Large cap US equities moved higher last week, with the S&P 500, Dow, and Nasdaq all closing at fresh all-time highs on Friday. Most sectors finished the week higher, although financials and energy were dragged lower by the flatter yield curve and lower oil prices, respectively. Small and midcap stocks underperformed, as did international equities, as investors kept a keen eye on the rise of new cases caused by the delta variant.
Bond markets rallied yet again last week, with 10y Treasury yields falling 6 basis points to finish at 1.36%, while 30y yields finished the week just slightly below 2%. After tightening relentlessly all year, credit spreads showed the first hint of widening last week, although they remain extremely tight by historical measures. Nevertheless, last week’s modest widening resulted in corporate bonds underperforming Treasuries and Munis.
Energy prices finished the week slightly lower on concerns regarding global demand and a lack of consensus on production from OPEC+.
Economic news got off to a weak start last week with a significant miss in the ISM Services Index, which initially sent equity prices and bond yields lower. Later in the week, however, there were fresh signs of labor market strength, as the monthly JOLTS report held steady at 9.2 million jobs available, while jobless claims continued to drift lower.