Positive inflation data failed to lift stocks from their August doldrums last week as economic data and a ratings downgrade soured investor sentiment.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.62%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 slipped 0.31%. The Nasdaq Composite index fell 1.90% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, rose 0.50%.1,2,3
Tech Weighs on Stocks
Stocks struggled last week, beginning on a strong note ahead of key inflation data and selling off mid-week in response to a downgrade of the banking sector by credit rating agency Moody’s and news of a steep drop in China’s exports. Emblematic of the week, stocks jumped to big gains following Thursday’s better-than-expected inflation report, only to evaporate as bond yields rose amid an auction of 30-year Treasury bonds.
Stocks have had difficulty sustaining traction with the loss of the technology’s leadership, which has propelled gains this year. The combination of higher yields and earnings that failed to validate tech’s elevated valuations has dragged the sector and the larger market.
July’s inflation data reflected only moderate price pressures. Consumer prices increased by a modest 0.2%, which aligned with market expectations. In comparison, the annual inflation rate came in at 3.2%, slightly below consensus estimates–though higher than June’s annual increase of 3.0%. Core CPI (excludes food and energy) was particularly encouraging, rising at the slowest rate since October 2021.4
Producer prices painted a more mixed picture, coming in a bit higher than expected, rising 0.3% versus the expected 0.2% increase, though the year-over-year increase was just 0.8%. Core producer prices’ 12-month increase of 2.4% tied for the lowest since January 2021.5
This Week: Key Economic Data
Tuesday: Retail Sales. Industrial Production.
Wednesday: Housing Starts. Industrial Production. FOMC Minutes.
Thursday: Index of Leading Economic Indicators. Jobless Claims.
Source: Econoday, August 11, 2023 – The Econoday economic calendar lists upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision.
This Week: Companies Reporting Earnings
Tuesday: The Home Depot, Inc. (HD)
Wednesday: Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO), Target Corporation (TGT), The TJX Companies, Inc. (TJX)
Thursday: Walmart, Inc. (WMT), Applied Materials, Inc. (AMAT), Ross Stores, Inc. (ROST)
Friday: Palo Alto Networks, Inc. (PANW), Deere & Company (DE)
Source: Zacks, August 11, 2023 – Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. Companies may reschedule when they report earnings without notice.
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