The Markets (as of market close July 24, 2020)
Last week started off on a high note as stocks reached levels not seen since February. The Nasdaq gained 2.5% last Monday, led by a surging Amazon and Zoom Technologies soared to a record high following the publication of positive COVID-19 vaccine results. Investors were encouraged by signs out of Washington that additional stimulus was on the way. The S&P 500 advanced 0.8% on the day while the Dow’s gain was negligible.
The Russell 2000 recovered from a poor Monday by gaining 1.3% last Tuesday to lead the benchmark indexes listed here. The Global Dow rose 0.9%, buoyed by a new round of economic stimulus from the European Union. The Dow climbed 0.6%, and the S&P 500 inched up 0.2%. The Nasdaq retreated from its record high on Monday, giving back 0.8% last Tuesday.
Wednesday saw equities rise despite an increase in tensions between the United States and China. Pfizer vaulted 5.1% on positive COVID-19 vaccine developments. The Dow and the S&P 500 each gained nearly 0.6%, with the latter reaching a five-month high. The Nasdaq and the Russell 2000 each gained 0.2% on the day.
Stocks ended a 4-day run last Thursday, falling to their lowest levels in a week. An unanticipated rise in unemployment claims and lower-than-expected earning reports from some major tech companies contributed to the decline. Stock prices fell for some of the major market players including Amazon, Alphabet (Google), Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, and Tesla. The Nasdaq plunged 2.3% followed by the Dow, which fell 1.3%. The S&P 500 dropped 1.2%. Crude oil prices, the dollar, and Treasury yields all declined.
Equities ended last week on a sour note with each of the indexes listed here losing value. The Russell 2000 dropped 1.5% on the day, followed by the Nasdaq (-0.9%), the Dow (-0.7%), the Global Dow (-0.7%), and the S&P 500 (-0.6%). Investors seemed concerned over escalating discord between the United States and China, disappointing earnings reports, and the likelihood of more fiscal stimulus.
Last week saw the run of solid market gains end as each of the benchmark indexes listed here posted losses. The Nasdaq, which had strung together several weeks of gains, fell back for the second consecutive week. The large caps of the Dow and the
S&P 500 also lagged after advancing for three consecutive weeks. Year-to-date, the Nasdaq is still well ahead of its 2019 closing value, while the S&P 500 is within 0.5% of breaking even. The Dow, Global Dow, and Russell 2000 remain well off their respective 2019 closing marks.
Crude oil prices ended the week at $41.18 per barrel by late Friday afternoon, up from the prior week’s price of $40.58. The price of gold (COMEX) advanced for the sixth consecutive week, closing at $1,899.60, up from the prior week’s price of $1,812.20. The national average retail price for regular gasoline was $2.186 per gallon on July 20, $0.009 lower than the prior week’s price and $0.564 less than a year ago. Click here for more: Winthrop Partners Weekly Update 7-27-2020