Markets rallied to new highs this week heading into the Labor Day weekend. On Friday, the August jobs report showed a slowdown in employment gains, as nonfarm payrolls grew by 235k versus expectations for 750k. July's gains were revised higher however and the unemployment rate fell to a pandemic low of 5.2%. A jump in hourly earnings also reignited inflation fears.
Stocks gained last week, helped by FDA approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid 19 vaccine. However, that good news was offset on Thursday by an attack at the Kabul Airport in Afghanistan amid the U.S. military exit, resulting in casualties.
Stocks pulled back for the week, but not before the S&P 500 reached a new record high of 4480 on Monday. Small caps and energy shares were losers for the week.
There are plenty of negatives weighing on market sentiment including evidence of a slowdown in China, weaker than expected retail sales, and mixed housing data. Adding to concerns are the delta variant and the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan after a hasty U.S. withdrawal.
Markets gained ground last week, shrugging off the resurgence of COVID-19 and its economic implications. Value stocks outpaced growth peers, with materials leading on a sector basis. On the flip side, energy sold off, and info tech names lagged driven by weaker pricing in semis.
Stocks recorded record gains again last week, helped by large-cap and big tech names. Friday's strong jobs report sparked a rise in long-term interest rates, boosting financials. Employers added 943k jobs in June, well above consensus estimates and unemployment hit a new pandemic low.