Markets “In a Nutshell” for September 29, 2020
Investment Week at a Glance
Stocks finished down for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1.75%, the S&P 500 fell 0.63%, the New York Stock Exchange Composite (2,000 stocks) fell 2.71% and the average investors index (Value Line Index) was down 3.52%. Foreign stocks (DJ Global ex U.S.) were down 4.20%. Bond prices were higher for the week, with the 10-year U.S. Treasury ending the week 4 basis points lower at 0.66%. (Data source: Wall Street Journal)
Stocks Avoid Correction
Stocks largely fell again last week, but avoided correction territory, where stocks have fallen more than 10% from their most recent high. Political news dominated the week and contributed to the continued volatility of the current month, but last ditch efforts for a near term stimulus bill kept stocks from falling any further at the end of the week. After a spike in cases in Europe over the past couple of weeks, cases in the U.S. also began to rise again and put more pressure on pharmaceutical companies to come up with a vaccine. Although fears of another lockdown in the U.S. similar to March through May doesn’t seem likely, the return to normal continues to look further and further away and technology stocks that have benefited from the pandemic are continuing to outperform. (Barron’s)
Jobs Report This Week
The Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its jobs report for September this Friday and while all of the reports since the beginning of the pandemic have been incredibly important, this particular one holds more weight than usual given that it may be the determining factor for another stimulus bill getting passed. Current estimates are for almost 1 million job gains in September, after almost 1.4 million job gains in August, and for the unemployment rate to fall from 8.4% to 8.2%. Any surprises, for better or worse, may decide for lawmakers whether more stimulus is needed for the many parts of the economy that could use it. The negotiations of the cost of such a bill has been narrowed down to a range of $1.5 trillion and $2.2 trillion, a figure that would still be unthinkable at the beginning of the year. (Barron’s)
How much have median existing-home prices risen in the past year?
Have a Great Week!
4. Median existing-home prices have risen 11.4% in the past year, rising to $311k in August (Barron’s).