The Domestic Market
The 2nd week of August was fairly quiet for the S&P 500. The market alternated from negative to positive from one day to another as it traded around the prior week’s close. Ultimately, Friday ended slightly down on the day yet slightly positive for the week. The close of 2184.05 represented the highest weekly close for the S&P 500 yet.
This tepid action was also seen in the Dow and the Nasdaq. However, they both managed to fair better compared to the S&P 500.
The S&P Sectors closed out mixed with losses in Financial, Healthcare, Materials, and Utilities while Telecom, Technology, Industrials, consumer goods and energy saw gains.
In economic news, Wednesday saw the release of the JOLTs Report. Job Openings rose 2% month over month to 5.624 million. Hires also rose after three consecutive months of declines. While the headline news was positive, the number of Hires minus Openings still remains near record lows.
Thursday’s weekly jobless claims report came in close to expectations with 266k new claims. This was 1,000 less the prior week’s level and continues to remain near historic lows.
For Treasuries, the yield curve continued to flatten last week as rates rose on the shorter term maturities while the long end dropped from last week.
But for the major markets, the largest gains were in the International indices as the rest of the world helped to compensates for the lackluster performance of our domestic market. Emerging Markets saw the largest gains as the index climbed an additional 2.77% with the YTD performance now reaching over 14.5%.
Our country, like others, remains captivated on the Olympics as we come into the second week of the games. The symbols of the games, the Olympic rings were composed of five interlocking rings: colored blue, yellow, black, green, and red on a white field. The symbol was originally designed in 1912 by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, co-founder of the modern Olympic Games.
According to Coubertin, the ring colors with the white background stand for those colors that appeared on all the national flags that competed in the Olympic games at that time. If that were updated for this year’s games, it would take a few more rings to get every color that are on the over 200 countries’ flags competing today.