Economic Beat: Financial News
How will current market developments affect you? The thought leaders at Fifth Third Bank can help make sense of it all. Listen to the Economic Beat as they discuss what happened last week and what they expect will be the focus of this week. Click the button below to listen or read the transcript to this week's Economic Beat.
Past Economic Beats
May 22, 2023
Major U.S. equity indices posted solid gains last week
Debt ceiling discussions reignite concerns over whether lawmakers will agree to a deal to avoid a default next month. Importantly, this is a debate over the government’s willingness to pay its debt, not its ability to pay its debt. History suggests this too shall pass and that the U.S. will not ultimately default on its debt.
May 15, 2023
US equity indices were mixed this week
The consumer price index (CPI) for April came in at 4.9%, better than the 5.0% expected. This was the smallest annual increase since April 2021 and the 10th straight month of improvement since inflation peaked last June at 9.1%. Excluding food and energy, core inflation ticked down to 5.5% from 5.6%.
May 8, 2023
The U.S. labor market remains resilient
Last week, the Federal Reserve increased its key interest rate by 0.25 percentage points, it’s 10th hike in 14 months. That pushed its benchmark rate to between 5 percent and 5.25 percent, up from near-zero in March 2022, although the Fed hinted the rate hike may be its last for now.
May 1, 2023
First quarter growth is below expectations
Major U.S. equity indices were higher last week, with the S&P 500 Index up just under one percent in total return following a modest decline in the prior week. The Nasdaq Composite added 1.3% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.9% in total return for the week.
April 24, 2023
S&P 500 was down by less than 1.0% for a third-straight week
Major U.S. equity indices were modestly lower last week as the S&P 500 was down by less than 1.0% for a third-straight week, the longest such streak since August 2021. . For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined by 0.2%, the S&P 500 was down 0.1%, and the Nasdaq Composite ended the week 0.4% lower.
April 17, 2023
Inflation is still high but cooling off
Data releases showed that inflation cooled off last month. March’s headline Consumer Price Index (CPI) came in lower than expected and down from February's 0.4 print. However, despite the cooler inflation numbers, Fedspeak mostly hit the higher-for-longer narrative as Fed officials continued to argue that inflation is still too high.
April 10, 2023
US equities were mostly lower in a holiday shortened week
US equities were mostly lower in a holiday shortened week, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite finishing lower after three weeks of gains. For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7%, the S&P 500 was down 0.1%, and the Nasdaq Composite ended the week 1.1% lower.
April 3, 2023
U.S. equities ended mostly higher for March
Major U.S. equity indices rose in last week’s trading, with the S&P 500 Index up 3.5% in total return for its third straight weekly increase. The Nasdaq Composite added 3.4% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 3.2% for the week.
March 27, 2023
Major U.S. equity indices finished higher for a second straight week
Major U.S. equity indices finished higher for a second straight week, with the S&P 500 Index gaining 1.4% in total return. The Nasdaq Composite added 1.7% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.2% for the week.
March 20, 2023
US equities were mixed in a week dominated by bank uncertainty
We’ve had quite a week: two of the three largest bank failures in American history, images of lines of depositors at these institutions waiting to withdraw their savings, and emergency weekend meetings of Washington’s key financial regulators. The risks taken by these institutions are not representative of the banking industry.
March 13, 2023
US equities declined sharply last week
US equities declined sharply last week, with the S&P 500 recording its worst weekly performance since September. All sectors were down with banks taking the biggest hit amid the SVB Financial failure.
March 6, 2023
Major U.S. equity indices finished higher last week
The S&P 500 Index rose just shy of two percent in total return for the week, while the Nasdaq Composite added 2.6% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.9%.
February 27, 2023
S&P and Nasdaq down for a third-straight week
US equities were lower in a holiday-shortened week, with the S&P and Nasdaq down for a third-straight week and both posting the worst weekly performance since early December. For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 3.0%, the S&P 500 declined by 2.7%, and the Nasdaq Composite ended the week 3.3% lower.
February 13, 2023
The S&P 500 fell for the first time in three weeks
Major US equity indices were lower this week as the S&P 500 fell for the first time in three weeks and Nasdaq Composite in six weeks. The S&P and Nasdaq also both posted their worst weekly performances since mid-December. For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1%, the S&P 500 declined by 1.1%, and the Nasdaq Composite ended the week 2.4% lower.
