Markets Close Out Worst First-Half Performance in 50 Years

Financial Daily Dose 7.1.2022

July 01, 2022

Those of us even glancing at the business section each morning shouldn’t be surprised at all, but let’s make it official: the first half of 2022 was the worst for investors in more than 50 years. Crytpo’s fallen off the table, and volatility, inflation, and recession fears are dominating the Street. Here’s to a second half rebound? Maybe [not]? - WSJ and NYTimes and Bloomberg and MarketWatch

Former Apple director of corporate law, “who was once responsible for enforcing the company’s insider trading policy,” admitted this week to using his “access to draft SEC filings to personally profit.” That lawyer, Gene Levoff, pleaded guilty to six counts of securities fraud over a 6 year period from 2011 to 2016 - Bloomberg and Law360 and NYTimes

Puerto Rican regulators have “suspended the operations” of Euro Pacific Bank, a “boutique online bank that has been the focus of an international tax-evasion investigation and is owned by Peter Schiff, the outspoken libertarian economist and money manager” - NYTimes

The OPEC+ nations agreed Thursday to “lift output by 648,000 barrels per day in August,” bringing production to roughly prepandemic levels.  The next major issue for the group is what to do with Russia, which remains a powerful force among the oil-producing nations even as it has solidified its pariah status in much of the Western world - NYTimes

Some let’s-not-get-hopes-too-far-up inflation news, as the Fed’s “preferred inflation gauge remained high but showed glimmers of moderation in May.” Specifically, the Personal Consumption Expenditures price measures was up by 6.3% in the year through May, “matching the April increase,” but after “stripping out food and fuel prices, which can be volatile,” the PCE measure was actually “down slightly from the prior reading” - NYTimes and Marketplace

After three straight weeks of increases, U.S. mortgage rates ticked down this week, with the average 30-year-fixed hitting 5.70%. Despite the nearly 2% increase since the start of the year, “demand for homes continues to outpace the inventory of homes for sale” in the U.S. - WSJ

Netflix is making news these days—just weeks removed from terminating 300 employees—by what it’s not doing. In the words of Bela Bajaria, Netflix’s head of global television, the streaming giant is “not doing a radical shift in [its] business . . . not merging . . . not having a big transitional phase.” The question is whether staying the course will be sufficient - NYTimes

How about a 2000-year old shipwreck revealing new clues about life in ancient Rome to help take us into the holiday weekend. Look for the full “Return to Antikythera” findings in 2025 - NYTimes

We’re out next week for a 4th of July hiatus. Have fun, be safe, and we’ll see you back here in a bit.



The Robins Kaplan Financial Daily Dose features top stories and latest news headlines in financial markets, banking, securities and technology topics.