Market Commentary — July 17, 2023

Stocks were on the rise last week as investors welcomed more data showing inflation cooling. Equity markets are retesting highs not last hit since early 2022. Some of the standout performers in the S&P 500 included casino operators, regional banks, and asset managers.

The big event of the week was Wednesday’s June CPI inflation data which rose .02%, a bit below expectations. This slowed the annual increase to 3%, its slowest pace since March of 2021. And core inflation (ex-energy and inflation) rose 4.8%, its lowest level since October 2021. The PPI data released on Thursday was even more encouraging, adding only .01%, nearly deflationary territory. Core PPI rose 2.4% but is nearing the Fed’s 2% target.

Consumer sentiment is also strong, further suggesting that the economy can avoid a recession. University of Michigan’s gauge rose to 72.6, well above estimates. And Amazon Prime Day was a huge success, with US online sales rising 6.1% to $12.7 billion making it is biggest Prime Day event ever. The consumer is back, and shopping online for bargains!

Friday kicked off the start of earnings season with big banks such as Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and Wells Fargo reporting second-quarter results.

In ETF news, the first “pure play” global music ETF, MUSQ, rang the NYSE Closing Bell on Thursday, July 13th and I was there to enjoy the fun! So good to be back in New York ringing the bell. It never gets old! The ETF has been seeing a lot of good early interest and gathered $1m in its first week. It’s not easy to come out with a thematic first these days, especially in such an exciting industry.

Dimensional filed an exemptive relief application with the SEC to offer an ETF share class of its mutual funds same as the Vanguard structure.

And the race for the first spot Bitcoin ETF continues. The SEC accepted Blackrock’s Bitcoin ETF application, indicating the official commencement of its review process. On Friday, July 14, the regulator announced that it is also in the process of reviewing applications for other funds, including: Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust, WisdomTree, VanEck, and Invesco Galaxy.

Have a great week everyone as earnings season kicks into high gear mid better news on the inflation front.

Jane Edmondson
CEO and Co-Founder

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