February 6, 2023
US equities were mostly higher last week
US equities were mostly higher last week, with most major indices continuing to rally off their 2022 lows. The S&P 500 is now up 16 percent since October 12th and the Nasdaq is up 18 percent since just December 28th.
January 30, 2023
The possibility of a hard stock market landing remains a concern
Despite recent strength in the stock market, the possibility of a hard landing remains a concern. Market expectations suggest Federal Reserve rate cuts may begin in the second half of the year, despite Fed officials advocating rates will be higher for longer to bring inflation back down.
January 23, 2023
Fourth-quarter earnings have been coming in weaker than forecast
For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2.7%, the S&P 500 declined by 0.7%, and the Nasdaq Composite ended the week 0.6% lower. U.S. Treasuries were largely unchanged for the week, but the U.S. Treasury yield curve remained deeply inverted, with the 10-year note ending the week at 3.48%, while the two-year note yielded 4.17% at week’s end.
January 9, 2023
Earnings season kicks off this Friday
Last week US equities finished higher, with 2023 opening with an up-and-down string of sessions capped by a big rally on Friday. Treasuries were stronger across the curve, with the 10-year yield dropping more than 30 basis points from the December close, currently at 3.56 percent. The dollar was up after pulling back in five of the prior six weeks.
December 19, 2022
Equity markets finished the week lower
For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.7%, the S&P 500 declined by 2.1%, and the Nasdaq Composite ended the week 2.7% lower. The U.S. Treasury yield curve remained deeply inverted, with the 10-year note ending the week at 3.48%, while the two-year note yielded 4.19.
December 12, 2022
Recession concerns are on the rise
US equities were lower last week, more than reversing the prior week's gains. Through Friday, the S&P had declined in six of the prior seven sessions, remaining largely in retreat after hitting a recent high above 4000 after Chair Powell's remarks on November 30th.
December 5, 2022
The labor market remains strong
Major U.S. equity indices finished last week higher, with the S&P 500 index exceeding its 200-day moving average for the first time since April. The S&P 500 Index rose 1.2% in total return for the week, while the Nasdaq Composite added 2.1% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose just shy of half a percent.
November 21, 2022
Equities ended mostly lower for the week
US equities rallied on Friday on news of strong earnings reports, but ended mostly lower for the week, giving back some of the previous week's big gains that saw the S&P and Nasdaq both post their best weekly performance since June. the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 0.1%, the S&P 500 declined by 0.6%, and the Nasdaq Composite ended the week 1.5% lower.
November 7, 2022
Earnings season is winding down
US equities were lower last week as the S&P and Nasdaq both posted declines after back-to-back weekly gains. The yield on the 10-year Treasury finished the week at 4.16 percent, while the short-end of the yield curve rose to the highest levels since 2007.
October 31, 2022
Financial markets remain resilient
Major US equities were higher for the second straight week, lifted higher by strong earnings and higher-than-expected consumer spending growth. S&P 500 increased by 4.0%, and the Nasdaq Composite ended the week 2.3% higher.
October 24, 2022
The S&P 500 Index clocks best weekly performance since June
Major U.S. equity indices finished last week notably higher, with the S&P 500 Index and Nasdaq Composite clocking their best weekly performance since June. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 4.9% in total return, up over 1,000 points.
October 17, 2022
A big week for reports regarding inflation
US equities were mostly lower last week. The S&P 500 jumped 5 percent after touching a fresh year-to-date intraday low. September Consumer Price Index, or CPI, came in hotter than expected on both the headline and core measures.
October 3, 2022
A rocky third quarter for financial markets
Major U.S. equity indices fell last week, capping a rocky third quarter for financial markets. The S&P 500 Index fell 2.9% in total return last week, bringing its year-to-date decline to nearly 24%. All three of the major benchmarks have fallen in six of the past seven weeks.
September 26, 2022
Can inflation ease before the economy falls into a recession?
Concerns about recession risks rose after the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates by 75 basis points to curb inflation. The primary question for investors is whether inflation can ease before the economy falls into a recession. The next few months of data will be crucial in determining which path the economy takes.
