Welcome to the Hancock Whitney Bank Markets and Economic Update. The Investments team provides monthly updates as an informational resource for clients and individuals who are interested in hearing our perspectives on current economic issues.
Jeffrey Tanguis, Investment Director, opened the discussion by stating that February was marked by equity market volatility and rising interest rates. A return to a “risk off” market environment followed a strong employment report and the passage of a federal budget that calls for even more deficit spending.
But the latest surprise that could alter the outlook is President Trump’s announced decision to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. Mr. Tanguis asked panelist Richard Chauvin, Investment Director, to explain the reasons for this pending action and its likely economic impact.
We then transition into the equity markets. Greg Hodlewsky, Investment Director, continues the discussion on tariffs, Trump’s negotiation tactic, and how it is affecting the market. The Federal Reserve also weighed in on the tariff talk. Jake Powell, the new chairman of the Federal Reserve, is in the hot seat for how the Federal Reserve will respond. Mr. Tanguis gives us more details what Mr. Powell has to say and how the Fed will handle the volatility that tariffs bring to the market place.
The market’s mini-correction that we talked about on the February call affected almost every area of the market with almost every indices ending on the negative side at the end of February. Mr. Hodlewsky discusses the fear index and how we think the market will perform in the upcoming month. Lastly, the fixed income markets also had an exciting month in February, with corporate spreads widening. Mr. Tanguis finishes the call discussing the fixed income market’s anticipated future performance.
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