Large cap indices finished lower last week, although performance was quite mixed across sectors. Amazon fell 9% on the week after issuing a revenue forecast that disappointed investors, dragging the consumer discretionary sector to a return of -2.6%. Cyclicals like basic materials (+2.8%), energy (+1.7%), and finance (+0.8%) outperformed, as did domestic small and midcap stocks.
International equity markets were dominated by China last week, as a crackdown on the for-profit education sector led to widespread selling of Chinese stocks early in the week. By Tuesday’s close, the MSCI China Index was down more than 31% from its February peak, but later rose >5% after Beijing regulators sought to reassure investors that the selloff was overdone.
Bonds rallied as Treasury yields fell despite a modest shift in the Fed’s language around asset purchases. 10y yields fell 6bp to 1.22%, just a few basis points above mid-July lows. Investment grade credit spreads were stable while high yield spreads drifted wider, muting the gains in bonds from riskier borrowers.
Bitcoin got a significant boost from news that Amazon had posted a job opening for a director of cryptocurrency strategy, finishing above $40k for the first time since May’s dramatic selloff.
Q2 US GDP growth came in at +6.5% annualized versus consensus of +8.4%. The miss was driven by supply constraints that impacted inventories and net trade. Final demand remained strong as consumer spending rose +11.8% annualized.