In this week’s recap: Unemployment reaches an historic low, while stocks climbed in response to economic re-openings.
Weekly Economic Update
Presented May 11, 2020
THE WEEK ON WALL STREET
Despite an historic downturn in employment, stocks managed to climb higher last week as investors were emboldened by the pace of economic re-openings here and abroad.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 2.56%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 advanced 3.50%. The Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 6.00% for the week. The MSCI EAFE Index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, slipped 1.09%.1,2,3
Tech Stocks Power NASDAQ
Last week’s trading was driven by a crosscurrent of emotions — worries about weak corporate earnings and pace of business re-openings as well as optimism over the pickup in economic activity and progress on developing a vaccine.
Stocks posted back-to-back daily gains to end the week despite troubling employment data. Perhaps the headline of the week was that the technology-heavy NASDAQ Composite Index moved into positive territory year-to-date.1,2
A “Silver Lining” in the Jobs Report?
Last week brought into stark focus the number of jobs lost since the start of the economic shutdown. Since mid-March, unemployment insurance claims have reached 33.5 million. The pace of newly unemployed has slowed down, however, with recent weeks at about half the rate at the peak in late March.4,5
April’s employment report, released on Friday, saw a spike to 14.7% in the unemployment rate. As severe as these numbers may be, 88% of April’s newly unemployed characterized their job loss as temporary rather than permanent, as opposed to 47% of the newly unemployed in March who said their job loss was temporary.6,7
T I P O F T H E W E E K
Do you and your spouse have very similar investment portfolios? As a couple, you might want to approach the goal of investment diversification from a joint (rather than strictly individual) viewpoint.
THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Tuesday: Consumer Price Index.
Thursday: Jobless Claims.
Friday: Retail Sales; Industrial Production.
Source: Econoday, May 8, 2020
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.
THE WEEK AHEAD: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Monday: Under Armour (UAA), Simon Property (SPG), Caesars Entertainment (CZR).
Wednesday: Cisco Systems (CSCO).
Source: Zacks, May 8, 2020
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Any investment should be consistent with your objectives, time frame and risk tolerance. 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.
Q U O T E O F T H E W E E K
“Laughter is inner jogging.”
T H E W E E K L Y R I D D L E
You buy 10 shrubs. How can you plant them in five rows with four in each row?
LAST WEEK’S RIDDLE: Can you name three words in everyday English that begin with the letters “dw”?
ANSWER: Any three of these five words will do: dwell, dwelling, dwarf, dweeb, and dwindle.
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1 – The Wall Street Journal, May 8, 2020
2 – The Wall Street Journal, May 8, 2020
3 – The Wall Street Journal, May 8, 2020
4 – CNBC, May 6, 2020
5 – CNBC, May 6, 2020
6 – The Wall Street Journal, May 8, 2020
7 – The Wall Street Journal, May 8, 2020
The Wall Street Journal, May 8, 2020
The Wall Street Journal, May 8, 2020
Treasury.gov, May 8, 2020