September 19, 2022
The S&P 500 logged its worst session since June 2020
The market was in risk-off mode last week, with a hotter-than-expected August CPI inflation report on Tuesday sparking a big selloff. The S&P 500 logged its worst session since June 2020, raising fears of a more-aggressive Fed. At the same time, the World Bank issued a warning that aggressive tightening is increasing the odds of a global recession.
September 12, 2022
Investors were encouraged by further evidence of peak inflation
While last week’s market action may prove to be a bear market bounce, investors were encouraged by further evidence of peak inflation and solid labor market data, supporting hopes for a soft landing. Federal Reserve officials continued their recent hawkish commentary and expectations firmed for a 75-basis point rate hike at the September policy meeting.
August 29, 2022
The benchmark S&P 500 Index fell 4.0%
Major U.S. equity indices dropped last week as Federal Reserve officials reiterated the need for restrictive monetary policy. The benchmark S&P 500 Index fell 4.0% in total return for the week, while the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 4.2%.
August 22, 2022
A good week for market-moving economic data
The major averages were all lower last week, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq down after four-straight weeks of gains. The easiest scapegoat for the risk-off sentiment was the more hawkish commentary out of the Federal Reserve. The jump in Treasury yields also weighed on stocks as the yield on the US 10-year Treasury finished the week just shy of 3 percent. The dollar extended gains, while gold and oil were both down for the week.
August 15, 2022
The four-week winning streak for stocks is the longest since November
Major U.S. equity indices rose last week, as investors were encouraged by inflation data that indicated price pressures had cooled in July. The four-week winning streak for stocks is the longest since November. Several Federal Reserve officials reiterated that there is more work to be done on inflation and more interest rate hikes are still to come.
August 8, 2022
Over 528,000 jobs were created in July
U.S. equity markets ended Friday’s session mixed, after a stronger-than-expected jobs report raised the prospect of more aggressive tightening by the Federal Reserve. Despite the recent announcements of layoffs and hiring slowdowns from corporate America, employment (and the unemployment rate) returned to pre-pandemic levels for the month. Over 528,000 jobs were created in July, faster than June's upwardly revised 398,000 jobs number and topping expectations for a slowdown to 250,000 job gains.
August 1, 2022
The second quarter in a row of a negative GDP reading in the U.S.
This was the second quarter in a row of a negative GDP reading in the U.S., which many investors define as a definition of a recession. However, the official record-keeper of recessions in the U.S. is an independent committee known as the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). The NBER defines a recession more broadly, as a significant decline in economic activity that is spread across the economy and lasts more than a few months. While these measures are softening, the labor market remains strong. The NBER has yet to officially declare a U.S. recession.
July 25, 2022
The U.S. dollar weakened versus major peers
The spread between the 2-year and 10-year U.S. Treasury yields remained negative, a historical indicator that a recession may be coming. The U.S. dollar weakened versus major peers and oil was lower for a third consecutive week. Weekly jobless claims rose for another week, suggesting strength in the job market may be moderating.
July 18, 2022
Major U.S. equity indices ended the week low
The major U.S. equity indices ended the week lower following a higher-than-expected Consumer Price Index (CPI) report mid-week. For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.2%, the S&P 500 declined by 0.9%, and the Nasdaq Composite ended the week 1.6% lower. Bond prices rallied last week, with the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note declining to 2.93% at the end of the week as demand for safe-haven assets continued to rise.
July 11, 2022
June's nonfarm payrolls report showed a gain of 372K jobs
The most important economic release of the week was June's nonfarm payrolls report, released Friday. This showed a headline gain of 372K jobs, notably stronger than the 275K consensus. The unemployment rate remained firm at 3.6 percent and Average Hourly Earnings showed a 0.3 percent increase in June. While the release seemed to undercut the impending recession narrative, it also was seen to bolster the case for a more-aggressive Fed.
June 27, 2022
Weaker-than-expected economic data raise the possibility of a recession
U.S. equity markets rose last week, recording their first weekly gain in four weeks, recovering somewhat after sharp losses in the prior week when the S&P logged its worst weekly performance since March 2020. The move upward was driven by expectations that the Federal Reserve may reduce the scale of its interest rate hikes at upcoming meetings, as weaker-than-expected economic data raise the possibility of a recession. Nearly every sector in the index recorded strong gains.
