Good Life Advisors – Talking Points – Week 28

US equities were lower this week, even though the S&P 500 put in a fresh all-time high set on Monday. Growth was a modest outperformer vs value, with the FANMAG complex turning in a mixed performance. Small caps posted their fourth weekly decline of the past five, with the Russell 2000 logging its worst week since October 2020. Emerging market equity put in a good week rising 1.5% push higher by Latin America. Treasuries were mostly firmer with the curve flattening. The 10Y yield ended near 1.29% and the 30Y finished near 1.92%. The dollar index rose slightly but a hair weaker vs the yen. Gold posted its fourth consecutive weekly gain (barely) rising 0.2%. Oil was down again this week, with WTI finishing off 3.7% for its worst week since March amid reports of an OPEC+ compromise that could lead to higher production.

The energy sector trailed as crude pulled back, notching its worst weekly decline since September 2020. Autos, apparel, and retail stocks were mostly down in consumer discretionary. Materials saw broad weakness across chemicals and industrial metals. Banks weighed on financials amid a spate of high-profile earnings reports. Industrials saw weakness in the airlines despite a solid earnings report from Delta and a positive update from American. Tech was largely down but cushioned by the mega caps. Communication services were mostly lower as well. Managed care was generally better in healthcare, though there was softness in biotech. Defensives led the market, with consumer staples helped by select beverage companies.

The reflation trade came under another week of scrutiny amid continued attention on the peak growth, peak profit, peak inflation, and peak policy themes, all of which were discussed in the broader context of risk sentiment. While these themes have historically presented a negative signal for equities, they are also dampening fears of an inflation overshoot, though at the same time there was more debate this week on how long this period of “transitory” inflation pressures will last. Several gauges showed investors remain generally bullish; and while this has moderated somewhat, surveys continue to show investors still holding big longs (with tech remaining a crowded trade). There was a lot of discussion this week on the degree to which the market’s recent resilience can be chalked up to just a handful of big tech stocks. Note that the equal-weight S&P 500 (RSP) was down 1.8% for the week.

Against this backdrop, the market processed several notable catalysts this week. There were two days of congressional testimony from Fed Chair Powell, though he said little to shift consensus away from expectations for a purchase-taper announcement later this summer and for a start near year-end or early 2022. Consumer and producer prices for June came in hotter than expected, on both the headline and core measures. June retail sales surprised to the upside after dipping in May. Legislators continued to flesh out both the $1.2T bipartisan infrastructure bill and the Democrats’ $3.5T budget-reconciliation measure, with key procedural votes coming next week. The start of Q2 earnings season brought generally positive reports, though the big banks struggled to gain traction


Fixed Income


4/28/21 FOMC Statement      FOMC Minutes   Credit, Liquidity and Balance Sheet     Federal Reserve Dot Plots    US Corporate Debt Tops 7 Trillion yields    FOMC Policy Normalization Statement     Longer Run Goals August 2020


Global Bond Yields


Daily US Treasury Yields                                                                    

Foreign Exchange Market

Energy Complex

The Baker Hughes rig count increased by 5 this week. There are 484 oil and gas rigs operating in the US – Up 231 over last year.

Metals Complex


Employment Picture 

Weekly Unemployment Claims – Released Thursday 7/15/2021 – Initial jobless claims for the week ending July 10th decreased 26k to 360k. The 4-week moving average was 383k, a decrease of 14.5k.

Job Openings & Labor Turnover Survey JOLTS – Released 7/7/2021 – The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the number and rate of job openings was little changed at 9.2 million on the last business day of May. Over the month, hires were little changed at 5.9 million and separations decreased to 5.3 million.  Within separations, the quits rate decreased to 2.5%. The layoffs and discharges rates decreased to 0.9%.

June Jobs Report  BLS Summary Released 7/2/2021 –  The US Economy added 850k nonfarm jobs in June and the Unemployment rate was little changed 5.9%. Average hourly earnings increased by 10 cents to $30.40.  Hiring highlights include +343k Leisure and Hospitality, +72k Professional and Business Services, and +188k Government.

  • Average hourly earnings increased by 10 cents to $30.40.
  • U3 unemployment rate was little changed at 5.9%. U6 unemployment rate declined to 9.8%.
  • The labor force participation rate was unchanged at 61.6%.
  • Average work week decreased 0.1 hour to 34.7 hours.

Employment Cost Index – Released 4/30/2021 – Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 0.9% for the 3-month period ending in March 2021. The 12-month period ending in March 2021 saw compensation costs increase by 2.6%.  The 12-month period ending March 2020 increased 2.8%. Wages and salaries increased 2.7 percent over the year and increased 3.1 percent for the 12-month period ending in March 2020. Benefit costs increased 2.5 percent over the year and increased 2.1 percent for the 12-month period ending in March 2020. This report is published quarterly.

This Week’s Economic Data

Links take you to the data source 

Retail Sales – Released 7/16/2021 – U.S. retail sales for June increased 0.6% to $621.3 billion and retail sales are 18.0% above June 2020.  U.S. retail sales are up 31.5% year/y.

Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization – Released 7/15/2021 – In June Industrial production increased 0.4%. Manufacturing declined 0.1%. Mining increased 1.4%. Utilities output increased 2.7%. Total industrial production was 9.8% higher in June than a year ago, but still 1.2% below its pre-pandemic level.  Total capacity utilization increased 0.3% to 75.4% in June which is 4.2% below its long run average.

Producer Price Index – Released 7/14/2021 – The Producer Price Index for final demand increased 1.0% in June. PPI less food and energy increased 1.0% in June.

