

* Micro contracts are one-tenth the size of standard e-minis.

Events to Watch This Month

DateEventWhat to watch
Wed, 4-JanFederal Reserve minutes Details on future central bank plans after policymakers surprised investors with hawkish outlooks in December.
Fri, 6-JanNon-farm payrollsWill job growth, unemployment and wages give the Fed reason to pause interest-rate hikes?
Thu, 12-JanInflation report December’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) is due one hour before U.S. markets open.
Wed, 18-JanRetail sales Will consumers slow spending, potentially giving the Fed reason to pause interest-rate hikes?
Thu, 26-JanGross domestic product Did the economy slow in the fourth quarter?

Sector Watch

  • Utilities1%
  • Health Care2%
  • Consumer Staples3%
  • Industrials3%
  • Energy4%
  • Materials5%
  • Financials6%
  • Real Estate6%
  • S&P 5006%
  • Communications7%
  • Technology8%
  • Consumer Discretionary12%
  • Consumer discretionaries fell the most as Tesla and declined. Travel-related stocks also led the sector lower.

  • Technology stocks slid amid worries about growth and the economy.

Noteworthy Calls & Predictions


Redfin sees home sales falling to the lowest level since 2011 because of higher mortgage rates. House prices are also expected to have their first year-over-year decline in a decade.



Airlines will have positive earnings 2023 for the first time in four years, according to the International Air Transportation Association. The industry expects a $4.7 billion net profit, compared with $26.4 billion in 2019.



Paul McCulley, former chief economist of PIMCO, expects a Fed pivot as inflation slows. Policymakers will stop hiking interest rates and potentially ease policy in 2023, even without a recession, he predicted.

Fed Policy


Goldman Sachs will cut hundreds of jobs in 2023, Bloomberg News reported. Other outlets including Forbes ran stories in December forecasting potentially significant layoffs across the economy early in the New Year.

US Jobs


Some 56% of millionaire investors expect stocks to fall double digits in 2023, according to a CNBC survey. It was the most pessimistic since 2008. However 81% of millennial millionaires think the market will advance.



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