Economic Update

Market Week: September 20, 2021

The Markets (as of market close September 17, 2021)

Stocks have generally retreated in September on concerns that the Delta variant is slowing the economy’s rebound and that the markets, which had been surging, may be primed for a decline. The benchmark indexes generally lost ground for the second consecutive week, with only the Russell 2000 able to close the week in the black. Ten-year Treasury yields climbed 3 basis points last week, the dollar climbed higher, and crude oil prices increased $2.34 per barrel. Among the market sectors, only consumer discretionary (0.5%) and energy (3.3%) advanced. The remaining sectors lost value, led by materials (3.2%) and utilities (3.1%).

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Market Week: September 13, 2021

The Markets (as of market close September 10, 2021)

Stocks retreated last week, with each of the benchmark indexes listed here falling at least 1.3%. The Russell 2000 and the Dow dropped the furthest, declining 2.8% and 2.2%, respectively. Investors contended with mixed signals. A better-than-expected jobless claims report, while encouraging, could prompt the Federal Reserve to start reducing its asset purchases sooner. Also, the spread of the Delta variant may impede economic recovery. Each of the market sectors fell for the week, with real estate dropping nearly 4.0%. Crude oil prices and the dollar inched ahead last week, while gold prices, which had been climbing, fell 2.2%. Ten-year Treasury yields climbed marginally higher.

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Market Week: September 7, 2021

The Markets (as of market close September 3, 2021)

Wall Street closed the week generally higher, with only the Dow dipping. Investors have the Labor Day weekend to weigh the effects of the somewhat lackluster jobs report for August. Last week, traders continued to move back to tech stocks and megacaps, driving the Nasdaq to record highs. Following the advancing Nasdaq was the Global Dow, the Russell 2000, and the S&P 500. Ten-year Treasury yields inched up, the dollar slipped, while crude oil prices rose less than $1.00 per barrel. Gold prices climbed for the second consecutive week. Year to date, the S&P 500 is nearly 21.0% higher than its 2020 closing mark, closely followed by the Nasdaq. Among the market sectors, energy, financials, industrials, and materials fell, while communication services, real estate, technology, consumer discretionary, health care, utilities, and consumer staples advanced.

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Market Month: August 2021

The Markets (as of market close August 31, 2021)

The benchmark indexes enjoyed a solid August, with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq reaching record highs multiple times during the month. In fact, the S&P 500 recorded its seventh straight monthly advance — its longest streak of monthly gains since January 2018. Each of the benchmarks is well ahead of its 2020 year-end value, led by the S&P 500, followed by the Nasdaq, the Global Dow, the Dow, and the Russell 2000. Ten-year Treasury yields increased and crude oil prices fell, while the dollar and gold prices inched higher.

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Market Week: August 30, 2021

The Markets (as of market close August 27, 2021)

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq recorded multiple record highs last week. Each of the benchmark indexes listed here posted solid gains, led by the small caps of the Russell 2000, which climbed more than 5.0%. Following the conclusion of the Federal Reserve’s much-anticipated Jackson Hole symposium, Fed Chair Jerome Powell reiterated the message that tapering bond purchases would likely begin this year, while interest rates would remain in place for some time. The market sectors generally advanced, with energy climbing 7.4% and financials adding 3.5%. Ten-year Treasury yields rose 5 basis points to 1.31%. Crude oil prices rebounded from the prior week’s dip, rising over 10.0% to $68.72 per barrel. The dollar slid against a basket of currencies, while gold prices advanced for the second consecutive week.

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Market Week: August 23, 2021

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.

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Market Week: August 16, 2021

The Markets (as of market close August 13, 2021)

Stocks closed mostly higher last week, with only the Nasdaq unable to end in the black. The Dow and the S&P 500 each closed the week at record highs, buoyed by a strong corporate earnings season. Treasury yields finished the week where they began, crude oil prices fell for the second consecutive week, the dollar and gold prices weakened. Consumer staples, financials, materials, industrials, and utilities led the sectors. All the benchmark indexes listed here remain well above their 2020 year-end closing values. The S&P 500, up nearly 19.0% since the beginning of the year, has nearly doubled since the pandemic lows of March 2020, with the energy sector the biggest climber during that period.

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Market Week: August 9, 2021

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.

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Market Week: August 2, 2021

The Markets (as of market close July 30, 2021)

Equities retreated last week despite strong corporate earnings data. European and Asian stocks slid
following China’s regulatory crackdown aimed at large tech companies. Although corporate earnings
generally have been solid, last Friday’s lower-than-expected earnings results from some heavily weighted
megacaps may have caused some uncertainty about the pace of economic growth. By the close of last
week, tech shares fell, pulling the Nasdaq down 1.1%, with the large caps of the Dow and the S&P 500
each declining 0.4%. The small caps of the Russell 2000 climbed 0.8%, while the Global Dow rose 0.4%.
Crude oil prices climbed 2.4% to $73.81 per barrel. Gold prices rose nearly 1.0%, while the dollar dipped
0.8%. The yield on 10-year Treasuries decreased 5 basis points. Materials (2.8%) and energy (1.6%) led
the market sectors.

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Market Month: July 2021