CHRIS VERSACE: Good morning, Action Alerts Plus members. It's Monday, October 31, and that means Happy Halloween. Now, we are kicking off the week, but closing the books on October, hence the Happy Halloween. October has been a month that saw the stock market rally back sharply, clawing back a lot of the gains from earlier this year. And when we look at October on its own, it was simply one of the best Octobers in decades.
While we enjoy this, however, we have to simply recognize that we are not out of the bear market woods just yet. Odds are the move that we've seen over the last several weeks is simply just the latest bear market rally. And as members know, we've seen several of those throughout the year. Now, many are saying the coming days will determine whether the current move has legs. And from our perspective-- with 1,700 companies reporting their quarterly results, the usual start-of-the-month economic data, and the Fed's November monetary policy meeting on tap-- that is likely to be the case.
Tomorrow-- Tuesday-- brings the Flash PMI data for several key regions, including the US, as well as the October ISM manufacturing report. The market is going to lean into these reports, as will we, and we will be looking for some last-minute indicators as to what the speed of the economy was like starting off the current quarter-- but more importantly, whether inflation has eased at all following all of the efforts by the Fed thus far in 2022.
Now, there are also some other data points that are likely to shape expectations for what the Fed could say on Wednesday afternoon. Now, as we discussed in this morning's opening comments for Action Alerts Plus members, one of the primary market drivers of late has been the thought that the Fed could trim back the size of its expected interest rate hikes at upcoming meetings. However, given the stronger-than-expected initial third quarter GDP print that we received last week, as well as the hot core PCE price index for September, in our view, the Fed has enough cover fire to continue the current pace of its inflation-fighting efforts.
Adding to that, however, are some fresh developments. These include another round of lockdowns in China. It also raises questions about iPhone production ahead of the holiday season. We're also seeing renewed gains in grain prices following Russia's weekend decision to pull out of a UN-brokered Black Sea grain deal, effectively cutting shipments from Ukraine-- one of the world's top grain exporters. Real quickly, we see that upward movement in grain prices, actually, as a positive for the portfolio's position in Deere shares.
Remember, one of the key thesis points for Deere is rising farmer incomes. As that happens, farmers tend to replace aging equipment. In this case, we continue to see that also benefiting with the push towards precision ag. Now, let's step back a little bit, and think about what all of this has to say. To us, it says that we are simply not out of the inflation woods just yet.
In terms of the market's next move, the key to the week will be the Fed's policy statement-- that hits the tape at 2 PM on Wednesday-- and what Fed Chair Powell has to say during the post-policy statement press conference. This, in our view, will put tomorrow's economic data in the spotlight. Now, earlier we said we've got about 1,700 companies reporting this week. Included in that mix are several AAP companies as well.
They're going to start kicking off after today's market close with American Waterworks, which releases its earnings-- again, after the close today, but it holds its earnings conference call tomorrow morning. And finally, we have our next AAP members-only call live this Wednesday, November 2nd at 12 PM. Bob and I are looking forward to answering some of your biggest questions, so be sure to send them in. Again, Happy Halloween, and thanks for watching today's rundown. We'll be back with you tomorrow.