June 13, 2022
Piping hot inflation data raised recession fears
Major U.S. equity indices dropped sharply last week, after piping hot inflation data raised recession fears. Friday’s consumer price index (CPI) report prompted a deep selloff, as faster-than-expected inflation reignited concerns about aggressive Federal Reserve (Fed) action and the potential for recession. The report sparked speculation that the Fed would have to raise interest rates even more aggressively in the coming months and slashed hopes that inflation may have peaked in the spring.
June 6, 2022
Markets are shifting into "good news is bad news" mode
Last week, U.S. stocks failed to make gains for a second consecutive week, with the major indices seeing declines of about 1 percent. Markets are shifting into "good news is bad news" mode, particularly after the better May payrolls number. At first glance, one might think a good jobs report would be positive for stocks, but instead equities fell because it will potentially motivate the Fed to raise rates at a quicker pace to cool the economy down.
May 23, 2022
The U.S. dollar dropped sharply against major peers
Major U.S. equity indices dropped yet again last week, with the S&P 500 Index clocking its seventh weekly decline in a row. Fed watchers and market participants are trying to assess whether the Fed will be able to engineer a so-called “soft landing” by helping slow inflation without cutting off economic growth. The U.S. dollar dropped sharply against major peers, after gaining in the preceding four weeks.
May 16, 2022
The S&P 500 notched its sixth weekly loss in a row
U.S. equity markets rallied on Friday but declined for the week, driven by concerns about inflation and the prospect of more aggressive tightening by the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed). With consumer spending rotating back to services from goods, it is possible to expect further easing in goods pricing the months ahead.
May 9, 2022
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were both down for a fifth-straight week
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were both down for a fifth-straight week, the longest streak for the S&P since 2011 and Nasdaq since 2012. The May FOMC meeting ended with a 50 basis point rate hike, as expected, while the Fed also announced the start of the balance sheet drawdown, starting in June. The hike was the largest in 22 years and an escalation in the Fed’s fight to bring down prices.
April 25, 2022
Financial markets continue to be volatile
The hawkish U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed), the war in Ukraine, uneven earnings reports, and supply chain risks were just a few highlights that factored into last week’s negative returns. The Federal Reserve’s Jerome Powell blessed the thought of a half-point short-term interest rate increase at next month’s meeting.
April 11, 2022
Earnings season kicks off this week
Major U.S. equity indices were lower last week, following three consecutive weeks of gains. The World Food Price Index surged at the fastest pace ever last month, now up 50% since mid-2020. Earnings season kicks off this week as big Wall Street Banks are due to report how they fared over the volatile first quarter and Ukraine crisis.
April 4, 2022
The S&P 500 clocked its first quarterly decline since early 2020
The S&P 500 clocked its first quarterly decline since early 2020, ending the first quarter down 4.6% in total return, even after rallying back 3.7% in the month of March. Oil prices dropped last, with West Texas Intermediate crude down 12.8%, the biggest weekly drop since April 2020.
March 28, 2022
Major U.S. equity indices ended mostly higher last week
Major U.S. equity indices ended mostly higher last week, clawing back at early quarter losses. Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank must move quickly to bring monetary policy back to neutral amid surging inflation and a strong labor market. Core capital goods orders, a proxy for capital expenditures, fell three tenths of one percent after an upwardly revised gain in January.
March 21, 2022
Stocks posted their best week of the year
Financial markets surged as stocks posted their best week of the year. The Fed voted to increase short-term interest rates in the U.S. by 0.25%. This was the first interest rate hike since 2018. The Federal Open Market Committee said inflation remains elevated as an imbalance in broad price pressures, elevated energy prices, and pandemic effects linger.
March 14, 2022
Economic data continues to show prices moving higher
All three major U.S. equity benchmarks finished lower last week, after the Biden administration imposed more trade sanctions on Russia designed to economically isolate Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine. On top of higher interest rates, market bears argue that the recent spike in oil prices could also push us closer to recession.
March 7, 2022
Commodities continued their record surge
Commodities continued their record surge, with West Texas Intermediate crude oil gaining more than 26% last week. The move in commodities, and particularly in energy prices, is intensifying concerns about more persistent inflation pressures. Futures markets now suggest expectations for the Federal Reserve to raise rates by 25 basis points at least five times this year, down from more than six times expected before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
February 28, 2022
An extremely volatile week, driven mostly by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
Last week, U.S. stocks finished mostly positive during an extremely volatile week, driven mostly by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Along with the many casualties of war, governments estimate the war could lead to as many as 5 million refugees. More than a quarter of the world's wheat exports come from Ukraine and Russia. Experts warn prices may surge as much as 60 percent if the conflict extends to harvest season in July.
