The week on Wall St.
Strong employment reports and rising consumer confidence sent the stock market broadly higher last week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.02%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 picked up 1.67%. The Nasdaq Composite index gained 1.94%. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, lost 1.42%.1,2,3
Rising conviction in the economic recovery and waning inflation worries drove stock prices higher, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite racing to record closes to begin the week. Amid the week-long march higher, market leadership changed hands throughout the five-trading days. The leadership baton alternated between the technology and high-growth companies, which responded to lower bond yields, and cyclical stocks, which rallied on higher oil prices and successful bank stress tests.
Economic news buoyed investor sentiment as consumer confidence rose and an improving labor market—weekly initial jobless claims came in at a pandemic-era low (364,000), while employers added 850,000 new jobs in June—sent the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite to new record highs to close out the week.4,5
A Confident Consumer
Market sentiment was lifted by a rise in The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index, which reached its highest level since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020. This was the fourth-straight month of increases in consumer-confidence levels.6
The consumer outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions over the short-term improved markedly. Interestingly, consumer confidence and buying intentions appear largely unaffected by the possibility of rising inflation. In fact, the survey showed a rise in the number of consumers expecting to purchase homes, automobiles, or home appliances. Vacation intentions also rose.6
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