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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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Market Commentary: S&P Climbs Despite Surge in COVID-19 Cases

Market Commentary

Market Commentary: S&P Climbs Despite Surge in COVID-19 Cases

Stocks continued to climb in the face of an increasing number of new COVID-19 cases and evidence the surge is stifling the economy’s ability to recover. Initial unemployment claims dipped to 1.3 million, but they have remained above 1 million for 16 consecutive weeks.

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Market Commentary: Markets See Huge Boost as Optimism Outweighs Slowed Reopening

Market Commentary

Market Commentary: Markets See Huge Boost as Optimism Outweighs Slowed Reopening

The S&P 500 wrapped up its best quarter since 1998, gaining 20.5%, amid a strong employment report and continued concerns as the United States and the world posted a record number of coronavirus cases.

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Market Commentary: S&P 500 Dips as COVID-19 Cases Surge

Market Commentary

Market Commentary: S&P 500 Dips as COVID-19 Cases Surge

The daily total for new virus cases topped 40,000 as a resurgence in the South and Southwest pushed new cases to an all-time-record high. Some states are reporting record hospitalizations and pausing or reversing reopenings. Initial unemployment claims, as shown in Figure 1, remain close to 1.5 million.

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Market Commentary: Retail Sales Jump as States Loosen Restrictions

Market Commentary

Market Commentary: Retail Sales Jump as States Loosen Restrictions

Retail sales and food services jumped 17.7% in May, beating estimates of 8% growth. The strong rebound follows sharp declines the previous month created by social distancing. Even with the increase, sales are still 6.1% below where they were one year ago.

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Market Commentary: Fed Committed to Near-Zero Rates, S&P Dips

Market Commentary

Market Commentary: Fed Committed to Near-Zero Rates, S&P Dips

The S&P 500 dropped 4.7% last week on concerns the uptick in new coronavirus cases would persist and slow the economic rally. The surprising job growth reported two weeks ago suggested the economy was rallying more quickly than expected and boosted investor optimism. But the recent uptick in cases and hospitalizations in some states caused investors to ratchet back their expectations for how fast the economy will recover.

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Market Commentary: Record Month of New Jobs, S&P 500 Continues Rise

Market Commentary

Market Commentary: Record Month of New Jobs, S&P 500 Continues Rise

The jobs market rallied back far sooner and stronger than expected. The U.S. economy created 2.5 million new jobs in May. Economists had projected a loss of 7 million jobs, so the surprise was massive. The gains are mainly attributable to workers who were temporarily laid off being called back to work as lockdowns ended or were relaxed.

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Market Commentary: S&P Climbs Despite Record Decline in Consumer Spending

Market Commentary

Market Commentary: S&P Climbs Despite Record Decline in Consumer Spending

Coronavirus actions and reactions continued to swing economic data in the U.S. Consumer spending dropped 13.6% in April. It was the sharpest decline on record dating back to 1959. Income moved in the other direction last month.

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