July 5 - 9, 2021 Recap
Trifecta All-Time Highs
Equities Extend Record-Setting Gains
All three major U.S. equity indices finished the week at fresh all-time highs as a relief rally Friday more than fully erased earlier losses in the holiday-shortened trading week. Stocks rebounded from concerns of a slowdown in global growth, stirred in large part by an increase of Delta variant infections in several regions. Another drop in Treasury yields also put markets on edge about a growth slowdown. Big Tech stocks’ gains were capped on Friday after President Biden signed an executive order aimed at increasing competition for federal contracts.
For the Week…
The S&P 500 rallied 0.42% last week, the Dow Industrials added 0.24% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 0.43%. Mid cap stocks were unchanged for the week, while the small cap-focused Russell 2000 fell 1.11%. Large cap value stocks performed best, up 0.96%.
Jobless Claims Rise
U.S. jobless claims increased slightly, up 2,000 to 373,000 last week and the 4-week average dropped to a new pandemic-low of 394,500. Continuing claims for unemployment benefits from all government programs have more than halved from last year, falling 450K to 14.2 million. This figure was 33.2 million 12 months ago.
Top Weekly Gainer: Real Estate
Eight of the 11 major S&P 500 sector groups posted gains last week, led by Real Estate (+2.65%), Consumer Discretionary (+1.45%) and Utilities (+0.98%). Materials (+0.18%) rose the least, while Energy (-3.41%) slumped. Energy (+42.80% YTD) does however remain this year’s best performer, followed by Real Estate (+27.68% YTD) and Financials (+25.70% YTD).
Treasury Yields Drop
Benchmark 10-year yields extended a slide into a third week but limited its yield loss on the holiday-shortened week to eight basis points. The benchmark yield rebounded by six basis points on Friday, finishing at 1.352%. The U.S. Dollar Index weakened by 0.10% last week. U.S. WTI crude oil futures nudged 0.8% lower last week, ending at $74.56/barrel.