Prices rose across several asset classes last week, including domestic equities, international equities, bonds, and commodities. US large cap indices added roughly half of a percent to their 2021 performance, led by energy stocks. All sectors in the S&P 500 finished higher except consumer discretionary and healthcare. Meanwhile, international stocks outpaced the US, particularly in emerging markets.
Bond markets also rallied last week as yields moved lower. Benchmark 10-year US Treasury yields fell 4 basis point to 1.55%, while 30-year yields were down 5 basis points to finish at 2.23%. Credit spreads were steady, allowing muni and corporate bond prices to rise along with Treasuries.
Energy prices surged to new pandemic-era highs last week. Brent crude closed above $70/barrel for the first time in two years, while West Texas Intermediate finished slightly below $70.
Friday’s monthly jobs report came in slightly below consensus expectations, but still improved sequentially from April’s disappointing result:
- Nonfarm payrolls = +559k in May (revised April figure is +278k)
- Unemployment rate = 5.8% (down from 6.1% in April)
- Underemployment rate = 10.2% (down from 10.4% in April)
- Labor force participation rate = 61.6% (down slightly from 61.7% in April)
- Average hourly earnings = +0.5% sequential growth