The Markets (as of market close January 29, 2021)

Equities were mixed to begin last week. The Global Dow (-0.6%), the Russell 2000 (-0.3%), and the Dow (-0.1%) lost value. The S&P 500 advanced 0.4% on the day, and the Nasdaq closed up 0.7% to reach a record high. Treasury yields fell, while crude oil prices and the dollar rose. Technology, consumer staples, real estate, and utilities led the sectors. Investors may have pulled away from stocks following uncertainty over President Biden’s stimulus plan; news of a new, aggressive COVID-19 strain; foreign travel restrictions into the United States; and word that a major pharmaceutical company had stopped working on its COVID vaccine program.

Only the Global Dow edged higher last Tuesday, a day that saw investors take profits from record-setting equities. Small caps, which had been soaring, fell back, pulling the Russell 2000 down 0.6%. The S&P 500 dropped 0.2%, while both the Nasdaq and the Dow inched down 0.1%. Crude oil prices and the dollar gave back Monday’s gains, while the yield on 10-year Treasuries was unchanged. Among the sectors, real estate, consumer staples, and communication services fared the best, while energy, materials, financials, and industrials fell.

A less-than-optimistic assessment from the Federal Reserve sent stocks reeling last Wednesday. Each of the benchmark indexes fell sharply, led by the Nasdaq and the S&P 500, which each lost 2.6%, while the Dow fell 2.1%. The Russell 2000 and the Global Dow each dropped 1.9%. Prices for Treasury notes spiked, pulling yields lower by 2.5%. Crude oil prices and the dollar gained. All of the sectors fell, with communication services, health care, and materials the hardest hit.
Investors looked for value buys last Thursday, taking advantage of lower stock prices following Wednesday’s sell-off. The large caps of the Dow and the S&P 500 both rose 1.0%, while the Nasdaq and the Global Dow each advanced 0.5%. The small caps of the Russell 2000 edged down 0.1%. Industrials, health care, communication services, financials, and materials performed well last Thursday. Treasury yields climbed 4.2%, while crude oil prices and the dollar fell.

The week saw a new type of market risk due to “cyberbulling” — a scenario where retail investors acting together online agree to buy certain stocks, which can create extreme volatility in certain stocks and sectors. Ultimately, the week closed on a sour note forstocks as each of the benchmark indexes lost value last Friday. The Dow, the Nasdaq, and the Global Dow each fell 2.0%. The S&P 500 finished down 1.9%, and the Russell 2000 dropped 1.6%. Treasury yields and the dollar closed up, while crude oil prices dropped. All of the market sectors finished the day in the red, led by energy, which plunged 3.4%.Each of the benchmark indexes listed here lost significant value last week. The Russell 2000, which had gotten off to a very positive start to the new year, suffered the largest drop, falling 4.4%, followed by the Global Dow, the Nasdaq, the S&P 500, and the Dow. The dollar and crude oil prices closed slightly ahead, while gold prices dipped lower. For the third consecutive week, 10-year Treasury yields ended the week where they began. Year to date, the Russell 2000 and the Nasdaq are the only indexes still in the black.

The national average retail price for regular gasoline was $2.392 per gallon on January 25, $0.013 higher than the prior week’s price but $0.114 less than a year ago. Crude oil imports into the United States averaged 5.1 million barrels per day for the week ended January 22, a decrease of 1.0 million barrels per day from the previous week.  Click here for full report:Winthrop Partners Weekly Market Update 2-1-2021