The first full week of July started off slowly as Americans celebrated the Fourth of July holiday. However, the week also featured the release of the most recent Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes as well as a slew of jobs and earnings data on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
The week would start with the release of the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Manufacturing PMI and Manufacturing Prices surveys. The ISM Manufacturing PMI survey came in at 46 percent, which was lower than the 47.2 percent analysts expected. The ISM Manufacturing Prices survey came in at 41.8 percent, which was also lower than analysts expected. Both figures suggest that the manufacturing sector is expected to contract in the coming months.
On Wednesday afternoon, the FOMC minutes from June’s meeting were released. The minutes revealed that almost all voting members thought that there would be a need for at least one or two more hikes in the second half of the year. It was noted that strong jobs numbers supported the idea that the economy would continue to stay hot, which would lead to higher wage growth.
As wages increase, individuals feel better about spending more for goods and services, therefore, the threat of inflation above 2 percent is an issue that the Fed is eager to address. It was also revealed that the FOMC members preferred to call their choice not to raise rates in June a skip as opposed to a true pause.
On Thursday morning, the ADP nonfarm employment change figure for June was released. It showed that the economy added 497,000 jobs during the period, which was well above the forecast of 226,000 jobs. This added further ammunition for those who want to increase rates in July or at some point in the coming months. The federal funds rate currently stands at 5 percent to 5.25 percent.
Also on Thursday, unemployment claims were shown to have risen to 248,000 from 236,000 a week ago. The ISM Services PMI survey came in at 53.6 percent, which was higher than 51.3 percent projected by economists prior to the survey’s release. Finally, the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) found that there were 9.82 million available positions, which was a decrease from 10.32 million last month.
On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) revealed that the unemployment rate had ticked down to 3.6 percent from 3.7 percent last month. Finally, average monthly earnings increased by .4 percent compared to analysts expectations of a .3 percent increase.
The Dow 30 lost just over 550 points this week, which was a loss of 1.61 percent over the past five trading days. The market stayed relatively flat on Monday and Tuesday before dipping slightly on Wednesday. It then took a sharp nosedive on Thursday and Friday where it closed at the weekly low of 33,734.
The S&P 500 was down a little over 29 points this week to finish at 4,398. It spent the first half of the week in a tight trading range before breaking out on Thursday and hitting the weekly low of 4,385. Bulls would take over for the first half of the day Friday before giving up ground during the afternoon.
Finally, the Nasdaq was down .5 percent this week to finish at 13,660. As with the S&P 500, the Nasdaq was flat for most of the week before trending sharply lower on Thursday. The market would bottom out at 13,571 before trending slightly higher on Friday.
This week, the calendar features only a handful of news releases, but they may determine what the Fed does prior to its meeting in late July. On Wednesday morning, monthly and yearly CPI numbers will be released while monthly core CPI figures will also be released. Core CPI tracks changes in prices without accounting for food and energy costs, which tend to be vulnerable to high levels of volatility.
In addition, Thursday sees the release of monthly PPI and core PPI figures as well as unemployment claims. On Friday, the preliminary consumer sentiment and inflation expectations will be released by the University of Michigan.