Run Total | July 9, 2021

AUTHOR: Jason J. Roque, MS, CFP®, APMA®, AWMA®
TITLE:       Investment Adviser Rep – CCO
TAGS:   S&P 500, Stagflation, Debt Ceiling, Jobs

There was a little run up on markets from a point total standpoint, but volatility was way up. What does it mean?


Happy 4th of July!


Markets dove on Tuesday to open the week. The S&P was down nearly 1% by mid-day but came back to end the day down 0.2%. The Delta variant took center stage as concerns are mounting that it could derail the re-opening trade currently in place.


The S&P 500 reached fresh all-time highs. The improved investor sentiment was on the release of Federal Reserve Board (FRB) minutes. They reflected a dovish FRB heading into the second half of 2021. The interesting thing was that interest rates in the treasury market were down. So, while there was a bid in the equity markets, there was not a sell off in bonds. This makes the rally more conservative.


Broadly all major indices were down on Thursday. This came as the Delta variant surpassed the Alpha variant as the dominant COVID strain in the US. Continued stress over the variants will likely keep markets from climbing unfettered.


Markets surged back on Friday and ended in the green for the day (and the week). Yields increased mildly as gold and oil both surged, which are both bullish and bearish at the same time. The increase on a Friday again is a good sign that little negativity is expected across the weekend news cycle.


The S&P 500 rose a meager 17 points for the week. The point line, however, is deceptive as it was a volatile week. The CBOE VIX (Volatility measure) increased from 14.5 to 17.5 as the daily swings were in excess of those in the prior week. The coming week will have economic data in the form of retail sales and industrial production. The variant progress will continue to be watched as well. Additionally, GDP for China will be reported giving further indication to US consumption via Chinese exports. Increased volatility is not surprising as we move into summer months. The reduced volume is the result of summer vacations. With lower volume comes increased volatility. Increased volatility does not necessarily come with losses, it just means the swings are more violent.

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