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Weekly Market Insights

The Markets (as of market close July 23, 2021)

Last week proved to be a choppy one for stocks. The week began with stocks trending lower on news of a spike in the number of coronavirus cases. However, strong corporate earnings reports helped support the perception that the economy is continuing to advance, despite the cloud of the Delta variant hanging overhead. By last Friday, both the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 reached record highs, with megacap tech stocks helping drive the indexes upward. The Nasdaq gained 2.8% to lead the major benchmark indexes, followed by the Russell 2000, the S&P 500, the Dow, and the Global Dow. Yields on 10-year Treasuries dipped 2.0 basis points lower, while the dollar and crude oil prices each ended the week higher. Gold prices, which had been climbing, took a slight step back, falling about 0.5%.

Stocks slumped last Monday to begin last week as a spike in coronavirus cases, both domestically and abroad, put a damper on the economic recovery. Investors shied away from stocks and moved toward bonds, driving prices higher and yields lower. Each of the market sectors fell, led by financials, industrials, and materials. The S&P 500 dropped the most in two months, the Dow had its largest decline since October, while the small caps of the Russell 2000 continued to sink, falling nearly 10% since peaking in March. The CBOE Volatility Index, which had been relatively steady for several sessions, soared nearly 22.0%. Crude oil prices fell 7.4% to $66.51 per barrel — the first time prices fell below $70.00 per barrel since early June, after major oil-producing countries agreed to boost supply into 2022.

Wall Street closed higher last Tuesday, rebounding from a multi-session losing streak. Several strong corporate earnings reports helped renew investor optimism, at least temporarily, in a reviving economy. Each of the benchmark indexes posted solid gains, led by the Russell 2000 (3.0%), which enjoyed its first positive session since July 12. The Dow and the Nasdaq each gained 1.6%, followed by the S&P 500, which advanced 1.5%, and the Global Dow, which gained 1.0%. Industrials, financials, and real estate headed the sectors, with only consumer staples dipping modestly. The yield on 10-year Treasuries reversed course from last Monday, climbing to 1.20%. The dollar and crude oil prices also advanced by the close of trading.

Stocks advanced for the second straight day last Wednesday. Robust corporate earnings reports helped fuel renewed optimism in the economy, despite increasing coronavirus cases and inflation. The Russell 2000 again led the indexes, climbing 1.7%, followed by the Global Dow (1.5%) and the Nasdaq (0.9%). Both the Dow and the S&P 500 gained 0.8%. Energy shares advanced 3.5%, and financials increased 1.7%. Crude oil prices climbed back above $70.00 per barrel. The dollar dipped, while the yield on 10-year Treasuries jumped 7.1 basis points to 1.28%.

Equities closed last Thursday mostly higher, with only the Russell 2000 losing ground among the benchmark indexes. Technology led the market sectors, with health care, consumer discretionary, and communication services also advancing. Energy and financials both fell more than 1.0%. Treasury yields dipped lower, while the dollar and crude oil prices rose higher.

Another round of robust corporate profits helped push stocks to record highs last Friday. Surging earnings are reflecting an ongoing rise in economic activity, possibly allaying fears that stocks are overvalued. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 each gained 1.0%, while the Dow (0.7%), the Russell 2000 (0.5%), and the Global Dow (0.4%) also finished the day ahead. Yields on 10-year Treasuries, the dollar, and crude oil prices advanced. Communication services led the sectors, increasing 2.7%.

The national average retail price for regular gasoline was $3.153 per gallon on July 19, $0.020 per gallon higher than the prior week's price and $0.967 more than a year ago. Gasoline production decreased during the week of July 19, averaging 9.1 million barrels per day, down from the prior week's average of 9.9 million barrels per day. U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 16.0 million barrels per day during the week ended July 16; this was 87,000 barrels per day less than the previous week's average. For the week ended July 19, refineries operated at 91.4% of their operable capacity, down from the prior week's level of 91.8%.