February 14, 2022
January headline CPI was up 7.5% year-over-year, the highest in four decades
The big focus on the U.S. economic calendar was the January consumer price index (CPI) release. January headline CPI was up 7.5% year-over-year, the highest in four decades and faster than anticipated by economists.
February 7, 2022
S&P 500 earnings season continued in full swing last week
Financial markets closed higher after another volatile week, which consisted of important payroll numbers and key earnings releases. Positive narratives continued to revolve around still easy financial conditions, strong equity inflows, robust corporate buybacks, pristine consumer balance sheets, a solid demand backdrop, declining Omicron cases, and labor market strength.
January 31, 2022
Prices continued to rise in the fourth quarter
The major U.S. benchmarks all rose despite concerns earlier in the week. The U.S. economy grew at a 6.9 percent annualized rate in the fourth quarter of 2021. Economic reports also showed that prices continued to rise in the fourth quarter.
January 24, 2022
Major U.S. equity indices dropped for a third straight week
Major U.S. equity indices dropped for a third straight week last week, continuing to spiral downward. The S&P 500 index dropped 5.7% in total return, its worst weekly decline since March 2020. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 extended its dive into correction, falling 7.6%. The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 4.6%. The U.S. 10-year Treasury yield rose close to 1.90% at one point in the week but retreated back to end the week at 1.76%. International equities also fell, and the U.S. dollar strengthened modestly versus major peers.
January 10, 2022
Financial markets had a shaky start to 2022
Financial markets had a shaky start to 2022 with wholesale declines in the major U.S. indices. Last week’s rise in interest rates was largely driven by the ongoing shift in the perception of the Federal Reserve’s reaction function to the pandemic. The view from Fifth Third’s Investment Strategy team is that the Fed is beginning to unwind some of the emergency measures put in place during the COVID-19 lockdown of 2020, but monetary policy today remains supportive of economic growth.
December 20, 2021
Major U.S. equity benchmarks ended the week broadly lower
The primary explanation for last week's pullback was the Fed. The Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) voted to double the pace of tapering asset purchases from a reduction of $15 billion per month to $30 billion per month. The faster pace puts officials in a position to raise short-term interest rates sooner to counter inflation pressures if needed. Fed Chair Powell cited inflation developments and further improvement in the labor market for the policy pivot.
December 13, 2021
U.S. stocks regained traction this week after last week’s volatility
Major U.S. benchmarks all rose as concerns around the Omicron variant eased. Global markets have seemed to overlook the threat of the Omicron variant as positive news from vaccine makers on the efficacy of the shots and/or boosters helped support the recent market rally. The U.S. trade deficit narrowed for the first time since July, indicating foreign nations have a strong demand for American goods.
December 6, 2021
Omicron variant presents a risk for inflation and the labor market
Stocks were whipsawed last week as investors tried to decipher the economic risk posed by the omicron variant. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell also suggested it may be time to stop using the word "transitory" to describe inflation. U.S. government officials reached an agreement on a short-term government funding bill late last week to prevent a government shutdown.
November 22, 2021
U.S. retail sales rose 1.7% in October, the biggest jump since March
Major U.S. equity indices were mixed last week as investors weighed inflation concerns against a continued strong earnings season. Several retailers reported earnings results last week that highlighted still strong consumer demand.
November 15, 2021
Major U.S. equity benchmarks fell the first time in 6 weeks amid inflation concerns
Major U.S. equity benchmarks fell the first time in 6 weeks amid concerns surrounding inflation, though they remain very close to all-time highs. The yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury jumped to 1.57 percent, while the dollar rose and oil declined.
November 8, 2021
The Federal Reserve announces tapering of asset purchases
Major U.S. equity indices rose to record highs last week. Investors were encouraged by continued strong earnings results, accommodative monetary policy, and robust economic data. The benchmark S&P 500 Index rose for a fifth consecutive week, adding two percent in total return.
November 1, 2021
Strong demand elevates earnings and profit margins in face of supply chain pressures
Companies from a broad range of industries highlighted a strong demand backdrop, while price increases and productivity initiatives also continued to help to keep profit margins elevated in the face of supply chain and input price pressures.
