Markets Up Again This Week

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Weekly Market Update — July 14, 2020

  • The large–cap U.S. stock markets turned in solid performance on the week, with the S&P 500 advancing 1.8% and the DJIA moving up 1.0%
  • The smaller–cap Russell 2000 Index dropped 0.6% on the week in stark contrast to the huge 4% leap made by NASDAQ
  • The week was punctuated with more COVID–19 news, some positive and some not so much, but the general mood on Wall Street was to buy as volatility trended down toward the end of the week
  • While a few states were reporting more COVID–19 cases, Gilead Sciences announced that their clinical trials showed a 62% reduction in the risk of mortality relative to standard care procedures
  • Performance was mixed within the 11 S&P 500 sectors, as about half were up and half were down, with Consumer Discretionary and Communication Services leading the way with gains of more than 4% and Energy leading the laggards with a loss of more than 4%
  • There were two notable acquisition announcements that caused Main Street to notice, the first being when Warren Buffett agreed to buy Dominion Energy\’s natural gas assets for $4 billion in cash and the second when Uber agreed to buy Postmates for $2.6 billion
  • The 2–year Treasury yield increased to 0.16% and the 10–year yield decreased to 0.63%
  • The U.S. Dollar Index declined 0.7%
Weekly Market Performance

Close Week YTD
DJIA 26,075 1.0% -8.6%
S&P 500 3,185 1.8% -1.4%
NASDAQ 10,617 4.0% 18.3%
Russell 2000 1,423 -0.6% -14.7%
MSCI EAFE 1,813 1.9% -11.0%
*Bond Index 2,377.17 0.54% 6.84%
10-Year Treasury Yield 0.63% -0.04% -1.4%

*Source: Bonds represented by the Bloomberg Barclays US Aggregate Bond TR USD. This chart is for illustrative purposes only and does not represent the performance of any specific security. Past performance cannot guarantee future results.

Markets Up Again This Week

The S&P 500 and DJIA were up again week, but those larger–cap indices were not up as much as the previous week as worries that accelerating COVID-19 infections will slow down a recovering, but still fragile, economy.

While there seemed to be new COVID-19 data almost every hour of every day, there was a collective pause on Wall Street as investors digested the fact that the U.S. now has more than 3 million infections, with Florida, Texas and California continuing to report new daily record highs. While no one expects businesses to shut down like what happened in March and April, there is fear that increasing cases will cause consumers – and businesses – to pull back from spending, thereby slowing down any recovery. But the announcement from Gilead Sciences seemed to reassure investors.\"Retail

The markets also are trying to digest reports that another round of stimulus might be coming to Main Street. While it is still too early to know, the stimulus is expected to be somewhere between $1 trillion (Republicans proposal) and $3.5 trillion (Democrats proposal).

Investors did receive more positive news that the economy is recovering, but how the data is received likely depends more on whether you\’re a glass half–full or half–empty type of investor. Glass half–full investors were pleased that initial unemployment claims dropped for the 14th straight week in a row whereas glass half–empty investors bemoan the fact that the initial claims number is still more than 1.3 million.

Glass Half-Full or Half-Empty?

  • Glass half–full: consumer credit fell $18.2 billion in May after April\’s $70.2 billion drop and revolving credit fell $24.3 billion after the previous month\’s $58.2 billion decline
  • Glass half–empty: non–revolving credit, which includes student loans and car loans, rose $6.0 billion
  • Half–full: labor markets are bouncing back, as hiring in May stood at 6.5 million, which exceeded the listed job openings of 5.4 million
  • Half–empty: The unemployment rate for insured workers is 12.4%
  • Neither: The weekly MBA Mortgage Applications Index increased 2.2% following a 1.8% decline in the prior week
GDP Drops in All 50 States

On Tuesday, the Commerce Department\’s U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that real GDP decreased in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in the first quarter of 2020. Further, the breadth of the percentage changes ranged from -1.3% in Nebraska to -8.2% in New York and Nevada.

Nationally, the leading contributors to the decreases were:

  • Accommodation and food services;
  • Finance and insurance;
  • Healthcare and social assistance; and
  • Arts, entertainment, and recreation.
Markets Around the World

  • MSCI EAFE was up 1.9%
  • Germany\’s DAX Index was up 0.22%
  • France\’s CAC 40 Index dropped 1.38%
  • Italy\’s FTSE MIB Index dropped 1.12%
  • UK\’s FTSE 100 Index dropped 1.19%.
  • The Nikkei 225 Stock Average dropped 0.1%
  • China\’s CSI 300 Index was up 7.5%
  • China\’s Shanghai Composite Index was up 7.3%

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