Stocks bounced last week, ending sharply higher after a better-than-expected jobs report. For the week, the S&P 500 gained 0.43%, the Dow rose 0.60%, the NASDAQ added 1.14%, but the MSCI EAFE lost 1.41%.1
Among last week’s major events was a shockingly good July jobs report. Last month, the economy added 255,000 new jobs, blowing away expectations of 180,000 jobs.2 Even better, the gains were broad-based and the labor force participation rate (an area of concern because fewer people in our population were actively participating in the labor force) ticked upward.3 Overall, not too shabby.
Britain’s central bank moved to lower interest rates to fight the Brexit blues. The Bank of England cut interest rates for the first time in nearly seven years and announced an aggressive round of bond purchases to stimulate economic activity.4 The bank is moving quickly to head off a possible economic blowback from Britain’s vote to exit the European Union.
Will the Federal Reserve raise rates while one of our major trading partners is going the other way? We’ll see.
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