The Markets (as of market close August 20, 2021)
Stocks closed the week lower over concerns about the pace of global economic growth. China, the world’s second-largest economy, saw retail sales and industrial production slow as that country tries to contain the fallout from the latest resurgence in COVID cases. In addition, the minutes from the July Federal Open Market Committee meeting indicated that at least some of the members are considering tapering the Fed’s asset-purchase program sooner rather than later. Each of the benchmark indexes listed here lost value. The Global Dow fell 3.3%, the Russell 2000 dipped 2.5%, and the Dow dropped 1.1%. The dollar and gold prices advanced, while crude oil prices declined 8.5%. The yield on 10-year Treasuries marginally decreased. The market sectors were mixed for the week, with utilities, consumer staples, health care, information technology, and real estate gaining ground, while energy, materials, financials, industrials, and consumer discretionary fell.
Stocks were mixed last Monday, with the Dow and the S&P 500 reaching record highs, while the Nasdaq, the Russell 2000, and the Global Dow slipped lower. Crude oil prices dipped, the dollar was mixed, and the yield on 10-year Treasuries fell nearly 3.0%. Health care, consumer staples, and utilities led the market sectors, while energy slid 1.8%.
A string of five consecutive record finishes for the Dow and the S&P 500 ended last Tuesday, as each benchmark index suffered its largest decline since July 19. Stocks closed lower following a weaker-than-expected retail sales report and concerns about the economic impact of the Delta variant. The Nasdaq (-0.9%), the Russell 2000 (-1.2%), and the Global Dow (-0.9%) also dipped lower. Treasury yields and crude oil prices decreased, while the dollar advanced. The market sectors generally fared poorly, with only health care and real estate advancing. Consumer discretionary (-2.3%), materials (-1.2%), industrials (-1.1%), and communication services (-1.0%) fell the most.
Last Wednesday saw Wall Street continue to falter as each of the benchmark indexes lost value, led by the large caps of the Dow and the S&P 500, which dipped 1.1%. The Nasdaq fell 0.9%, the Russell 2000 declined 0.8%, and the Global Dow decreased 0.5%. Energy fell 2.4%, followed by health care (-1.5%), information technology (-1.4%), and consumer staples (-1.3%). Crude oil prices dropped to $64.59 per barrel, their lowest closing price since mid-May. The yield on 10-year Treasuries increased 1.2%, while the dollar was little changed from the prior day.

The slide in stock values may be in response to minutes from last month’s Federal Reserve meeting, which indicated that a decision on a reducing its bond-purchasing program could happen in 2021. Stocks were largely mixed last Thursday, with the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 eking out gains (0.1%), while the Global Dow (-1.7%), the Russell 2000 (-1.2%), and the Dow (- 0.2%) dipped lower. Treasury yields and crude oil prices fell, while the dollar advanced. Asian and European markets fell on COVID concerns. Consumer staples, information technology, and real estate led the sectors, while consumer discretionary, industrials, and energy faded.

Last Friday proved to be Wall Street’s best day of the week. Each of the benchmark indexes advanced, led by the Russell 2000 (1.6%) and the Nasdaq (1.2%). The S&P 500 (0.8%) and the Dow (0.7%) pushed higher. The Global Dow inched up 0.1%. Each of the market sectors gained ground, with information technology, utilities, and
communication services leading the pack. Ten-year Treasury yields rose, while the dollar and crude oil prices dipped.

The national average retail price for regular gasoline was $3.174 per gallon on August 16, $0.002 per gallon more than the prior week’s price and $1.008 higher than a year ago. Gasoline production increased during the week ended August 13, averaging 10.0 million barrels per day. U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 16.0 million barrels per
day during the week ended August 13; this was 191,000 barrels per day less than the previous week’s average. For the week ended August 13, refineries operated at 92.2% of their operable capacity, up from the prior week’s level of 91.8%.  Click here for the complete article: Winthrop Partners Market and Economic update 8-23-31