Market Perspective for July 25, 2021

Equities rallied for the week after a brief sell-off on Monday. The Nasdaq saw the best return, rising 2.84 percent, while the Russell 2000 Index climbed 2.15 percent, the S&P 500 Index 1.96 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average 1.08 percent.

Earnings season was strong again. The blended earnings growth rate of the S&P 500 Index climbed to 74.2 percent. Nearly 90 percent of companies have beat earnings expectations.

The National Association of Home Builders said its homebuilder confidence index was at 80 in July, down one point from June. Existing home sales were strong in June at an annualized pace of 5.86 million though.

The economy is on solid footing, but growth probably peaked in the second quarter with most businesses having reopened. The July flash manufacturing PMI was up slightly and beat expectations, but the service PMI (which includes bars, restaurants and tourism) came in much lower than forecast.

Initial jobless claims climbed above 400,000 for the week ending July 17, but continuing claims continued falling.

Crude oil rebounded to $72 per barrel this week after hitting $66 on Monday. Natural gas climbed to $4.03 per mmBTU. Over the past 5 years, the only time natural gas was more expensive was during a brief period in late 2019.


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