In this week’s recap: Stocks reached new highs, erasing steep losses from February and March.
Weekly Economic Update
Presented by Paul Moffat, MBA, AIF®, August 24, 2020
THE WEEK ON WALL STREET
Stocks powered to another week of gains as the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite set multiple new record highs along the way.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was essentially unchanged while the Standard & Poor’s 500 rose by 0.72%. The Nasdaq Composite index added 2.65% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, slipped 0.71%.1,2,3
The S&P 500 Sets Record High
The S&P 500 closed at a record high on Tuesday, erasing the steep losses suffered in February and March. The recovery has been powered by unprecedented monetary accommodation, fiscal stimulus, and investor willingness to look ahead with confidence that global economies will get past the pandemic challenge. Technology stocks continued to lead the market and helped push the NASDAQ Composite to new highs.4
Stocks were mixed as the week progressed amid some weak economic news, a message of economic caution from the Fed, and continuing uncertainty over a new fiscal stimulus plan. Technology momentum provided support for the broader market, with a late Friday afternoon rally pushing the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite to close out the week at fresh record highs.5
Not All Sectors Are Participating
Behind last Tuesday’s headline that the S&P 500 had set a new record high lies a story of a deeply bifurcated market.
Despite a new high, more than half the companies in the index were still trading below where they began the year. When dissected on an industry sector basis, the year-to-date performance dispersion was quite wide, with sectors like Technology (+25.53%), Consumer Discretionary (+16.68%), and Communication Services (+12.70%) posting strong performance, while Energy (-37.56%) and Financials (-20.08%) remained sharply down. In fact, nearly half (5 out of 11) of S&P 500 sectors were still in negative territory year-to-date.6,7,8
T I P O F T H E W E E K
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THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Tuesday: Consumer Confidence. New Home Sales.
Wednesday: Durable Goods Orders.
Thursday: Jobless Claims. Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Friday: Consumer Sentiment.
Source: Econoday, August 21, 2020
The Econoday economic calendar lists upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision.
THE WEEK AHEAD: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Tuesday: Salesforce.com (CRM), Best Buy (BBY), Intuit (INTU).
Thursday: Marvell Technology (MRVL), Dollar General (DG), Dollar Tree (DLTR), Dell Technologies (DELL), VMware (VMW).
Source: Zacks, August 21, 2020
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. Companies may reschedule when they report earnings without notice.
Q U O T E O F T H E W E E K
“Employ thy time well, if thou meanest to get leisure.”
T H E W E E K L Y R I D D L E
A man jumped out of a small plane without a parachute. When he hit the ground, he wasn’t injured at all. Why?
LAST WEEK’S RIDDLE: What number should be next in this series: 9, 16, 25, 36?
ANSWER: 49, as 49 = 7 squared. 9 = 3 squared, 16 = 4 squared, and so on.
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Investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost.
The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions, may not materialize, and are subject to revision without notice.
The market indexes discussed are unmanaged, and generally, considered representative of their respective markets. Index performance is not indicative of the past performance of a particular investment. Indexes do not incur management fees, costs, and expenses. Individuals cannot directly invest in unmanaged indexes. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is an unmanaged index that is generally considered representative of large-capitalization companies on the U.S. stock market. Nasdaq Composite is an index of the common stocks and similar securities listed on the Nasdaq stock market and is considered a broad indicator of the performance of technology and growth companies. The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) and serves as a benchmark of the performance of major international equity markets, as represented by 21 major MSCI indexes from Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia. The S&P 500 Composite Index is an unmanaged group of securities that are considered to be representative of the stock market in general.
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1. The Wall Street Journal, August 21, 2020
2. The Wall Street Journal, August 21, 2020
3. The Wall Street Journal, August 21, 2020
4. The Wall Street Journal, August 18, 2020
5. CNBC.com, August 19, 2020
6. BBC News, August 18, 2020
7. FactSet.com, August 21, 2020
8. FactSet.com, August 21, 2020
The Wall Street Journal, August 21, 2020
The Wall Street Journal, August 21, 2020
treasury.gov, August 21, 2020