The Markets (as of market close July 31, 2020)
Equities continued their positive run of Mondays by posting solid gains again to start last week. The technology sector led the Nasdaq to power ahead by 1.7%. The small caps of the Russell 2000 advanced 1.2%, and the large caps of the S&P 500 (0.7%) and the Dow (0.4%) also climbed higher last Monday. Crude oil prices and Treasury yields rose, while the dollar declined. Gold prices continued to soar as it reached its highest level in history, a possible indication that investors view the economy as stagnating.
While last Tuesday saw movement on further economic stimulus, that development didn’t help stocks. Each of the benchmark indexes lost value, giving back Monday’s gains. Less-than-favorable quarterly earnings reports from some major companies sent shares tumbling. The Nasdaq was hardest hit, falling 1.3%, followed by the Russell 2000, which gave back 1.0%. The Dow (-0.8%) and the S&P 500 (-0.7%) also fell last Tuesday. Crude oil prices dipped 1.5%, Treasury yields dropped, while the dollar and gold rose.
After a slow start to the day, stocks rebounded last Wednesday following the Federal Reserve’s announcement that interest rates will remain the same and economic stimulus will continue. The Dow rose 0.6%, the S&P 500 advanced 1.3%, and the Nasdaq gained 1.4%. Crude oil prices climbed, while the dollar and Treasury yields fell.
Last Thursday proved to be another tough day for stocks. Only the Nasdaq gained value, rising 0.4% by the end of trading. The remaining benchmark indexes fell behind, led by the Dow, which dropped 0.9%, followed by the Global Dow, which landed -0.8% in the red. Both the S&P 500 and the Russell 2000 lost 0.4%. Investors received little encouraging news on the day. A consensus has yet to be reached on the next round of government pandemic relief. The second-quarter GDP saw the economy regress at a rate of nearly 33%. And claims for unemployment insurance increased for the second straight week.
The week ended with tech stocks surging, driving the Nasdaq ahead 1.5% by the close of trading last Friday. Positive earnings report from some major market moving companies helped drive stocks higher, despite mixed overall earnings results, worries about economic recovery, and increasing virus cases.
The Nasdaq rebounded from a poor start to close last week up 3.7%. The S&P 500 climbed 1.7%, followed by the Russell 2000, which advanced 0.9%. The Dow (-0.2%) and the Global Dow (-1.2%) ended last week in the red. Year to date, the Nasdaq is no longer the only benchmark index in the black. The S&P 500 is now 1.25% ahead of its 2019 year end value following last week’s solid performance.
Crude oil prices ended the week at $40.41 per barrel by late Friday afternoon, down from the prior week’s price of $40.58. The price of gold (COMEX) continues to surge, climbing for the seventh consecutive week. By the close of trading last Friday, the price of gold was $1,989.90, up from the prior week’s price of $1,899.60. The national average retail price for regular gasoline was $2.175 per gallon on July 27, $0.011 lower than the prior week’s price and $0.540 less than a year ago. Click here for the full report.Winthrop Partners Weekly Update 8-3-2020
Thomas Saunders is the Managing Partner of Winthrop Partners. Prior to founding Winthrop Partners, Tom was Senior Vice President at what is now JP Morgan. His career includes senior and executive roles at Brown Brothers Harriman and First Niagara Bank, a top 25 Bank. Click here to contact Thomas Saunders about your investment and planning requirements.