Large cap technology stocks led the market higher last week thanks in large part to stellar earnings results from tech bellwethers like Alphabet (Google) and Microsoft. The rally pushed the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq Composite to fresh record highs on the final day of October, with the S&P and Nasdaq both delivering a return […]
News regarding the pandemic was positive last week. Covid-19 case counts continued to fall in the US and globally, and on Thursday the FDA and CDC jointly announced new recommendations that made nearly 100 million Americans immediately eligible for a vaccine booster shot. All Americans aged 65 or older that originally received a 2-course regimen […]
Equities rallied around the world last week as Q3 earnings season got underway, with several of the large US banks reporting strong trading results and record M&A deal flow. Gains in large cap stocks pushed the S&P and Dow back to within 1.5% of their all-time highs from early September, while the Nasdaq remains roughly […]
Last week’s biggest news was Senate Republicans offering (and Democrats accepting) an agreement to raise the US national debt ceiling by $480 billion, eliminating the near term risk of a technical default on US Treasuries and giving Democrats time to pass a budget reconciliation bill with a new debt ceiling limit that would alleviate the […]
September ended on a challenging note, with Treasury yields moving higher and equity prices falling as the month drew to a close. The first trading day in October provided a respite, as yields stabilized and equities rebounded to begin Q4 with solid gains. The energy sector was a bright spot last week, delivering a 5.8% […]
Rates have risen somewhat sharply in the wake of Wednesday afternoon’s FOMC meeting, although they remain significantly below the peak from the end of March. Meanwhile, US equity benchmarks finished last week in the green after two straight weeks in the red.
Incoming economic data was mostly good last week, including inflation (CPI and import prices), retail sales, Empire Manufacturing, and the Philly Fed Business Outlook. Stock market performance was weaker, which is a fairly typical seasonal pattern, perhaps exacerbated by the fact that the market was already up more than 20% YTD coming into September.
Risk assets struggled through the holiday-shortened work week as new case counts continued to rise in the US. In an effort to improve workplace safety, the Biden Administration announced on Thursday that the Department of Labor would direct all companies with more than 100 employees to require vaccines or weekly negative tests. The constitutionality of this directive was immediately called into question by several Republican governors.
“Defensives had a better time of it last week, particularly following Friday’s payroll miss. The yield curve steepened a bit as well, as traders made some tweaks to their assumptions about near term tapering & rate hikes as well as the longer term inflation outlook. Overall, though, the picture didn’t change a whole lot, as markets mostly treated the payroll and consumer confidence numbers as small bumps in the road rather than any kind of major turning point in the recovery.”
The events in Kabul notwithstanding, there were two things that moved markets last week: the FDA’s approval of Pfizer’s vaccine (and the quick reaction from companies and government agencies in terms of vaccine mandate announcements), and Jerome Powell’s speech at Jackson Hole on Friday where he threaded the needle almost perfectly regarding the status of the Fed’s dual mandate, asset purchase tapering, and rates.