Market Commentary — July 31, 2023
U.S. stocks ended the week higher, with the Dow posting its 13th consecutive gain on Wednesday, its longest winning streak since 1987. But summer vacation season dulled the impact of important data releases, a Fed policy meeting, and corporate earnings season. Growth stocks outpaced value names this week, as tech led the week.
Spurring market optimism was news that the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, personal consumption expenditures (PCE), excluding food and gas, rose an annual 4.1% in June, down from 4.6% in May. And even more important, the Employment Cost Index, showed wages increased at an annual rate of 4.5% last quarter, down from 4.8%. That was the smallest increase in 2 years.
The week’s data supports the hope that the economy might manage a “soft landing” and skirt recession even with higher rates. GDP grew 2.4% in Q2, well above Q1’s 2.0 growth and the consensus estimate of only 1.8%.
Even though the Fed increased rates another 25 bps in July, expectations for further increases are plummeting thanks to all this good data, with an 80% probability of no change at the next meeting according to the CME FedWatch tool.
What’s new in ETF land? Grayscale sent a letter to the SEC urging them to approve all the spot Bitcoin filings simultaneously so none have an advantage.
Only seven funds were launched during the week ending July 28, the same amount as the previous week. But closures continued their strong trend, with 10 announced or completed during the week. The four ETFs that ceased trading were: ALPS Hillman Active Value (HVAL), TrueShares ESG Active Opportunities (ECOZ), Revere Sector Opportunity (RSPY), and Fount Metaverse (MTRV).
Madison Funds and Macquarie both filed for their first ETFs.
I am off next week on a much-needed vacation, so no market commentary from me, but still lots of interesting index news to share.
CEO and Co-Founder