Stocks powered to another week of gains as the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite set multiple new record highs along the way.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was essentially unchanged while the Standard & Poor’s 500 rose by 0.72%. The Nasdaq Composite index added 2.65% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, slipped 0.71%.1,2,3
The S&P 500 Sets Record High
Stocks were mixed as the week progressed amid some weak economic news, a message of economic caution from the Fed, and continuing uncertainty over a new fiscal stimulus plan. Technology momentum provided support for the broader market, with a late Friday afternoon rally pushing the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite to close out the week at fresh record highs.5
Despite a new high, more than half the companies in the index were still trading below where they began the year. When dissected on an industry sector basis, the year-to-date performance dispersion was quite wide, with sectors like Technology (+25.53%), Consumer Discretionary (+16.68%), and Communication Services (+12.70%) posting strong performance, while Energy (-37.56%) and Financials (-20.08%) remained sharply down. In fact, nearly half (5 out of 11) of S&P 500 sectors were still in negative territory year-to-date.6,7,8
THIS WEEK: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Source: Econoday, August 21, 2020
THIS WEEK: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Source: Zacks, August 21, 2020
1. The Wall Street Journal, August 21, 2020
2. The Wall Street Journal, August 21, 2020
3. The Wall Street Journal, August 21, 2020
4. The Wall Street Journal, August 18, 2020
5. CNBC.com, August 19, 2020
6. BBC News, August 18, 2020
7. FactSet.com, August 21, 2020
8. FactSet.com, August 21, 2020
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Weekly Market Insights: Stocks Reach New Highs
August 25, 2020