October 25, 2021
Job levels to return but supply constraints to persist longer than expected
The Fed has signaled it will likely begin to taper its $120 billion monthly bond purchase program as early as next month. About half of Fed policymakers believe a rate hike will likely be warranted in 2022.
October 18, 2021
Small business optimism drops to the lowest level since March
Equities turned around this week, as investors were encouraged by stronger than expected retail sales and solid corporate earnings, despite the continued spike in commodities prices and concerns about inflation.
October 4, 2021
U.S. stocks have enjoyed gains through the first three quarters of the year
Corporate updates continued to point to robust demand last week, while COVID-19 cases in the US continued to trend lower.
September 27, 2021
U.S. equities finished last week in positive territory
Fed Chair Jerome Powell reiterated that he believed the U.S. economy had already surpassed the central bank’s goals for inflation, and said a "reasonably good" September jobs report would suggest that the economy is strong enough to endure a reduction in Fed bond purchases.
September 20, 2021
Lingering supply chain issues continue to raise concerns
The National Federation of Independent Business reported that small business optimism unexpectedly rose in August despite hiring difficulties and supply chain disruptions. The report estimated that Hurricane Ida subtracted 0.3 percentage points due to plant closures.
September 13, 2021
There are now more job openings than people looking for work in the U.S.
The initial jobless claims figure was a new pandemic low, signaling the Delta variant has not caused layoffs. Additionally, the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey report rose to an all-time high of 10.9 million openings.
August 30, 2021
The 3 major U.S. benchmarks bounced back last week
The Jackson Hole Conference went according to plan as Fed Chair, Jerome Powell, announced the Fed’s tapering which will most likely begin before year-end. He confirmed that the taper will not immediately result in a rate hike, saying that there is "much ground to cover" before any rate increase.
August 23, 2021
Major U.S. equity indices finished mostly lower last week
Major U.S. equity indices finished mostly lower last week, while investors remain concerned about the path forward for economic growth as the delta variant continues to spread in the U.S. and abroad.
August 16, 2021
The Delta variant is having a negative impact on sentiment
The Consumer Price Index showed a slowing of inflationary pressures, even as year-over-year gains remain elevated at 5.4 percent. At the same time, the producer price index showed a 7.8 percent annual increase in wholesale prices, half a percent higher than expected.
August 9th, 2021
Employment continues to grow in the United States
Second quarter 2021 earnings season continued to ramp up last week, with nearly 90% of the S&P 500 now having reported, with very strong results relative to expectations.
August 2, 2021
Consumer spending jumped an annualized 11.8% in Q2
Second quarter earnings season continued with roughly 60% of S&P 500 Index companies now having reported results. According to data from FactSet, 88% of companies that have reported beat expectations for each earnings and revenue results.
July 26, 2021
The S&P 500 Index hit an all-time high close on Friday
Earnings season continued last week with most companies highlighting very strong demand due to the combination of the vaccine rollout, monetary and fiscal stimulus, and economic rejuvenation.
July 19, 2021
The consumer price index rose in June by the most since 2008
The National Federation for Independent Business released its optimism index, which rose 2.9 points to 102.5 in June, an eight month high. A larger share of small business owners expected the economy to improve, while more said they plan to expand and hire.
July 12, 2021
U.S. job openings rose to a record in May
Minutes from the Federal Reserve’s June meeting showed that officials plan to discuss tapering asset purchases in the coming months. Consensus expectations remain that the Fed will begin tapering early next year and that officials will not raise interest rates until at least 2023.
June 28, 2021
Major U.S. equity benchmarks finished higher last week
The domestic economic calendar last week showed existing home sales were stronger than expected, but still down 0.9%. This is a decline for the fourth straight week.
June 21, 2021
U.S equities finished lower last week
The Fed voted to keep the fed funds rate unchanged, as widely expected. They also began conversations about the tapering of bond purchases and they maintained their stance that inflation will be transitory.
June 14, 2021
U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by 5.0% year-over-year
While recent data suggest that consumer prices are rising, the central bank has noted on multiple occasions that it believes recent readings are “transitory” or short-term in nature due to a combination of a sharp pick-up in demand as well as low inventory levels coming out of 2020’s recession.