Market/Index

2020 Close

Prior Week

As of 7/23

Weekly Change

YTD Change

DJIA

30,606.48
 34,687.85 35,061.55  1.08% 14.56%

Nasdaq

12,888.28

14,427.24 14,836.99 2.84%

15.12%

S&P 500

3,756.07

4,327.16

4,411.79

1.96%

17.46%

Russell 2000

 1,974.86 2163.24

2,209.65

2.15% 11.89%

Global Dow

3,487.52

3,941.75

3,966.19 0.62%

 

13.73%

Fed. Funds target rate

0.00%-0.25%

0.00%-0.25%

0.00%-0.25%

0 bps

0 bps

10-year Treasuries

0.91%

1.30%

1.28%

-2 bps

37 bps

US Dollar-DXY

89.84

92.71

92.88

0.18%

3.38%

Crude Oil-CL=F

$48.52 $71.46 $72.08 0.87% 48.56%

Gold-GC=F

$1,893.10

$1,811.70 $1,802.10 -0.53%

 

-4.81%
Chart reflects price changes, not total return. Because it does not include dividends or splits, it should not be used to benchmark performance of specific investments.

 

Last Week's Economic News

  • The housing sector continues to slow down from its accelerated pace. Building permits issued, housing starts, and housing completions each fell in June from their respective May totals. Building permits dipped 5.1% in June but are up 23.35% from June 2020. Housing starts slid 1.3% in June but have risen 43.3% over the past 12 months. Housing completions are 6.5% over their June 2020 totals, despite falling 1.4% last month. Building permits for single-family homes fell 6.3% and single-family home completions dropped 6.1% in June. However, single-family housing starts increased 6.3% last month.
  • Sales of existing homes increased 1.4% in June, snapping a streak of four consecutive monthly declines. Overall, existing home sales are up 22.9% over June 2020. Inventory was still relatively scarce in June, however. Unsold inventory sat at a 2.6-month supply at the current sales pace in June, modestly up from May's 2.5-month supply but down from 3.9 months in June 2020. The median existing home price in June was $363,300, up from $350,300 in May and 23.4% over the June 2020 median sales price of $294,400. Sales of existing single-family homes also rose 1.4% in June and are up 19.3% since June 2020. The median existing single-family home price was $370,600 in June, 3.9% higher than the May median price of $356,600.
  • For the week ended July 17, there were 419,000 new claims for unemployment insurance, an increase of 51,000 from the previous week's level, which was revised up by 8,000. According to the Department of Labor, the advance rate for insured unemployment claims for the week ended July 10 was 2.4%, unchanged from the previous week's rate. The advance number of those receiving unemployment insurance benefits during the week ended July 10 was 3,236,000, a decrease of 29,000 from the prior week's level, which was revised up by 24,000. This is the lowest level for insured unemployment since March 21, 2020, when it was 3,094,000. For comparison, during the same period last year, there were 1,398,000 initial claims for unemployment insurance, and the insured unemployment claims rate was 11.2%. During the last week of February 2020 (pre-pandemic), there were 219,000 initial claims for unemployment insurance, and the number of those receiving unemployment insurance benefits was 1,724,000. States and territories with the highest insured unemployment rates for the week ended July 3 were Virgin Islands (4.8%), Puerto Rico (4.7%), Nevada (4.1%), Rhode Island (3.9%), California (3.8%), Illinois (3.7%), New Jersey (3.7%), New York (3.6%), Connecticut (3.5%), the District of Columbia (3.1%), and Pennsylvania (3.1%). The largest increases in initial claims for the week ended July 10 were in Texas (+10,091), New York (+8,190), Pennsylvania (+4,319), Tennessee (+3,061), and Missouri (+1,793), while the largest decreases were in Georgia (-5,286), Rhode Island (-4,807), Puerto Rico (-3,934), Kentucky (-3,771), and Maryland (-2,497).

Eye on the Week Ahead

There's plenty of important market-moving economic information available this week, starting with the latest meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee. The FOMC has maintained the federal funds interest rate and bond purchasing program for several months. However, inflation has been trending higher in conjunction with an improving economy. At some point, the Committee with begin to scale back the quantitative easing measures currently in place, which will likely have a direct impact on the market. Also, the second estimate of gross domestic product for the second quarter is available this week. The initial estimate showed that the economy expanded at an annualized rate of 6.4% in the second quarter.

