US Equity Markets rallied last week on easing economic data that increased hopes the Fed may be done raising rates. The S&P 500 was up 2.5% for the week and is now up 17.6% for the year. The Nasdaq rose 3.3% for the week to bring its gains for the year to 34.1%, while the Russell 2000 (small cap stocks) increased 3.6% for the week and is now up 9.1% for the year.
Global Equity Markets rose last week on continued weak economic data out of China that raised chatter about potential economic stimulus efforts by the Chinese government. Developed Markets rose 2.6% for the week and are now up 6.8% for the year. Emerging Markets increased 2.7% for the week to return to positive territory for the year, now up 2.3% for the year.
US Economic Data were generally below expectations last week, suggesting economic activity may be slowing. The Unemployment Rate for August rose to 3.8% from 3.5% in July, while Payroll gains of 187K marked the third consecutive month below 200K. Job Openings came in less than expected, while Consumer Confidence for August dropped notably from July, also below forecasts. The second estimate for Q2 economic growth came in at 2.1%, below the initial estimate of 2.4%, though a final estimate will occur in another month.
Of Interest to Us
Job cuts rose sharply in August 2023. According to the Challenger Report, US-based employers announced 75,151 job cuts in August 2023, up 217% from July 2023 when 23,697 job cuts occurred, and up 267% from 20,485 job losses in August 2022. Through August 2023, there have been a total of over 557K job cuts, up 210% from the same period in 2022.
for the week ending 9/1/2023
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