Monday Morning Market Insights: Last Week in Review with Rusty Vanneman, Vol. 23
Happy Monday. It might still officially be spring for only one more week, but it appears that summer is already here given the temperatures and with all the summer activities taking place. Feels good.
Last week was another good week for the stock market, albeit a little slow and quiet, as it was able to notch another positive gain. On the month, the market is now up over 1%. For the quarter, the market is up over 7%. It’s up over 13% year-to-date.
The stock market outlook remains bullish. The market is at all-time highs and the trend is still for higher prices. Credit spreads in the bond market, often an early signal for market stress, also moved to new lows. If something sinister was going to happen in the stock market, it would often show up in credit spreads first.
Inflation data was the big news last week, but perhaps the market reaction to it was even more notable. When it came to the data, consumer prices jumped more than expected in May. The consumer price index rose 5% on a year-over-year basis, the highest since the summer of 2008. Excluding food and energy, core CPI rose 3.8% year over year, the highest pace since 1992.
The Federal Reserve will meet this coming week, but it’s not likely the latest data will cause any change in Fed policy. At least that’s what the bond market is thinking. Ten-year Treasury yields moved from 1.56% to 1.47% last week. The bond market sure doesn’t seem scared of the latest inflation data.
The U.S. Dollar, though knocking on the door of fresh 5-year lows, also didn’t seem fazed by the latest inflation data. The greenback got stronger last week.
For the First Trust and Brian Wesbury fans, he did note in his analysis this past week that consumer prices are up 3.0% annualized versus February 2020, which was pre-COVID-19. Core prices are up 2.6% annualized during the same timeframe. In other words, there might be more going on than just temporary COVID deflation. That said, the bond market is saying something important and yields dropped last week. In my opinion, if there is debate between an economist and the bond market, it’s usually a better bet to go with the latter.
Wesbury also noted that 25 states announced they are discontinuing expanded federal unemployment benefits. Four states (Iowa, Missouri, Mississippi, and Alaska) expired over the weekend. First Trust anticipates a robust pace of employment growth as we move deeper into 2021.
Speaking of good news, according to Old Mission, it was reported last week that homeowners with mortgages (approximately 62%) witnessed the equity in their home jump over 20% in the first quarter, compared to last year. That’s $2 trillion of net worth. This is just one more reason why consumer balance sheets and confidence is so strong.
Upcoming Economic Data
The big economic news releases this week are mostly concentrated on Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday is chock full of data, including May Producer Price Index. Consensus is looking for 0.6% increase in both headline and core PPI. On Wednesday, the focus is on the Fed, including the FOMC Meeting Announcement, the latest FOMC forecasts (including their economic expectations), and Fed Chair Jerome Powell holding a press briefing.
Get many questions from investors about ESG investing? It was noted in the Financial Times last week that Chinese institutions said in a survey that 80% of them will allocate up to 20% of their assets in ESG ETFs over the next five years.
The College World Series starts in Omaha this week. If your team is in and you’re in town, please let me know. Omaha will be hopping, especially with the U.S. Swim Trials also taking place.
Speaking of First Trust, the next episode of Orion’s Weighing Machine that will be published this week will feature Ryan Issakainen from First Trust. Ryan has a wealth of experience and it shows in the interview.
For more resources on the economy and markets, including partner content, please review the Orion Portfolio Solutions Financial Advisor Success Hub.
As always, please let me know if you have any feedback or questions. You can reach me at email@example.com.
Have a great week!
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