June 7, 2021
Major U.S. equity indices finished mostly higher last week
Major U.S. equity indices finished mostly higher last week. Themes in markets last week included optimistic economic data, lingering inflation concerns and Reddit-fueled speculative trading.
May 24, 2021
Major U.S. Equity Indices Were Mixed Last Week
Major U.S. equity indices were mixed last week, with the benchmark S&P 500 Index declining for a second straight week, while the tech heavy Nasdaq Composite managed to finish with a gain.
May 17, 2021
U.S. Small Business Optimism Continues To Rise
U.S. small business optimism rose to a five-month high, the third consecutive monthly increase. The tight labor market remained in focus with record JOLTS job openings in March and the latest NFIB Small Business Index noting record difficulty in filling jobs.
May 10, 2021
Many First Quarter Earnings Surpass Estimates
As of Friday’s close, about 88% of S&P 500 companies have reported first quarter earnings. Of the earnings results, 86% of reports have surpassed estimates, which is a record high.
May 3, 2021
Consumer Spending Rose 10.7%
First quarter U.S. GDP rose at a 6.4 percent annualized rate – strong growth, although a bit lighter than the expected growth rate of 6.7 percent. Consumer spending, which is the largest component of GDP, rose at an annualized rate of 10.7 percent.
April 26, 2021
Investors Digested Earnings Releases
Lingering COVID-19 economic restrictions, vaccine distribution and administration data, government fiscal stimulus measures, central bank policy actions and inflation measures are among the topics being monitored.
April 19, 2021
Positive Economic Data Across the Board
Banks and other financial stocks kicked off earnings season last week, with big financials mostly reporting solid gains—and economic data was positive across the board.
April 12, 2021
Encouraging Economic Data
Reassuring dovish comments from Federal Reserve meeting minutes, positive U.S. vaccination momentum, as well as encouraging economic data seemed to be the key drivers for the financial markets. And investors were encouraged as Federal Reserve officials provided reassurance that policy will remain supportive.
April 5, 2021
White House Releases Infrastructure Plan Details
Despite a short week for markets, the U.S. economic calendar was robust and generally upbeat. The White House also released details of its infrastructure plan worth roughly $2.25 trillion over eight years.
March 29, 2021
Another Volatile Week for Financial Markets
Major global equity benchmarks were mixed last week in another volatile week for financial markets, including a massive cargo ship running aground in the Suez Canal, completely blocking traffic in the waterway.
March 22, 2021
Continued Vaccine Rollout in U.S. and Europe
Last week’s COVID-19 headlines focused largely on the continued rollout of the vaccine in the U.S. and Europe. The U.S. is now administering about 2.5 million shots per day, while Europe is facing vaccine distribution issues and higher case counts.
March 15, 2021
Stimulus Bill Signed into Law
President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill was signed into law on Thursday and checks began going out over the weekend. The economic data coming in continues to paint a positive landscape, both for stocks and the overall economy.
March 8, 2021
U.S. Senate Passes American Rescue Plan
The U.S. Senate passed President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan over the weekend, a $1.9 trillion stimulus package to support the U.S. economy amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
March 1, 2021
COVID-19 Trends Improve and Fiscal Stimulus Expectations
The ongoing bear market in bonds may be driven by increasing inflation expectations amid a strong macroeconomic environment, solid corporate earnings, improving COVID-19 trends and expectations for more fiscal stimulus.
February 22, 2021
Stimulus Talks Continue, U.S. Stock Indices End Mostly Lower
In a shortened trading week due to the Presidents’ Day holiday, there was a lot of activity for investors to digest. Stimulus talks continued and most major U.S. stock indices ended lower.
February 8, 2021
Investors Encouraged by Potential Fiscal Stimulus
Investors were encouraged by the potential for additional fiscal stimulus and a continued decline in COVID-19 cases. Stimulus expectations ratcheted higher after the U.S. Congress cleared a major hurdle that will allow Democrats to move an economic relief package without Republican votes.
February 1, 2021
Market Movement Comes from Unlikely Source
Most major global equity benchmarks fell last week, which can somewhat be attributed to concerns that retail trading was creating havoc. The major positive themes of prospects for domestic fiscal stimulus, vaccine optimism, and strong corporate earnings weren't enough to lift the markets.