 

The Markets (as of market close July 16, 2021)

Stocks suffered their worst week in quite some time, as each of the major indexes ended the week lower. Last week was the start of the second-quarter corporate earnings reporting period. Attention will be paid to reported earnings to gauge whether corporate profits can support equity valuations. Despite Fed Chair Jerome Powell's repeated statements that the recent spike in inflation is temporary, last week's rise in the Consumer Price Index and the Producer Price Index are likely to add fuel to the debate about the timing of the Federal Reserve's stimulus reduction.

Equities edged higher to begin the week, with financials, communication services, and real estate leading the sectors, while consumer staples, industrials, and information technology lagged. Investors traded cautiously last Monday ahead of the release of second-quarter earnings and inflation data later in the week. The Global Dow led the benchmark indexes, climbing 0.5%, followed by the large caps of the Dow and the S&P 500, which each gained 0.4%. Treasury yields and the dollar advanced, while crude oil prices declined.

Stock values retreated and bond yields increased last Tuesday as investors seemed to weigh whether rising inflationary pressures will prompt the central bank to begin rolling back stimulus sooner rather than later. The small caps of the Russell 2000 fell the furthest, declining 1.9%. The Global Dow dropped 0.6%, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 lost 0.4%, while the Dow fell 0.3%. The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose 3.9%, the dollar gained 0.6%, and crude oil prices increased 1.7% to $75.32 per barrel. Among the market sectors, only information technology advanced, gaining 0.4%. Real estate, materials, industrials, financials, and consumer discretionary fell by at least 1.0%.

Growth stocks outperformed value shares in a day of mixed results last Wednesday. Consumer staples, information technology, real estate, and utilities led the sectors. The Russell 2000 continued to lag, dropping 1.6% by the close of trading. Treasury yields fell as bond prices rose following reassuring comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell, who suggested that stimulus measures are likely to remain for some time. The dollar was little changed, while crude oil prices declined.

The Dow, which inched ahead 0.2%, was the only benchmark index to post a gain last Thursday. Information technology shares lagged, pulling the Nasdaq down 0.7%. The Russell 2000 (-0.6%) declined for the third straight session, the Global Dow dipped 0.4%, and the S&P 500 inched down 0.3%. Treasury yields on 10-year bonds dropped to 1.3%. The dollar advanced, while crude oil prices decreased to $71.55 per barrel. Among the market sectors, only consumer discretionary, industrials, materials, real estate, and utilities advanced marginally.

Stocks tumbled lower last Friday as each of the benchmark indexes lost value. The Russell 2000 fell 1.2% on Friday. The Global Dow dipped 1.0%, while the large caps of the Dow (-0.9%) and the S&P 500 (-0.8%) also lost value. Tech shares fell 1.0%, dragging the Nasdaq down 0.8% for the day. The yield on 10-year Treasuries and the dollar inched higher, while crude oil prices fell marginally. Most of the market sectors dropped, with energy (-3.0%), materials (-1.6%), and financials (-1.5%) declining the most.

For the week, the Russell 2000 sank 5.1%, followed by the Nasdaq, the Global Dow, the S&P 500, and the Dow. Crude oil prices decreased for the second consecutive week, but are still 47.3% above their 2020 year-end price per barrel. The yield on 10-year Treasuries decreased 5 basis points, the dollar increased 0.67%, and gold prices increased marginally. The market sectors closed the week with mixed returns. Consumer staples (1.3%), utilities (2.6%), and real estate (0.7%) were the only sectors to advance. The remaining sectors decreased, led by energy (-7.7%) and materials (-2.4%).

The national average retail price for regular gasoline was $3.133 per gallon on July 12, $0.011 per gallon higher than the prior week's price and $0.038 more than a year ago. Gasoline production decreased during the week of July 12, averaging 9.9 million barrels per day, down from the prior week's average of 10.6 million barrels per day. U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 16.1 million barrels per day during the week ended July 9; this was 22,000 barrels per day less than the previous week's average. For the week ended July 12, refineries operated at 91.8% of their operable capacity, down from the prior week's level of 92.2%.