Consumer Price Index – Released 7/13/2021 – Consumer prices rose 0.9% m/m in June following a 0.64% gain in May. This marks the largest 1 month increase in CPI since June 2008 when CPI increased 1.0%. Core consumer prices increased 0.9% m/m in June following a 0.7% gain in May.  Headline prices were up 5.4% y/y, the biggest increase since August 2008. Core prices were up 4.5% y/y, the biggest increase since November 1991.


Recent Economic Data

Links take you to the data source  

Consumer Credit – Released 7/8/2021 – Consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 10.0 percent in May. Revolving credit increased at an annual rate of 11.4 percent, while nonrevolving credit increased at an annual rate of 9.5 percent.

PMI Non-Manufacturing Index – Released 7/6/2021 – Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in June for the 13th consecutive month. ISM Non-Manufacturing registered 60.1 percent, which is 3.9 percentage points below the adjusted May reading of 64.0 percent.

US Light Vehicle Sales Released 7/2/2021 – U.S. light vehicle sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 15.365 million units in June.

U.S. Trade Balance  Released 7/2/2021 –  According to the U.S. Census Bureau of Economic Analysis the goods and services deficit increased in May by $2.2 billion to $71.2 billion. May exports were $206.0 billion, $1.3 billion more than April exports. May imports were $277.3 billion, $3.5 billion more than April imports. Year to date the goods and services deficit increased $110.9 billion or 45.8%, from the same period in 2020. Year to date exports and imports increased $101.6 billion or 11.4% and increased $212.5 billion or 18.7% respectively.

PMI Manufacturing Index – Released 7/1/2021 – June PMI declined 0.6% to 60.6% down from May’s reading of 61.2%. The New Orders Index was down 1.0% from May’s reading of 67.0% to 66.0%. The Production Index registered 60.8%, up 2.3%.

U.S. Construction Spending  Released 7/1/2021 – Construction spending declined 0.3% in May measuring at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,545.3 billion. The May figure is 7.5% above the May 2020 estimate. Private construction spending was 0.3% below the revised April estimate at $1,203.3 billion. Public construction spending was 0.2% below the revised April estimate at $342.0 billion.

Chicago PMI Released 6/30/2021  Chicago PMI declined to a four-month low at 66.1 points in June. This marks 12 consecutive month above the 50-mark following a full year under it. Among the main five indicators, Order Backlogs saw the largest decline, with Supplier Deliveries posting the only gain.

Consumer Confidence Released 6/29/2021  The Consumer confidence index increased 6.1% in June marking four consecutive months of increases. The Index now shows its highest reading in a year of 127.3, up from 120.0 in May.

Personal Income – Released 6/25/2021 – Personal income decreased $414.3 billion or 2.0 percent in May according to estimates released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Disposable personal income (DPI) decreased $436.3 billion or 2.3 percent and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $2.9 billion or 0.1 percent.

Third Estimate of 1st Quarter 2021 GDP  – Released 6/24/2021 – Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 6.4 percent in the first quarter of 2021, according to the third estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The fourth quarter of 2020 saw an increase of 4.3 percent in real GDP. The increase in real GDP in the first quarter reflected increases in personal consumption expenditures (PCE), nonresidential fixed investment, federal government spending, residential fixed investment, and state and local government spending that were partly offset by decreases in private inventory investment and exports. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased. The second estimate is based on more complete source data than were available for the “advance” estimate issued last month. In the advance estimate, the increase in real GDP was also 6.4 percent. Upward revisions to consumer spending and nonresidential fixed investment were offset by downward revisions to exports and private inventory investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, were revised up. The third estimate of GDP released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the second estimate issued last month. In the second estimate, the increase in real GDP was also 6.4 percent. Upward revisions to nonresidential fixed investment, private inventory investment, and exports were offset by an upward revision to imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP.

Durable Goods  Released 6/24/2021 – New orders for manufactured durable goods in May increased $5.7 billion or 2.3% to $253.3 billion. Transportation equipment led the increase rising $5.2 billion or 7.6% to $74.2 billion.

New Residential Sales  Released 6/23/2021 – Sales of new single-family homes decreased 5.9% to 817,000, seasonally adjusted, in May. The median sales price of new homes sold in May was $374,400 with an average sales price of $430,600. At the end of May the seasonally adjusted estimate of new homes for sale was 330k. This represents a supply of 5.1 months at the current sales rate.

Existing Home Sales  Released 6/22/2021 – Existing home sales decreased in May marking four consecutive months of declines. Sales decreased 0.9% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.80 million in May. Sales are currently up 44.6% from one year ago. Housing inventory sits at 1.23 million units. Up 7.0% from April’s inventory. Down 20.6% over last year. Unsold inventory sits at a 2.5-month supply. The median existing home price for all housing types was $350,300.

Housing Starts – Released 6/16/2021 – New home starts in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.572 million; down 9.5% below March, but 67.3% above last April’s rate. Building Permits were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.760 million, up 0.3% compared to March and up 60.9% over last year.

Next week we get data on Housing Starts and Existing Home Sales.

Data Sources:

Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
Congressional Budget Office (CBO)
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED Charts)

CME Fed Watch
U.S. Treasury – Yields
U.S. Census Bureau
Institute for Supply Management (ISM)
Weekly DOL Employment Data
BLS Monthly Jobs Report

US Energy Admin (EIA)
BLS Consumer Price Index CPI
BLS Producer Price Index PPI
Atlanta Fed GDPNOW
NY Fed Nowcast GDP
US Census Bureau Housing Starts

Consumer Credit
USCB Retail Sales
Construction Spending
Federal Reserve Dot Plots
NY Empire Index
Philadelphia Federal Reserve
P/E Ratio Data -Yardeni Research

Technical Analysis Info: – Financial Charts
Exponential vs Simple moving average

Other Links:

1973 Arab Oil Embargo
Hunt Brothers Silver
Long-Term Capital bailout



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