August 21, 2021 Weekly Market Update. All the major U.S. equity market indexes lost ground on another choppy trading week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( -1.11%), the Nasdaq (-0.73%) and the S&P 500 Index (-0.59%). The stock market was rattled by minutes from the Federal Reserve indicating asset purchases would be tapered by year-end, geopolitical instability (Afghanistan), another weekly Delta variant infection uptick (+14%) and the weaker than expected retail sales for July. However, vaccinations did increase this week to 60.2% of the total U.S. population (one dose) and the booster shot is expected to be released next month.
August 14, 2021 Weekly Market Update. The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial both rose on the week, +0.71% and +0.87% respectively, while the tech-laden Nasdaq slipped -0.09%. On the week, the S&P recorded three straight days of new highs while the month of August has marked the 10th consecutive month where the index recorded a new record high. However, with a surge in cases of the Covid-19 delta variant the August University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment unexpectedly tumbled from 81.2 to 70.2, which is a foreboding sign. After the passing of the $1.5 trillion Infrastructure bill, the Senate has now shifted to pursuing a $3.5 trillion budget resolution that would expand a social safety net to levels not seen since the “New Deal” programs of the Great Depression.
August 7, 2021 Weekly Market Update. All major U.S. equity indexes hit new highs on positive earnings and employment news, along with the appearance that the new infrastructure bill will not have accompanying taxes: the Nasdaq (+1.11%) led the major indices followed by the S&P 500 Index (+0.94%) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.78%). According to FactSet, the S&P 500 is reporting year-over-year earnings growth of 88.8% for Q2, which is the highest earnings growth rate for the index since Q4 2009 (109.1%); also, 87% of companies have beaten revenue estimates for Q2 to date. The better-than-expected July jobs report, 943,000 versus expectations for 845,000, dropped the unemployment rate to 5.4%. The seasonally adjusted IHS Market U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index posted 63.4 in July, up from 62.1 in June while The ISM Services' rise to a 64.1 all-time high in July from 60.1.