Economic Data Eases Coronavirus Tensions

Jobs Data is highlighted at the end of the week

by Laura McCandless

Published on Jul 2, 2020 at 2:33 PM
Updated on Jul 27, 2020 at 3:46 PM

Wall Street mostly rallied this holiday-shortened week, propped up by a slew of economic data despite the uptick in coronavirus cases, with never-before-seen levels in Texas, California, Arizona, and Florida. Starting off the week, pending home sales grew 44.3% in May, with the Dow boosted by Boeing's (BA) surge on its aircraft testing. By the end of the month on Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) and S&P 500 Index (SPX) nabbed their best quarterly wins since 1987 and 1998, respectively, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) closed out its best quarter since 2001. Positive data continued to outweigh wariness through the middle of the week, as manufacturing in the U.S. grew, and private payrolls jumped 2.4 million for June. By the end of the week, jobs data and upbeat vaccine news from Pfiezer (PFE) kept the major indexes on an upward weekly track, though COVID-19 cases kept a cap on those gains, with investors eyeing the country's tight-rope walk between the pandemic resurgence and reopening. 

FAANG Stocks in the News

This week, a few FAANG names have landed in the news. Most notable, a number of companies began boycotting Facebook (FB) by halting ads, due to how the social media platform addresses hate speech. Regardless, FB stock rose on Wednesday after CEO Mark Zuckerberg agreed to address the tension. Netflix (NFLX) stock rose after appointing Bozoma Saint John, a high-profile Black executive who has been vocal about inequality, as its chief marketing officer. Elsewhere, Apple (AAPL) supplier Xilinx (XLNX) lifted its fiscal first-quarter revenue guidance, and in response received no fewer than five price-target hikes. 

Retail Stocks Making Monster Moves

Besides Restaurants, many of the stock's trying to delicately balance reopening with safety are retail. To start, Sportsman's Warehouse (SPWH) is seeing support in place to continue its rally. In the options pits, calls are popular for food stocks General Mills (GIS) and Conagra Brands (CAG). Meanwhile, leaning towards the clothing end of things, Macy's (M) dropped after steep first-quarter losses, Lululemon Athletica (LULU) was boosted by an acquisition, and VF Corp (VF) historically outperforms in July


Slow Earnings Week on Deck

Next week will be relatively quiet after the long weekend. The Markit services purchasing manufacturers index (PMI) and the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) are due out. The latest producer price index (PPI) is also slated for release next week. Also, as we enter the second half of the year, it's interesting to note how the Nasdaq performs historically after doing better than the S&P 500 for the first half of the year. 


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