US Equity Markets rebounded in a holiday-shortened week last week despite rising COVID-19 cases, as investors cheered positive economic data that give hope to an ongoing improvement in the US economy. The S&P 500 rallied 4.0% for the week and is now down 3.1% for the year. The Nasdaq touched all-time highs for the week, up 4.6%, to bring its gains for the year to 13.8%, while the Russell 2000 (small-cap stocks) bounced 3.9% for the week but remains down 14.2% for the year.
Global Equity Markets also rose last week, albeit less than US markets, as better-than-expected economic data out of both Europe and Asia overcame concerns about rising COVID-19 cases in the US. Developed Markets increased 1.6% for the week to bring their losses for the year to -11.6%. Emerging Markets were up 3.4% for the week to cut its losses for the year to -7.3%.
Economic data released last week related to the US Consumer rose sharply in June. The Monthly Payroll gains for June totaled 4.80 million, well ahead of expectations, while May's surprising payroll gains were revised higher. The Unemployment Rate for June fell to 11.1% from 13.3% in May, also better than forecasts. Consumer Confidence for June bounced notably from May levels, with Consumers' expectations for their outlook rising particularly sharply.
Of Interest to Us
A key measure of US Manufacturing activity, the ISM Manufacturing Index, increased to 52.6 in June, well ahead of expectations and suggesting that the US Manufacturing industry has re-entered expansionary territory. A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below 50 suggests contraction. The ISM Index has also been a relatively good predictor of the health of the US economy. Admittedly, the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the US that has caused several states to delay the re-opening of their economies could cause this to change quickly. But June's data are encouraging.
for the week ending 7/3/2020
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