Weekly Market Commentary – 8/5/2022

-Darren Leavitt, CFA

Despite a cautious start to the week, US equity markets posted gains for the third week. A tepid ISM manufacturing report coupled with uncertainties surrounding House Speaker Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan initially keep investors sidelined. A benign reaction by China to Pelosi’s visit, along with another week of better than expected earnings, coaxed investors off the sidelines and into buy mode. However, an extremely strong Employment Situation Report stalled the week’s rally on Friday as investors backed off the notion that the Federal Reserve would pivot away from its hawkish monetary policy.

The S&P 500 gained 0.4%, the Dow fell 0.1%, the NASDAQ added 2.2%, and the Russell 2000 rose by 1.9%. 87% of S&P 500 companies have reported second-quarter earnings. 75% of those companies have beat earnings expectations by an average of 3.4%, while 70% have beat top-line estimates by an average of 3.5%. Energy and Healthcare companies have reported the best results for the quarter.

US Treasuries got hammered on the stronger employment data. The 2-10 spread inverted to thirty-nine basis points, suggesting the economy could be headed into a recession. The 2-year yield increased by thirty-three basis points to 3.23%, while the 10-year yield increased by twenty basis points to 2.84%.

Concerns regarding global economic growth hit oil prices. WTI fell 10%, closing at $88.73 a barrel. A technical break below $92 a barrel, along with OPEC+’s announcement that they would increase production by 100,000 barrels a day, provided more reason to sell crude. Gold prices increased by $7.30 to 1790.30 an OZ. Copper prices increased fractionally, closing at $3.57 an Lb.

Economic news was highlighted by the Employment Situation Report. Non-Farm Payrolls increased by 528k, much more than the forecast of 250k. Similarly, Private Payrolls increased by 471k versus the estimate of 200k. The Unemployment rate fell to 3.5% from 3.6%. Average hourly earnings ticked up 0.5% on a month-over-month basis; the street was looking for an increase of 0.3%. On a year-over-year basis, wages have increased by 5.2%. Initial claims for the week were in line with estimates at 260K, while Continuing Claims ticked up to 1416k from the prior week’s reading of 1368k. ISM Manufacturing came in at 52.8%, down from June’s 53%. ISM Services was better at 56.7%.

Investment advisory services offered through Foundations Investment Advisors, LLC (“FIA”), an SEC registered investment adviser. FIA’s Darren Leavitt authors this commentary which may include information and statistical data obtained from and/or prepared by third party sources that FIA deems reliable but in no way does FIA guarantee the accuracy or completeness.  All such third party information and statistical data contained herein is subject to change without notice.  Nothing herein constitutes legal, tax or investment advice or any recommendation that any security, portfolio of securities, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.  Personal investment advice can only be rendered after the engagement of FIA for services, execution of required documentation, including receipt of required disclosures.  All investments involvement risk and past performance is no guarantee of future results. For registration information on FIA, please go to https://adviserinfo.sec.gov/ and search by our firm name or by our CRD #175083. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where FIA and its representatives are properly licensed or exempted.