THE WEEK ON WALL STREET
Stocks advanced relentlessly last week on positive COVID-19 developments, encouraging economic data, and a supportive policy shift in the Fed's approach to its target inflation rate.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased by 2.59%, while the Standard & Poor's 500 jumped 3.26%. The Nasdaq Composite index leaped 3.39% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, rose 1.19%.1-3
Stocks Power Higher
Investors pushed stock prices higher all week as hopeful news came with each new day, from the announcement of a potential treatment for COVID-19 to news that U.S. and China negotiators had met by videoconference. Despite another high new jobless claims number, other economic data released during the week indicated a continuing economic recovery, further supporting investor enthusiasm for stocks.
The Fed's announcement of a shift in its inflation policy, which suggested that rates are likely to remain low for a long time, helped push the market higher. The momentum carried over into Friday, leaving the S&P 500 and NASDAQ Composite at new record highs and the Dow Jones in positive year-to-date territory.5
Changes in the Dow Industrials
It was announced last week that the Dow Jones Industrial Average will be undergoing some changes. Starting Monday, August 31, Salesforce.com, Amgen, and Honeywell International will be added to the 30 stocks in the Dow Industrials and Exxon Mobil, Pfizer, and Raytheon Technologies will be removed.
In part, these changes were prompted by Dow-component Apple, which plans a four-to-one stock split on Monday, August 31. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index, and Apple's split reduces the impact of technology on the index. The new changes are an attempt to mitigate that issue.7
BY THE NUMBER$
NEED MORE, NOT LESS - The suppliers of lumber cut their production in the 1st quarter 2020 as the pandemic was developing in anticipation of a slowing housing market. Instead, an increased demand for home building and renovation projects has pushed the price of lumber to an all-time record price of $858 per thousand board feet, up +111% from a price of $406 per thousand board feet at the end of 2019 (source: CME Group).
SO THEY SAY - As of 8/28/20, the top 3 countries in the world for reported deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic are the USA, Brazil and Mexico. China claims to have suffered just 4,718 deaths, or less than 3% of the death total recorded by the United States (source: Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins). 8
THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Tuesday: ISM (Institute of Supply Management) Manufacturing Index.
Wednesday: ADP (Automated Data Processing) Employment Report. Factory Orders.
Thursday: Jobless Claims. ISM (Institute of Supply Management) Services Index.
Friday: Employment Situation Report.
Source: Econoday, August 28, 2020
The Econoday economic calendar lists upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision.
THE WEEK AHEAD: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Monday: Zoom Video (ZM).
Wednesday: Macy's (M), Cloudera, Inc. (CLDR), Mongodb (MDB), Crowdstrike Holdings (CRWD).
Thursday: Broadcom (AVGO), Docusign (DOCU).
Source: Zacks, August 28, 2020
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. Companies may reschedule when they report earnings without notice.
THE WEEKLY RIDDLE
There is a kind of sweet bean that never grows in a garden. What is it?
LAST WEEK'S RIDDLE: A man jumped out of a small plane without a parachute. When he hit the ground, he wasn't injured at all. Why?
ANSWER: The plane was parked on the ground.