The past week saw more new records in the stock market with the Dow and S&P 500 inching to fresh highs. The two indices gained a respective 0.9% and 0.7% for the week while the Nasdaq underperformed, shedding 0.1%. Small caps also struggled to keep pace, as the Russell 2000 gave up 1.1%.
There was some focus on news from Washington during the first half of the week, as the Senate approved a $1.2 trln infrastructure bill and authorized $3.5 trln in additional spending. The bills will now be considered by the House, but reports from Friday pointed to some fresh uncertainty as nine House Democrats said they won’t vote for the $3.5 trillion budget resolution until the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill is signed into law.
The renewed misgivings did not stop the major averages from ending the week on a positive note. Ten sectors recorded gains for the week with materials (+2.7%), consumer staples (+2.1%), and financials (+1.9%) leading the way while energy (-0.8%) finished in the red.
Consumer staples received significant support from Tyson Foods (TSN), as the stock jumped nearly 14.0% for the week after reporting better than expected results on Monday morning. Sysco (SYY) gained nearly 7.5% after it too beat quarterly expectations on Tuesday morning.
In other earnings of note, Disney (DIS) touched a three-month high after beating earnings and revenue expectations on Thursday evening.
On the downside, chipmakers underperformed through Thursday with the PHLX Semiconductor Index narrowing its loss for the week to 2.3% during a Friday rebound. The underperformance followed a report from DRAMeXchange about market expectations for memory prices to drop up to 5.0% in Q4.
The bulk of last week’s economic reports were close to estimates while the preliminary reading of the University of Michigan Sentiment Survey for August produced a big downside surprise. The index fell to 70.2 from 81.2, reaching its lowest level since late 2011 due to deteriorating sentiment about all aspects of the economy.
Treasuries faced some selling pressure during the first half of the week but recovered the bulk of their losses during a Friday rebound that left the 10-yr yield (1.30%) up just one basis point for the week.
Week in perspective provided by Briefing.com