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Reuters

Battered U.S. stocks may not be bargains as investors brace for inflation data

U.S. stocks’ tumble this year is putting an increased focus on equity valuations, as investors assess whether recently discounted shares are worth buying in the face of a hawkish Federal Reserve and widespread geopolitical uncertainty. Although many investors tended to brush off elevated valuations during the market’s dynamic surge from its post-COVID-19 lows, they have been quick to punish companies viewed as overvalued this year, as the Fed rolls back easy money policies that had kept bond yields low and buoyed equities. While recently discounted valuations may boost stocks’ appeal to some bargain hunters, other investors believe equities may not be cheap enough, as the Fed signals it is ready to aggressively tighten monetary policy to fight inflation, bond yields surge, and geopolitical risks such as the war in Ukraine continue roiling markets.

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