Equities posted solid returns last week, led by large cap technology stocks. The S&P 500 reached a new all-time high on Thursday, closing above 4,000 for the first time.
Rates were fairly subdued last week. The Treasury curve flattened modestly, pivoting around the 10-year point, with 2y yields higher by 5bp while 30y yields fell by 2bp. Credit spreads tightened in sympathy with the broader rally in risk assets, allowing corporate bonds to post solid gains.
Oil and the US dollar were both stronger on the week.
Incoming economic data was encouraging. The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index rose sharply to 109.7, and the ISM Manufacturing Index surged to 64.7, both of which represent pandemic highs.
Friday’s monthly payroll report was also very strong:
* Nonfarm payrolls = +916k (largest monthly gain since August 2020)
* U-3 Unemployment = 6.0% (fell 0.2% sequentially)
* U-6 Underemployment = 10.7% (fell 0.4% sequentially)
* Labor Force Participation Rate = 61.5% (rose 0.1% sequentially)
* Average Weekly Hours Worked = 34.9 (rose 0.3 hrs sequentially)