Investors drove a “rotation trade” in US equity markets last week, with
weakness in large cap technology stocks offset by strength in cyclicals
(energy, financials, industrials) and small/midcap companies. Then on Friday, equities of all stripes got a boost when the US Nonfarm Payroll Report came in significantly below expectations, calming inflation fears and reassuring investors that the Fed will remain accommodative for the foreseeable future.
Bond markets rallied last week. Benchmark 10-year US Treasury yields fell 5 basis points, reversing most of the increase from the final week of April.
Meanwhile, credit spreads remained at or near YTD tights, allowing the price gains in Treasuries to flow through to corporate and municipal bonds.
Commodity prices rose, with oil (WTI) closing at nearly $65/barrel even
before a cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline Co led to a shutdown of the largest pipeline network in the eastern US. Many other commodity prices moved higher as well, including agricultural products, building products, and textiles.
As mentioned above, the monthly jobs report came in well below
expectations, touching off a loud political debate about whether the best
solution to slowing job growth is a reduction in unemployment benefits that some believe are distorting incentives, or an increase in childcare support coupled with significant infrastructure spending.