It’s Valentine’s Day, a time for love. Tell that to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is not showing much love so far this year.
Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had originally projected a 0.4% increase in the CPI for the month of January. The actual result was an increase of 0.5%, the biggest jump in five months. Costs of food, clothing, rent, energy, health care, and auto insurance climbed while the increase in hourly wages has only partly set off the higher cost of living. MarketWatch notes that the unexpected jump could add to investor worries about rising inflation.
However, these worries may be unfounded. MarketWatch reports that January’s higher consumer prices did not affect the overall picture of inflation, since the core rate of inflation (which discounts gas and food prices) only rose 0.3% last month, and the 12-month rate remained flat.
MarketWatch reports that, although investors may worry that inflation may cause the Fed to stifle economic expansion by raising U.S. interest rates at a faster-than-expected rate, many economists and market strategies believe that won’t be the case.
Sectors: Among the Sector Benchmark ETFs, the average momentum score decreased from -4.73 to -14.55. Energy, sliding to the third-lowest position in the rankings, was the largest detractor for the week, down 24 points. All sectors except Utilities were down. Eight of the 11 sectors were in the red, an increase from six the previous week.
Factors: Among the Factor Benchmark ETFs, the average factor score decreased from 2.2 last week to -7.6 this week. Momentum is now the only score above zero, as equity markets have experienced turbulence this past week. Small Size, Dividend Growth, and Yield remained in the bottom three for the week, and Momentum remained in the top spot.
Global: Global Benchmark ETF momentum scores also fell. All positions lost for the week. Only one region, Latin America, remains in the green. China experienced the largest pullback, down 33 points.
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