The S&P 500 was up 1.86% for the week, but the ride to get there was an interesting one. Monday trading kicked off well into the red and slowly climbed back out to end the day positive, while almost the reverse story happened on Friday, starting out well into positive territory only to slowly fall back down, ending slightly negative. The market continues to try to digest and juggle reopening data, COVID resurgences in places like Florida, Texas, Arizona, and Beijing, and even more bond buying by the Fed.
It was a relatively quiet week from an economic data perspective. Housing starts came in slightly weaker than expected, but better than April numbers. Industrial production bounced back into positive territory but was only about half the growth economists had predicted (1.4% actual vs. 3.0% expected), and the Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index moved back into positive territory as
well, increasing 2.8% (it was down 4.4% in April).
Digging a bit into the Leading Economic Index, the largest positive contribution came from jobless claims and was dragged partially offset by poor new orders data.
The improvement in initial jobless claims effectively ground to a halt last week with 1.51M new claims versus 1.54M last week, perhaps indicating stubborn resumption in economic activity as the economic reopening continues.