The Markets (as of market close August 28, 2020)
Last week began with a bang. The Dow climbed 1.4% to reach 28,300 for the first time since February. Investors were encouraged by word that the Trump administration may push the Food and Drug Administration to approve vaccines and treatments for the COVID-19 virus. While the rhetoric may be more bark than bite, it was enough to push market indexes to record highs. The Nasdaq advanced 0.6%, and the S&P 500 rose 1.0%, each reaching all-time highs. The Russell 2000 gained 1.0%, and the Global Dow picked up 1.5%. The dollar, Treasury yields, and crude oil prices all rose. Sectors that enjoyed a strong start to the week were energy, financials, and industrials. Technology and health care also posted modest advances.
Last Tuesday saw stocks advance despite weakening consumer confidence. Word that the United States and China intend to honor their commitment to the phase-one trade deal offered some encouragement for investors. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 reached new highs, while the Global Dow (0.2%) and the Russell 2000 (0.2%) posted modest gains. Of the indexes listed here, only the Dow lost value. Crude oil prices and the dollar fell, while Treasury prices dropped, pushing yields higher.
Stocks continued to reach record highs last Wednesday on the expectations that the Federal Reserve will continue its supportive monetary policy and keep interest rates low. A strong durable goods report also helped boost investor confidence. Mega-cap stocks and technology shares drove the market higher. The dollar weakened; gold, crude oil, and Treasury yields rose.
Stocks were mixed last Thursday with the Dow, the S&P 500, and the Russell 2000 posting gains, while the Nasdaq and the Global Dow fell. Crude oil prices fell, the dollar was mixed, and Treasury yields surged. As expected, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell indicated that the Fed would continue its accommodative measures and allow the economy to expand essentially without reins until it nears the Fed’s 2.0% target rate for inflation. Financials, real estate, and health care performed well on the day, while communications, tech, and energy lagged.
Last week ended on a high note for stock indexes. The Dow and the Nasdaq advanced 0.6%, respectively last Friday. The S&P 500 gained 0.7% to reach an all-time high for the sixth consecutive trading session. The Russell 2000 climbed 0.9% on the day, and
the Global Dow climbed 0.7%. Crude oil prices declined on the day, and the dollar fell to its lowest level in nearly two years.
For the week, each of the benchmark indexes posted solid gains, led by the Nasdaq, and followed by the S&P 500, the Global Dow, the Dow, and the Russell 2000. Investors were buoyed by optimism about COVID-19 treatments and vaccines, assurances that the Federal Reserve will continue its accommodative stance, low interest rates, and muted inflation. Year to date, the Dow finally passed its 2019 closing value, joining the Nasdaq and the S&P 500.
Crude oil prices ended the week at $42.97 per barrel by late Friday afternoon, up from the prior week’s price of $42.29. The price of gold (COMEX) increased last week, closing at $1,972.80, up from the prior week’s price of $1,946.20. The national average retail price for regular gasoline was $2.182 per gallon on August 24, $0.016 higher than the prior week’s price but $0.392 less than a year ago. Click here for the complete report: Winthrop Partners Weekly Update 8-31-2020