Market Perspective for August 30, 2021

Financial markets opened the week mixed following Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s dovish Jackson Hole speech on Friday. The Nasdaq gained 0.90 percent and the S&P 500 Index 0.43 percent, while the Dow Jones Industrial Index and Russell 2000 Index slid 0.16 percent and 0.51 percent, respectively.

SPDR Real Estate (XLRE), SPDR Technology (XLK) and SPDR Consumer Discretionary (XLC) led with increases of 1.22 percent, 1.09 percent and 0.73 percent. Investors stuck with quality stocks on Monday. iShares Edge MSCI Minimum Volatility USA (USMV) gained 0.36 percent and Vanguard Dividend Appreciation (VIG) 0.19 percent.

This week is relatively light on data, but Friday will bring the August employment report. Economists forecast a 5.2 percent unemployment rate, 720,000 net new jobs and a 0.3-percent increase in wages.

The manufacturing and service PMIs will also be released. The flash numbers from last week show a slight slowing of the pace of growth in the U.S. due to the fading of stimulus as well as concerns about the new delta variant. High frequency data from areas such as travel and restaurant visits indicates consumers are pulling back in tandem with the frequency of media mentions of the virus. Markets will focus more on reports for China, Australia and Europe, where stricter lockdown measures are in force.

Crude oil edged up to $69 a barrel on Monday, but SPDR Energy (XLE) slid 1.18 percent. Natural gas dipped 1.89 percent and First Trust ISE Revere Natural Gas (FCG) fell 1.35 percent.

The 10-year treasury yield hit 1.29 percent. It remains in a consolidation pattern between 1.40 percent and 1.10 percent. Bonds were up across the board, led by a 0.27-percent rise in iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury (TLT).

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