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January 2022 Monthly Review
January was a memorable beginning of 2022. The market continued to digest the news that the Fed was committed to raising rates this year. After the Fed meeting, the market began to discount the fact that more than four rate hikes, and possibly more than 25 basis point hikes, may be necessary to bring down inflation. Even the White House stepped into monetary policy, saying it was the Fed’s job to fight inflation. Since November, when transitory was removed from the Fed’s inflation narrative, the market has been in a swift rotation to reposition to a world with higher inflation and sooner than expected rate hikes. This quick need to reposition led to stock volatility with the VIX hitting its highest level since 2020. The SPX had its worst month since March 2020 and the NDX saw its worst month since 2018. 10-year yields were up 27 basis points, but the real move was in 2-year yields. They were up 45 basis points, the largest monthly increase since 2009.
The move higher in yields combined with wider credit spreads saw the iBoxx Investment Grade Bond Index finish down 3.83% for its 2nd worst month since 2008. To show how bad the month was, the worst yearly return for this index since 1999 was down 3.67%. In factors and sectors there was a violent rotation. Value outperformed growth, energy outperformed technology and the expensive side of value relative to the SPX had its worst month since the 2001 internet bubble. All of this led to the worst month for the HFRX Global Hedge fund index since March 2020.
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