Jobs, Jobs, Everywhere Jobs
Market Performance Week Ending August 6
S&P 4,436 +25 or 0.56%
Dow 35,061 +147 or 0.42%
Nasdaq 14,672 +163 or 1.11%
A Good Week in the Markets
All three indices finished up on the week with the Dow and S&P setting new records. Despite the change in leadership on Friday, growth and technology stocks were clearly in favor with the Nasdaq rising almost double that of the S&P or the Dow. The 10-year Treasury yield fell as low as 1.13% this week before rebounding on today’s jobs number to 1.30%.
Yesterday’s inline jobless claim number added to today’s better than expected July jobs report adds additional pressure on the Fed’s stance that their monthly asset purchases need not be tapered. Two Fed members came out this week with statements in favor of tightening the money supply should the labor situation continue to improve (and it looks like it has. Will it continue?). Next week, there will be two more important data points, CPI (Consumer Price Index) and PPI (Producer Price Index), on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.
It was a bad week for Covid-19 news. The Delta variant continues to rip through the unvaccinated areas of the country. Nationwide, infections hit 127,000 yesterday and the 7-day average breached the 100k mark up from 12,183 on July 1. Virginia became the third state to mandate vaccination for all state employees (New York and California are the other two). Against the pleas of the WHO, the U.S. is going to join Germany, France, and Israel in giving booster shots to the immunocompromised. Top infectious disease expert, Dr. Fauci, foresees extensive vaccine mandates once the FDA gives its full approval to the three Covid-19 vaccines. California residents can register here to obtain a proof of vaccination QR code for their mobile devices.
Market Data Points Next Week: Fed Governors speak, CPI, PPI, Jobless Claims, COIN, EBAY, DIS, ABNB report.
- Monday – Economic Data: JOLTS. The Fed: Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic and Richmond Fed President Thomas Barkin speak. Earnings: BioNTech (BNTX), AMC Entertainment (AMC).
- Tuesday – The Fed: Chicago Fed President Charles Evans speaks. Earnings: Coinbase (COIN),
- Wednesday – Economic Data: CPI. The Fed: Kansas City President Esther George speaks. Earnings: Ebay (EBAY).
- Thursday – Economic Data: Initial Jobless Claims, PPI. Earnings: Disney (DIS) Airbnb (ABNB), DoorDash (DASH), Palantir Technologies (PLTR).
- Friday – Economic Data: Consumer Sentiment.
Last week’s trading…
Monday – Dow (97) to 34,838, the Nasdaq +8 to 14,681, and the S&P (8) to 4,387.
- Slowing growth and Covid concerns turned the markets lower today.
- Markit Manufacturing PMI (weights different sectors) slightly beat expectations.
- ISM Manufacturing PMI (weights each sector equally) registered a 6-month low, fell 1.1% vs last month, slightly missed expectations, but still registered firmly in expansive territory at 59.5.
- The U.S. 7-day Covid infection average is 63,000 new infections daily, levels last seen in April of this year. As expected, mask mandates are returning.
- The 10-year U.S. Treasury Yield fell 5 bp to 1.17%.
- Seven of the eleven S&P sectors traded lower led by Materials and Energy. Healthcare and Consumer Discretionary were the two best performing sectors.
- Over the weekend, Square (SQ) purchased Australian buy now pay later company, Afterpay for $29 billion. Afterpay allows consumer to purchase items on credit and pay in installments with zero fees or interest as long as payments are made on time. SQ reports earnings on Thursday.
- Also, over the weekend, a bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill with $550 billion in new spending was agreed to in the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Schumer is pushing for a vote to be held prior to August 9.
- Earnings: Take Two Interactive beat but traded down 5% after reducing future guidance and delaying two of their video game titles.
Tuesday – Dow +278 to 35,116, the Nasdaq +80 to 14,761, and the S&P +36 to 4,423 (record close).
- All three indices opened lower before rallying strongly. The weakness may have been attributed to the Chinese government’s continued assault on their domestic technology stocks. This time, a smaller state-run newspaper, the Economic Information Daily, specifically mentioned Tencent Holdings and referred to video games as “spiritual opium.” $60 billion of market capitalization was wiped out of Tencent’s stock following the comments and the Chinese video game company vowed additional controls to reduce minor’s time and money spent on games.
- It was a broad-based rally with Energy leading ten of the eleven S&P sectors higher. Communication Services was the sole sector in the red today.
- June Factory orders were up 1.5% beating expectations of a 1% increase.
- July vehicle sales declined month over month from 15.4 million to 14.8 million.
