Nov 7, 2022 - Economy

This year's stock market, the short version

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

The interest rate surge hammered tech stocks this year, while an energy shortage — inflamed by the war in Ukraine — turned oil and gas shares into massive winners.

Driving the news: The first week of November was a microcosm of the markets this year, with tech stocks suffering mightily and energy powering ahead.

  • Last week, the S&P 500 energy sector was the best-performing part of the blue-chip index, climbing 2.4%. (It's the only positive part of the index this year.)
  • Tech shares — using the Nasdaq composite as a gauge — were down 5.7% last week.
  • Tech-heavy sectors of the S&P 500, like the communications services sector — home to Alphabet and Meta — tumbled 7.4% during the week.

The big picture: Some are framing the divergence in market performance as something of an economic changing of the guard.

  • A recent report by Goldman Sachs commodities analysts — who've distinguished themselves with some savvy calls on oil prices earlier this year — entitled "The Old Economy Takes its Revenge," spotlighted recent earnings reports from Exxon and Microsoft, in which the oil giant's cash flows overtook Microsoft's.
  • They wrote, "In our view, these results are a pivotal moment for the broader economy as high commodity prices cannibalize earnings from other sectors as well as force interest rates higher, lowering valuations."

The kicker: "This past week has shown us how the Old Economy is starting to take its revenge on the New Economy," they wrote.

Yes, but: While that could be the case ... plenty of "old economy" sectors like airlines, automobiles, chemicals, metals and mining stocks all remain deep in negative territory this year.

  • Automobiles and auto part stocks are actually doing worse than tech, down roughly 40%, according to the S&P 500 subindex that follows the industry.

The bottom line: The performance of the markets this year is a more straightforward story of energy stocks simply beating everything else.

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