June’s unemployment rate was better than expected despite a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in some states. 11.1% of the U.S. labor force remains unemployed. The rate, a significant increase from last year, is lower than the consensus’ estimate of 12.5%.
Domestic equity markets were up on the week as the second quarter ended. The weekly gain in the S&P 500 was 2.2% and helped bring the quarterly return to 20.5%.
There was a decline in domestic equity markets this week. The S&P 500 Index was down 2.01%. Global increases in COVID-19 cases have led to increased fears of a pronounced “second-wave.” The Google Activity Index, the blue line in the graph below, shows increasing global mobility as lockdowns ease.
Equity markets fell sharply last Thursday in what was the largest drop since March. The S&P 500 was down almost 6% as COVID-19 cases are rising around the globe. Stocks would claw their way back with the S&P 500 ending down 2.4% for the week.
We received some significant news from the Federal Reserve (Fed) this week. The Fed indicated they could keep rates where they are until 2022. “We’re not thinking about raising rates.
Equity markets continued to move higher this week as the re-opening process continues. The S&P 500 added 2.9% while foreign equities were especially strong. Emerging markets gained 6.6% and foreign developed jumped 6.3%.
The S&P 500 gained more ground this week as markets reacted to the easing of lockdown restrictions across the country. Investors reacted positively to the reopening of their favorite restaurants and stores.
Equity markets bounced back this week as the United States continues to outperform the rest of the world. The S&P 500 was up 5.5% and domestic small caps jumped 9.3% on the week.
The door slowly closes on another earnings season as 90% of S&P 500 companies have reported negative earnings and sales growth for the first quarter of 2020. Earnings have declined by 12.2% for the quarter, which is 3.1% better than expected.
Equities pulled back this week as the rhetoric on China intensifies. The S&P 500 was down 3.1% while small caps fell 7.2%. Emerging markets and foreign equities were also in the red.