January 25, 2021
All Major Indices Hit Fresh All-Time Highs
In a shortened trading week that saw the ushering in of the Biden administration, all major indices hit fresh all-time highs. Investors anxiously wait for the next round of fiscal stimulus to get approved by Congress.
January 11, 2021
Week Ahead Brings Several Economic Updates
Democrats won two seats in Georgia’s runoff elections, leaving the incoming Senate split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as the tiebreaker vote. Markets reacted positively to the news, on expectations for more stimulus and infrastructure spending.
December 14, 2020
Weekly Jobless Claims Reach Three-month High
After a good start for equity markets last week, most U.S. stock indices moved lower. The NFIB Small Business Optimism release told us small business optimism fell more than expected. Continuing Jobless Claims rose and weekly jobless claims moved to a three-month high.
December 7, 2020
Optimism Around Vaccines Remains Elevated
Most major U.S. equity benchmarks finished last week higher as optimism around the path for COVID-19 vaccines remained elevated. And the big focus on the domestic economic calendar was last Friday's labor market report, with disappointing jobs numbers.
November 23, 2020
Vaccine Progress Offset by Worsening COVID-19 Rates
News on vaccine progress continued to be upbeat, but was offset by worsening COVID-19 infection rates and increased state and local restrictions across the country to help slow the spread.
November 16, 2020
Vaccine Announcements Boost U.S. Equities
Pfizer and BioNTech announced their COVID vaccine candidate demonstrated an efficacy rate above 90%, positively impacting U.S. equities.
November 9, 2020
Major U.S. Equity Benchmarks Rally
Major U.S. equity benchmarks rallied last week, leading the S&P 500 Index to its best weekly performance since April. Vaccine optimism, better-than-expected corporate earnings results, strong economic releases and a commitment to continued support from the Federal Reserve also helped the rally.
November 2, 2020
Election Week in the United States
It is election week in the United States, and markets are expected focus almost exclusively on the outcome of the presidential election and the races that will determine the control of the Senate.
October 5, 2020
Markets React to President's COVID Diagnosis
U.S. equities ended higher last week, despite increased volatility and a selloff Friday on news that President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for COVID-19.
September 28, 2020
Election Uncertainty Weighs on Markets
Last week U.S. equities finished mostly lower, with several factors contributing to the decline—including mounting doubts about the likelihood of another fiscal stimulus bill before the election.
September 21, 2020
Fed chair Jerome Powell Outlines Significant New Policy
Fed chair Jerome Powell outlined a significant new policy framework for the central bank, permitting inflation over two percent for an extended period. And the week’s economic releases were generally disappointing.
September 14, 2020
S&P 500 Index Lower for Second Straight Week
U.S. equities fell last week, sending the S&P 500 Index lower for a second straight week, the first back-to-back weekly declines for the benchmark index since late April/early May.
August 31, 2020
Fed Shifts to More Flexible Inflation Approach
U.S. equities rose last week as investors were encouraged by COVID-19 vaccine optimism and an announcement from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on a shift to a more flexible inflation approach.
August 24, 2020
Unemployment Levels Lowest Since Early April
U.S. COVID-19 cases declined last week, vaccine development continued to progress, and economic releases were favorable—all supportive of a good outcome in equity markets last week. And unemployment claims went up unexpectedly by 135,000 for the week ending August 15th to a seasonally adjusted 1.1 million.
August 17, 2020
Stimulus Measures, Vaccine Optimism, and Positive Economic Data
Tailwind of massive stimulus measures, vaccine optimism, and positive economic data drove markets last week. And presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s selection of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) as his running mate seemed to have little impact on market sentiment.
August 10, 2020
Strong Economic Data, Shrugging Off Relief Package Stalemate
The White House and congressional Democrats remained far apart in relief package negotiations last week, and tensions continued to flare up between the U.S. and China—though markets largely ignored this concern.
August 3, 2020
Second-half Uncertainty Leading to Investor Caution
Vaccine optimism overshadowed a continued uptick in coronavirus infections and the re-imposition of some mitigation measures. In addition, consensus expectations continued to revolve around a fifth coronavirus relief package that could address some of the dampened recovery momentum.
July 27, 2020
Investors Wary of Economy's Ability to Rebound
U.S. equities snapped a three-week winning streak, falling amid investor concerns about rising tensions between the U.S. and China, along with continued worries about the economic recovery. The U.S. dollar slid to its weakest level since January.