The S&P 500 fell 1.2% on the week aided by a 2.6% drop on Friday where both China and the United States increased retaliatory tariffs. Small cap equities continue to be weak and fell 2.5% on the week. Small cap equities have underperformed the S&P 500 by 10% over the last six months.
Markets traded up 2.7% after last week’s trade off. Some of the pop may be attributed to the strength in earnings reports for retail companies this week. Retail is not dead yet, and it looks like traditional retail companies are gearing up for a marathon. Most of the growth in retail sales came from e-commerce, which is expected.
The S&P 500 fell 2.9% on Wednesday, the second occurrence this month, and erased previous gains for the week. The index is down about 6% from highs reached in July. Emerging Markets continue to lag and are down more than 24% from their high set back in January 2018. Gold continues to be one of the best performing assets as it benefits from the big drop in real yields.
Markets have been all over the place this week. The “place” in this context meaning down. The S&P 500 Index saw its worst day this year on Monday, trading down 3%. A presidential tweet last Thursday precipitated the decline in equity prices. The tweet announced plans to impose 10% tariffs starting September 1 on $300 billion in Chinese exports.