Positive economic news and corporate earnings data helped drive stocks higher last week. Although the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates another 75 basis points, investors may expect subsequent rate increases to be no more than 75 basis points, with the possibility of a slowdown in rate hikes in the not-too-distant future. Each of the major benchmark indexes gained at least 2.9%, with the Nasdaq, the S&P 500, and the Russell 2000 climbing more than 4.0%. Ten-year Treasury yields fell for the third consecutive week. Crude oil prices increased for the first time in four weeks. Gold prices jumped nearly $57.00 per ounce, while the dollar dipped lower.
Last Wednesday saw stocks surge and bond yields slump despite another 75-basis point interest-rate hike by the Federal Reserve. Chair Jerome Powell said the Fed will slow the pace of rate increases at some point but would not offer more concrete information on how many rate hikes will follow or the size of those increases. Nearly all the market sectors in the S&P 500 rose, driving the index up 2.6% on the day.
The stock rally continued into Thursday, with each of the major benchmark indexes gaining at least 1.0%.
Wall Street closed higher last Friday, ending a choppy week of trading. Strong earnings reports from some major megacap tech companies helped push stocks higher. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 led the gainers, advancing 1.9% and 1.4%, respectively. The Global Dow rose 1.3%, followed by the Dow (1.0%) and the Russell 2000 (0.7%).
Eye on the Week Ahead
The employment figures for July are out this week. There were 372,000 new jobs added in June and hourly earnings increased 0.3%. Earnings have risen 5.1% since June 2021. The unemployment rate, currently 3.6%, has remained relatively steady. Overall, the employment numbers have been solid, lending credence to the Federal Reserve’s assessment that the labor market is strong and able to withstand rate hikes.
Data sources: Economic: Based on data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (unemployment, inflation); U.S. Department of Commerce (GDP, corporate profits, retail sales, housing); S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Index (home prices); Institute for Supply Management (manufacturing/services). Performance: Based on data reported in WSJ Market Data Center (indexes); U.S. Treasury (Treasury yields); U.S. Energy Information Administration/Bloomberg.com Market Data (oil spot price, WTI, Cushing, OK); www.goldprice.org (spot gold/silver); Oanda/FX Street (currency exchange rates). News items are based on reports from multiple commonly available international news sources (i.e., wire services) and are independently verified when necessary with secondary sources such as government agencies, corporate press releases, or trade organizations. All information is based on sources deemed reliable, but no warranty or guarantee is made as to its accuracy or completeness. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed herein constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities, and should not be relied on as financial advice. Forecasts are based on current conditions, subject to change, and may not come to pass. U.S. Treasury securities are guaranteed by the federal government as to the timely payment of principal and interest. The principal value of Treasury securities and other bonds fluctuates with market conditions. Bonds are subject to inflation, interest-rate, and credit risks. As interest rates rise, bond prices typically fall. A bond sold or redeemed prior to maturity may be subject to loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. All investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal, and there can be no guarantee that any investing strategy will be successful.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is a price-weighted index composed of 30 widely traded blue-chip U.S. common stocks. The S&P 500 is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 largest, publicly traded companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-value weighted index of all common stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The Russell 2000 is a market-cap weighted index composed of 2,000 U.S. small-cap common stocks. The Global Dow is an equally weighted index of 150 widely traded blue-chip common stocks worldwide. The U.S. Dollar Index is a geometrically weighted index of the value of the U.S. dollar relative to six foreign currencies. Market indexes listed are unmanaged and are not available for direct investment.