Last week was not a positive one for equity investors. In a week of heavy trading, the Dow and S&P 500 each lost value and the Nasdaq dropped the most, while the Russell 2000 and the Global Dow didn’t lose ground, eking out minuscule gains. News that the Bank of England is considering an interest rate hike, coupled with word that the European Central Bank may be scaling back its long run of quantitative easing, may have prompted investor activity. Long-term bond yields also shot up, with the 10-year Treasuries climbing 16 basis points as bond prices fell. A small increase in oil prices helped lift energy stocks higher.The price of crude oil finished up from the prior week. The price of gold decreased last week. The national average retail regular gasoline price decreased.
Last Week’s Headlines
- The final report on the first-quarter gross domestic product showed growth improved marginally, but it is still relatively weak compared to the fourth quarter.
- Consumers did more saving than spending in May, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
- The manufacturing sector may be weakening.
- An uptick in consumer exports helped narrow the trade deficit in May, according to the Census Bureau.
- The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, which had fallen in May, increased somewhat in June.
- In the week ended June 24, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims showed slight increase from the previous week.
BWFA Eye on the Week Ahead
Trading should be slower during the holiday-shortened week. The June employment report is released at week’s end. The unemployment rate has fallen over the past few months, but so has the number of new hires. Wage inflation has been moderate at best and isn’t expected to pick up steam any time soon.
Enjoy your Independence Day holiday time with friends and family!