The Markets (as of market close August 6, 2021)
Stocks closed last week generally higher on the heels of a solid jobs report, which may have quelled worries that economic growth was slowing. Nevertheless, equity returns were volatile for much of the week, reflecting ongoing uncertainty as variant strains of the virus spread and concerns rose over the possibility that the Federal Reserve may begin reeling in its asset-purchasing program sooner than expected. Financials led the market sectors, advancing 3.6% for the week, followed by utilities, which rose 2.3%. Most of the remaining sectors increased less than 1.0%, while consumer staples dipped 0.6%. The benchmark indexes listed here generally posted weekly gains, other than the Russell 2000, which fell 1.2%. Crude oil prices closed the week at $68.50 per barrel, down more than 7.0% from the prior week’s closing price. Gold slipped, the dollar rose, and the yield on 10-year Treasuries climbed higher.

Wall Street erased earlier gains to close lower last Monday. Increasing demand sent the yield on 10-year Treasuries down as low as 1.15%, possibly raising investor concerns about the pace of economic growth. The Nasdaq inched 0.1% higher and the Global Dow rose 0.4%. The Russell 2000 (-0.5%), the Dow (-0.3%), and the S&P 500 (-0.2%) lost value. Materials, industrials, and energy fell, while utilities, health care, and consumer discretionary were market sectors that rose. Crude oil prices and the dollar dipped lower.

Stocks rebounded last Tuesday as strong corporate earnings data offset concerns about the Delta virus variant and China’s deepening regulatory scrutiny of megatech companies. Ten of the 11 market sectors traded higher, pushing the S&P 500 to a record closing high. The Dow, the Nasdaq, the Global Dow, and the Russell 2000 also posted solid gains. Treasury yields and the dollar inched higher, while crude oil prices dipped lower but remained over $70.00 per barrel.
Energy shares fell nearly 3.0% last Wednesday and stocks retreated from the previous day’s strong showing. Among the benchmark indexes, only the Nasdaq eked out a 0.1% gain. The Russell 2000 fell 1.2%, the Dow lost 0.9%, while the Global Dow and the S&P 500 dropped 0.5%. Treasury yields and the dollar climbed higher, while crude oil prices dipped below $70.00 per barrel, closing at roughly $68.47 per barrel — the lowest price since mid July.

Despite hawkish comments from a few members of the Federal Reserve who suggested policy accommodations may be pulled back sooner than expected, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closed last Thursday at record highs, and the stock market ended the day with solid returns. The Russell 2000 led the way, gaining 1.8%, while the Dow and the Nasdaq advanced 0.8%. The S&P 500 and the Global Dow climbed 0.6%. The yield on 10-year Treasuries climbed back over 1.21%, crude oil prices continued to fall, and the dollar was generally unchanged. Among the market sectors, energy, financials,
and utilities rose more than 1.0%, followed by communication services and consumer discretionary, which increased 0.9%.

Stocks closed last Friday mixed, with the large caps of the Dow (0.4%) and the S&P 500 (0.2%) reaching record highs, while the Nasdaq (-0.4%) and the Russell 2000 (-1.0%) lost value. The Global Dow inched ahead 0.2%. Yields on 10-year Treasuries gained 6.0%, the dollar climbed 0.6%, while crude oil prices dipped 3.0%. Financials, materials, and
energy sectors pushed higher, while consumer discretionary and real estate edged lower.

The national average retail price for regular gasoline was $3.159 per gallon on August 2, $0.023 per gallon more than the prior week’s price and $0.983 higher than a year ago. Gasoline production increased during the week ended July 30, averaging 10.2 million barrels per day, up from the prior week’s average of 9.8 million barrels per day. U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 15.9 million barrels per day during the week ended July 30; this was 46,000 barrels per day more than the previous week’s average. For the week ended July 30, refineries operated at 91.3% of their operable capacity, up
marginally from the prior week’s level of 91.1%. Click here for the entire article: Winthrop Partners Market and Economic Update 8-9-21