Dashboard

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 »

December 2020 Economic Dashboard

2020 was a year no one could make up. As the year ends, what are investors looking towards in 2021? All hinges on the speed and success of Operation Warp Speed’s vaccination efforts. It will probably take most of 2021 to roll out the vaccine to nearly all adults but giving priority to elderly and… Read More »

November 2020 Economic Dashboard

As the stock market climbs to new all-time highs, a little noticed trend has emerged in the longer maturities of the Treasury market.  Interest rates for the 10-year Treasury bottomed at 0.50% on August 6 and climbed to 0.98% on November 9 with the announcement of the first COVID-19 vaccine trial results.  10-year yields are… Read More »