- Another crack in the Fed wall (part I)? Fed Governor, Christopher Waller told CNBC today that asset purchase tapering could begin as soon as October.
- The 10-year yield traded down 2 bp on Fed Governor Waller’s comments before finishing flat at 1.17%.
- Earnings: Ride hailing service Lyft (LYFT) and casino operator Caesars Entertainment (CZR) both cited a return to pre pandemic activity and beat their numbers handily. Alibaba (BABA) beat earnings but missed revenues, announced a share buyback, and fell 1.35%. Drugmaker Eli Lilly (LLY) traded up 3.81% despite missing on earnings and beating on revenues. Consumer staples giant Clorox (CLX) plummeted 9.46% after missing and guiding down. Athletic apparel maker Under Armour (UA) traded up 6.19% after crushing numbers and raising guidance. Video game maker Activision (ATVI) traded down during the regular session (on the aforementioned Chinese news) but bounced 6.10% post-close on its earnings call.
- Starting in September, Germany will administer Covid-19 booster shots of either mRNA vaccine to the elderly, residents of care homes, the immunocompromised, or anyone who was vaccinated with either the Johnson and Johnson one dose or two dose AstraZeneca vaccine.
- The city of San Francisco will also allow Covid-19 mRNA booster shots for residents who received the one dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Timing is unknown.
- New York City will require proof of vaccination for indoor dining and gyms. Tyson Foods (TSN) announced proof of vaccination as a condition of employment starting Nov 1. Microsoft (MSFT) announced required proof of vaccination from its employees, vendors and anyone accessing its offices.
Wednesday – Dow (323) to 34,992, the Nasdaq +19 to 14,762, and the S&P (20) to 4,400.
- Mixed economic data: the ADP private payrolls report was a disappointment. July estimates were for an addition of 653,000 jobs vs a 330,000 report but both the Markit and ISM Services PMI numbers beat expectations.
- General Motors earnings didn’t help the indices. GM missed earnings due to warranty costs but beat revenues and raised full year guidance. The market didn’t care and punished the stock to the tune of down 8.91%.
- The market malaise was widespread: nine of eleven S&P sectors traded down, led by Energy and Industrials while only Tech and Communication Services were positive today.
- Another crack in the Fed wall (part II)? Another Fed member, Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida said he expected interest rate hikes in 2023.
- Earnings: CVS Health (CVS) beat and raised but warned of higher labor costs and traded down 2.92%. Roku (ROKU) fell 8.64% post-close on tight hardware margins and a decline in streaming viewing despite crushing numbers. Etsy (ETSY) also beat numbers, increased active buyers and sellers but guided Q3 revenues lower: the stock traded off 13.81% in the extended session.
Thursday – Dow +271 to 35,064, the Nasdaq +114 to 14,895, and the S&P +26 to 4,429 (record close).
- Initial Jobless claims met expectations for the first time in three weeks at 385,000 claims vs last week’s 400,000 print.
- California became the first state to mandate vaccination against Covid-19 for all health care workers and state employees with few exceptions.
- The U.S. 10-year Treasury yield climbed to 1.2% after falling to as low as 1.13% Wednesday.
- Great breadth to today’s rally: nine of the eleven S&P sectors traded higher led by Energy and Financials. The only two sectors that declined were Health Care and Materials.
- Earnings: Online travel aggregator, Booking Holdings (BKHG) reported a smaller loss than expected, beat on revenues, and traded up 5.85%. TripAdvisor (TRIP) reported similarly to BKHG and traded up 5.27%. Covid-19 vaccine manufacturer Moderna (MRNA) crushed numbers, announced a price hike of the vaccine and a $1 billion stock buyback. MRNA traded down 2.79% in the regular session but bounced 3.74% post close.
Friday – Dow +144 to 35,208 (record close), the Nasdaq (59) to 14,845, and the S&P +7 to 4,436 (record close).
- A great July Jobs report sent two of the three major indices to record highs today. 935,000 jobs were created last month vs expectations of 845,000 and the unemployment rate dropped to 5.4% vs the 5.7% estimate.
- Market leadership changed again as cyclical and value plays leveraged to the reopening of the economy surged while growth stocks sold off.
- Breadth, however, was suspect as only four of the eleven S&P sectors traded higher led by Financials and Materials. Consumer Discretionary and Real Estate were the two worst performing sectors.
- The 10-year Treasury yield spiked 10 bp to 1.30%.
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Disclaimer: This is not a recommendation to buy or sell any of the securities listed above. I personally, or a family member whose account I control, have positions in the following securities/assets…Bitcoin, Cardano, Chainlink, Ethereum, ETHE, GBTC, and TSLA.