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Market Commentary: Restaurants are Rebounding, but S&P Still Lags

Market Commentary

Market Commentary: Restaurants are Rebounding, but S&P Still Lags

Retail sales figures continued a string of economic data pointing toward slowing growth accompanied by a gradual reopening of state economies. Consumers seem willing to take some risks. Retail and food service sales rose 0.6% last month. (See Chart 1.) Increased sales at restaurants contributed most to the monthly gains.

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Market Commentary: The S&P fell for the Second Week Straight and Inflation Rises

Market Commentary

Market Commentary: The S&P fell for the Second Week Straight and Inflation Rises

Stocks continued to retreat as losses on Tuesday were large enough to push the market down more than 2% for the second week in a row. The S&P 500 has retraced 6.7% of its massive rally from the lows in March.

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Market Commentary: Sharp Decline in S&P 500 Could Signal More Volatility

Market Commentary

Market Commentary: Sharp Decline in S&P 500 Could Signal More Volatility

Investors were reminded stock investing comes with volatility as the S&P 500 dropped 3.5% on Thursday and declined 2.3% for the week. The downside pressure was felt most directly by stocks that had performed best. Figure 1 shows the best performing stocks this year (furthest to the right) lagged during the downturn (closest to the bottom).

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Market Commentary: Higher Inflation Expected in Coming Years, S&P Sees More Gains

Market Commentary

Market Commentary: Higher Inflation Expected in Coming Years, S&P Sees More Gains

The Federal Reserve announced a major policy revision last week. The revised strategy indicates rates will stay low for a long period of time and will increase slower than in past rate cycles. The report and a subsequent speech by Fed Chair Jay Powell indicate the Fed will allow inflation to move above its 2% target to make up for periods when inflation has been less than 2%.

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Weekly Market Commentary: The S&P Sets Recovery Records, Housing Market Showing Gains

Market Commentary

Weekly Market Commentary: The S&P Sets Recovery Records, Housing Market Showing Gains

The S&P 500 continued to march higher, rising 0.8% last week. Excluding dividends, the index of large-cap U.S. stocks reached a new record. Some investors prefer this measure for determining when bear markets end. By almost any measure, the S&P 500 is no longer in a bear market.

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Market Commentary: Economic Recovery May Slow After Sharp Early Rebound

Market Commentary

Market Commentary: Economic Recovery May Slow After Sharp Early Rebound

U.S. economic data last week supported the view the U.S. is entering a period of slower economic growth after a sharp recovery in May and June. Mandatory and voluntary social distancing efforts limit how quickly the economy can recover when certain segments, such as restaurants, are still struggling.

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Market Commentary: Employment Numbers Beat Expectations as S&P 500 Nears February High

Market Commentary

Market Commentary: Employment Numbers Beat Expectations as S&P 500 Nears February High

The U.S. economy added 1.8 million jobs in July as hiring momentum in the service sector allowed many workers to reclaim lost jobs or get new ones. The pace of hiring slowed compared to gains of 2.7 million and 4.8 million in May and June. The slowing growth reflects consumer caution as new virus cases surge and the slowing pace of economic reopening.

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Market Commentary: GDP Substantially Lower than Last Year, S&P Rallies in July

Market Commentary

Market Commentary: GDP Substantially Lower than Last Year, S&P Rallies in July

U.S. GDP fell 32.9% last quarter on an annualized basis. It wasn’t as bad as it looks. Annualizing the data magnifies the decline by assuming the trend will continue for a full year. A better assessment can be gained by comparing GDP to the same quarter last year.

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Market Commentary: S&P 500 Earnings are Strong, but Initial Unemployment Claims Increase

Market Commentary

Market Commentary: S&P 500 Earnings are Strong, but Initial Unemployment Claims Increase

The increased number of COVID-19 cases appears to be pressuring employment in the U.S. Last week, the number of initial unemployment claims rose from 1.3 million to 1.4 million. (See Figure 1.) After slowly declining for weeks, the uptick shows signs of a weakening job market.

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Market Commentary: S&P 500 Positive for the Year as Retail Sales Rise

Market Commentary

Market Commentary: S&P 500 Positive for the Year as Retail Sales Rise

Evidence for a sharp, although possibly brief, economic recovery continues to mount. As shown in Figure 1, retail sales rebounded another 7.5% in June and are now 1.1% higher than a year ago. Signs of economic reopening showed up throughout the data released last week.

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