Market/Index

2020 Close

Prior Week

As of 7/16

Weekly Change

YTD Change

DJIA

30,606.48
 34,870.16 34,687.85
-0.52% 13.33%

Nasdaq

12,888.28

14,701.92 14,427.24 -1.87%

11.94%

S&P 500

3,756.07

4,369.55

4,327.16

-0.97%

15.20%

Russell 2000

 1,974.86 2,280.00

2,163.24

-5.12%

9.54%

Global Dow

3,487.52

3,998.02

3,941.75

-1.41%

13.02%

Fed. Funds target rate

0.00%-0.25%

0.00%-0.25%

0.00%-0.25%

0 bps

0 bps

10-year Treasuries

0.91%

1.35%

1.30%

-5 bps

39 bps

US Dollar-DXY

89.84

92.10

92.71

0.66%

3.19%

Crude Oil-CL=F

$48.52 $74.69 $71.46 -4.32% 47.28%

Gold-GC=F

$1,893.10

$1,808.60 $1,811.70

0.17%

-4.30%
Chart reflects price changes, not total return. Because it does not include dividends or splits, it should not be used to benchmark performance of specific investments.

 

Last Week's Economic News

  • Consumer prices have now risen 5.4% over the past 12 months after advancing 0.9% in June. According to the latest Consumer Price Index, the June increase was the largest one-month change since June 2008, when the index rose 1.0%. Prices for used cars and trucks continued to rise sharply, increasing 10.5% in June, which accounted for more than one-third of the overall June price increase. Last month, food prices increased 0.8% and energy prices rose 1.5%, with gasoline prices climbing 2.5%. Except for a dip in May, the CPI has increased month-over-month since January. Prices less food and energy rose 4.5% over the last 12 months, the largest 12-month increase since the period ended November 1991. Over the last 12 months, energy prices have risen 24.5% and food prices have increased 2.4%.
  • Producer prices climbed 1.0% in June following increases of 0.8% in May and 0.6% in April. For the 12 months ended in June, producer prices have increased 7.3% — the largest advance since 12-month data was first calculated in November 2010. In June, prices for services rose 0.8% and prices for goods moved up 1.2%. Producer prices less foods, energy, and trade services advanced 0.5% in June and have risen 5.5% since June 2020, which is the largest 12-month increase since August 2014. Margins for trade services, which measure changes in margins received by wholesalers and retailers, jumped 2.1%, representing 70% of the June increase in prices for services. Wholesalers, faced with rising commodity prices and increased labor costs due to a shortage of willing workers, are boosting prices charged to retailers. As the economy continues to recover, increasing demand for goods and services has put a strain on inventories. Producers, faced with increased wholesale costs and low supply, are passing on the higher cost to consumers.
  • In another sign of mounting inflationary pressures, both import and export prices advanced in June. Import prices rose 1.0% last month following a 1.4% jump in May. Export prices increased 1.2% in June after advancing 2.2% the previous month. Prices for imports rose 11.2% for the year ended in June. Fuel import prices advanced 4.7% in June. Nonfuel import prices rose 0.7%. Prices for exports increased 16.8% from June 2020 to June 2021. Agricultural exports advanced 1.5% last month and have not recorded a monthly decline since August 2020. Nonagricultural export prices increased 1.1% in June, driven higher by rising prices for industrial supplies and materials, capital goods, consumer goods, automotive vehicles, and nonagricultural foods.
  • Retail sales increased 0.6% in June following May's revised -1.7% dip. Retail sales are 18.0% above their June 2020 pace. Retail trade sales were up 0.3% from May 2021, and 15.6% above last year. Clothing and clothing accessories stores were up 2.6% in June and 47.1% from June 2020, while food services and drinking places were up 2.3% last month and 40.2% over June 2020.
  • According to the latest report from the Federal Reserve, industrial production increased 0.4% in June after moving up 0.7% in May. In June, manufacturing output edged down 0.1%, as an ongoing shortage of semiconductors contributed to a decrease in the production of motor vehicles and parts. Excluding motor vehicles and parts, factory output increased 0.4%. The output of utilities advanced 2.7%, reflecting heightened demand for air conditioning, as much of the country experienced a heat wave in June. The index for mining increased 1.4%. Overall, total industrial production in June was 9.8% above its year-earlier level but 1.2% below its pre-pandemic (February 2020) level.
  • The government budget deficit was $174.2 billion in June, a 32.0% increase over the May deficit but 80.0% lower than the pandemic-impacted June 2020 deficit. Over the first nine months of the fiscal year, the deficit is $2.2 trillion, 18.0% lower than the deficit over the same period last fiscal year. So far in fiscal year 2021, receipts are up 35.0%, while government expenditures dipped 6.0%. Individual income tax receipts have risen 62.0% in fiscal year 2021, and corporate income taxes are up 188.0%.
  • For the week ended July 10, there were 360,000 new claims for unemployment insurance, a decrease of 26,000 from the previous week's level, which was revised up by 13,000. This is the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020, when it was 256,000. According to the Department of Labor, the advance rate for insured unemployment claims for the week ended July 3 was 2.4%, unchanged from the previous week's rate. The advance number of those receiving unemployment insurance benefits during the week ended July 3 was 3,241,000, a decrease of 126,000 from the prior week's level, which was revised up by 28,000. This is the lowest level for insured unemployment since March 21, 2020, when it was 3,094,000. For comparison, during the same period last year, there were 1,479,000 initial claims for unemployment insurance, and the insured unemployment claims rate was 11.9%. During the last week of February 2020 (pre-pandemic), there were 219,000 initial claims for unemployment insurance, and the number of those receiving unemployment insurance benefits was 1,724,000. States and territories with the highest insured unemployment rates in the week ended June 26 were in Puerto Rico (4.8%), Nevada (4.3%), Georgia (4.2%), Rhode Island (4.2%), Connecticut (4.0%), California (3.6%), Illinois (3.5%), New Jersey (3.5%), Pennsylvania (3.4%), and New York (3.3%). The largest increases in initial claims for the week ended July 3 were in Puerto Rico (+6,722), Pennsylvania (+5,296), New York (+4,730), Texas (+4,645), and California (+2,588), while the largest decreases were in Oklahoma (-2,461), Massachusetts (-1,778), Washington (-1,596), Connecticut (-1,563), and Virginia (-1,371).

