Dashboard

October 2021 Economic Dashboard

Major U.S. stock market indices rebounded to new all-time highs in October following September declines. Crude oil benchmarks climbed to multi-year highs while natural gas remained elevated. Third quarter real GDP grew 2.0% annualized, with the delta variant, moderating fiscal stimulus, supply chain shortages, and subdued labor participation weighing on the economic recovery. Consumer spending… Read More »

September 2021 Economic Dashboard

Major stock markets declined in September, ending the third quarter with mixed results. The Fed has indicated a future reduction in the COVID-related purchases of treasuries and mortgages in the months ahead. At quarter end, Congress had not agreed to lift the debt ceiling. Despite the domestic headlines, the U.S. stock market outperformed again in… Read More »

August 2021 Economic Dashboard

August was a relatively calm month for markets. Economic data continued to show inflation running hot, but not broad-based. Autos, especially used, account for roughly 1/3 of the rise in the consumer price index. Markets continued to shrug off inflation data. Most major indices climbed higher in August, with the S&P 500 rising 2.9%. Commodities play a crucial role… Read More »

July 2021 Economic Dashboard

July marked another positive month for U.S. equities, with the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average posting gains of 2.8% and 1.3%, respectively. A majority of S&P 500 companies reported second quarter earnings results during the month. Aggregate S&P 500 earnings are on track for an all-time high while easily clearing the prior year’s… Read More »

June 2021 Economic Dashboard

All major U.S. stock market indices posted another strong quarter of gains as the economy continued to reopen. The confluence of pent-up demand, prior government stimulus, and record household savings fueled robust consumer spending. The pandemic-induced shift in spending to goods continued early in the quarter. Spending began to shift back to services later in… Read More »

May 2021 Economic Dashboard

The S&P 500 index managed a modest gain of 0.5% in May on muted volatility. Inflation continues to dominate headlines as several commodities reached all-time highs and consumer price indices saw their largest spikes in decades. The major central banks of the world continue to view recent inflation as transitory. The Federal Reserve is willing… Read More »

April 2021 Economic Dashboard

The S&P 500 advanced 5% in April as treasury yields stabilized following a significant run-up in the first quarter. First quarter GDP results were released at the end of April, showing 6.4% real growth and 10.7% nominal growth, annualized. Retail sales and goods consumption soared in March as more stimulus boosted personal incomes. The wave… Read More »

March 2021 Economic Dashboard

The first quarter of 2021 featured vaccinations and falling COVID cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. Enthusiasm for a reopening and more fiscal stimulus raised expectations for US economic growth. As investor optimism improved over the quarter, a change in performance leadership – “rotation” – accelerated. Cyclical industries, which tend to perform well in a strong economy,… Read More »

February 2021 Economic Dashboard

February marked an acceleration of investor optimism for a strengthening economy. Amidst the backdrop of falling COVID cases, vaccination progress, and House passage of a $1.9 Trillion stimulus bill, the S&P 500 index rose 2.6% for the month. Cyclical sectors like energy, financials, and industrials led the market. Perhaps more encouraging for the economy, is… Read More »

January 2021 Economic Dashboard

By now, many have heard of the recent drama surrounding GameStop, AMC, and several other stocks making huge moves in the last week. GameStop shares traded from $61 to $483 in the final week of January. Media coverage has been unclear and generally failed to explain some of the underlying dynamics at work, so we… Read More »