US Equity Markets remained under pressure last week despite commentary from Federal Reserve Chairman Powell reaffirming that rates will remain low for the foreseeable future. The S&P 500 fell 0.6% for the week to bring its gains for the year to 2.8%. The Nasdaq also dropped 0.6% for the week to reduce its gains for the year to 20.3%. The Russell 2000 (small-cap stocks) outperformed for the week, up 2.6%, but remains down 7.9% for the year.
Global Equity Markets struggled but held onto gains last week, as strength on the improving economies in Asia overcame rising concerns of a second wave of COVID-19 cases in Europe. As a result, Developed Markets increased 0.7% for the week but remain down 6.3% for the year. Emerging Markets rose 1.5% for the week, helped by a 9.6% rally in oil prices, to bring its losses for the year to down 0.6%.
Consumer-related economic data generally disappointed last week. Initial Jobless Claims remain stubbornly elevated at 860K, down slightly from week-ago levels. Retail Sales for August increased 0.6%, well below forecasts and down from 0.9% in July. Encouragingly, preliminary measures of consumer sentiment for September improved from August and were slightly ahead of projections.
Of Interest to Us
While still up notably for the year, mega-cap Technology stocks have pulled back sharply thus far in September, causing the Nasdaq to enter what is generally viewed as "correction" territory of down 10% from its highs. In the month of September, bellwether stock Apple (AAPL) has pulled back 17%, Microsoft (MSFT) is down 11%, Amazon (AMZN) is down 14%, and Facebook (FB) has dropped 14%.
for the week ending 9/18/2020
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