Eye on the Week Ahead

The latest data on housing starts and existing home sales is available this week. While the housing sector has been an area of strength throughout much of the past year, it has begun to slow over the past few months. The number of building permits and housing completions fell in May, while housing starts increased. Existing home sales also fell in May, the fourth consecutive monthly decline. Analysts suggest that activity in the housing sector is approaching pre-pandemic activity levels. A lack of available inventory and escalating prices are prominent factors in holding back sales.

 

Data sources: Economic: Based on data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (unemployment, inflation); U.S. Department of Commerce (GDP, corporate profits, retail sales, housing); S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Index (home prices); Institute for Supply Management (manufacturing/services). Performance: Based on data reported in WSJ Market Data Center (indexes); U.S. Treasury (Treasury yields); U.S. Energy Information Administration/Bloomberg.com Market Data (oil spot price, WTI Cushing, OK); www.goldprice.org (spot gold/silver); Oanda/FX Street (currency exchange rates). News items are based on reports from multiple commonly available international news sources (i.e. wire services) and are independently verified when necessary with secondary sources such as government agencies, corporate press releases, or trade organizations. All information is based on sources deemed reliable, but no warranty or guarantee is made as to its accuracy or completeness. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed herein constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities, and should not be relied on as financial advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. All investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal, and there can be no guarantee that any investing strategy will be successful.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is a price-weighted index composed of 30 widely traded blue-chip U.S. common stocks. The S&P 500 is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-value weighted index of all common stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The Russell 2000 is a market-cap weighted index composed of 2,000 U.S. small-cap common stocks. The Global Dow is an equally weighted index of 150 widely traded blue-chip common stocks worldwide. The U.S. Dollar Index is a geometrically weighted index of the value of the U.S. dollar relative to six foreign currencies. Market indices listed are unmanaged and are not available for direct investment.

Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2021.
These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable — we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice. Market summaries contain information on the Dow, S&P 500, NASDAQ, Russell 2000, Global Dow, Federal Funds interest rate, and 10-year Treasury yields, as well as highlights of past and future economic data.

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