The Week on Wall Street
Investor sentiment turned negative last week, amid an increasing number of COVID-19 cases in states where reopening has been underway as well as a subdued economic forecast from the Federal Reserve. The S&P 500 lost almost 5% for the week. However, things have turned around so far this week after some better than expected economic reports and news that the President is working on a giant infrastructure plan.
The optimism that drove stock prices higher these past several weeks slipped away last week on reports of a jump in COVID-19 cases, which sparked worries of a second wave slowing the economic recovery. A sober forecast for the economy by the Federal Reserve further dampened investor sentiment.
The week started upbeat with “reopening” stocks, e.g., financials, transportation, retailers, travel and leisure, and industrials, leading the way higher. But the momentum was soon lost as stocks turned mixed on Tuesday and Wednesday and then moved decidedly downward, with the S&P 500 losing 5.9% on Thursday.1
Amid a volatile week, big technology companies resumed their market leadership, with the NASDAQ Composite closing above 10,000 for the first time. Stocks pared their losses on Friday, but it wasn’t enough.2
Fed Forecasts Economic Growth and Interest Rates
On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve said that it would keep the federal funds rate near zero and maintain its monthly purchases of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities.
The Fed also issued its forecasts for 2020-2022, indicating that it saw its benchmark federal funds rate remaining at zero, with inflation at 0.8% for 2020, increasing to 1.6% in 2021, then to 1.7% in 2022. Fed officials also expect the economy to shrink by 6.5% this year, with Gross Domestic Product growing 5% and 3.5% in 2021 and 2022, respectively. Their forecast for unemployment predicts a steady decline over the next 2½ years, from 9.3% by the end of 2020 to 5.5% in 2022.3
THIS WEEK: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Tuesday: Retail Sales. Industrial Production.
Wednesday: Housing Starts.
Thursday: Jobless Claims. Index of Leading Economic Indicators.
Source: Econoday, June 12, 2020 Markets React to Fed Report Weekly Update – June 15, 2020
The Econoday economic calendar lists upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision.
THIS WEEK: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Tuesday: Oracle (ORCL), Lennar (LEN).
Thursday: Kroger (KR).
Source: Zacks, June 12, 2020
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Any investment should be consistent with your objectives, time frame and risk tolerance. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. Companies may reschedule when they report earnings without notice.
|Notes: All index returns exclude reinvested dividends, and the 5-year and 10-year returns are annualized. Sources: Yahoo! Finance, S&P Dow Jones Indices and Treasury.gov. International performance is represented by the MSCI EAFE Index. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.|
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|1 The Wall Street Journal, June 11, 2020
2 CNBC, June 12, 2020
3 CNBC, June 10, 2020
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