Weekly Expert Market Perspectives Park Avenue Securities PAS

Stocks Snap Losing Streak, Trade Comments Inspire Rebound Rally

The S&P 500 rose 2.8% this week, snapping a four-week losing streak as the market turned more optimistic on trade dealings with China. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 3.0%, the Nasdaq Composite increased 2.7%, and the Russell 2000 increased 2.4%. 

All 11 S&P 500 sectors finished higher with gains ranging from 1.8% (utilities) to 3.6% (industrials). Trade-sensitive areas like the Dow Jones Transportation Average (+4.0%) and Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (+4.1%) outperformed the broader market.

Prior to Monday's open, those results might have looked less probable. On Sunday, futures extended last Friday's sell-off after President Trump responded to Chinese retaliatory tariffs by increasing the tariff rates on $525 billion of Chinese imports. That negative reaction was short-lived, however, after President Trump said China called top U.S. negotiators to express interest in restarting trade talks, which China denied multiple times.

The market, perhaps exhausted from the trade uncertainty, recessionary fears, and volatility, latched onto the president's remarks as an excuse to rebound. The week's trade-inspired rally grew some legs after China said it wasn't immediately looking to retaliate against the latest tariff increases and repeated its willingness to resolve their dispute through "calm" negotiations.

This reprieve in trade tensions, coupled with month-end rebalancing that tends to favor risk assets after a four-week losing streak, helped risk sentiment return to the market. From a technical standpoint, the S&P 500 remained bounded by its 50-day moving average (2945) as the benchmark index briefly challenged the key technical average before pulling back.

Economic data this week showed the U.S. consumer, whose spending accounts for approximately 70% of GDP, to remain in good standing. Personal spending increased better than expected in July, and consumer spending growth was upwardly revised for the second quarter. The trade dispute, however, contributed to a downward revision to consumer sentiment for August, threatening to temper discretionary spending activity in the months ahead.

The U.S. Treasury market was more reserved this week, but yields still finished lower. The 2-yr yield declined three basis points to 1.50%, and the 10-yr yield declined two basis points to 1.51%. The U.S. Dollar Index advanced 1.2% to 98.81. WTI crude rose 1.7% to $55.06/bbl.

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Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and one cannot invest directly in an index. Diversification does not guarantee investment returns and does not eliminate the risk of loss.

Data and rates used were indicative of market conditions as of the date shown and compiled by Briefing.com. Opinions, estimates, forecasts, and statements of financial market trends are based on current market conditions and are subject to change without notice. References to specific securities, asset classes and financial markets are for illustrative purposes only and do not constitute a solicitation, offer, or recommendation to purchase or sell a security. S&P 500 Index is a market index generally considered representative of the stock market as a whole. The index focuses on the large-cap segment of the U.S. equities market. Each company’s security affects the index in proportion to its market value. NASDAQ Composite Index is a market value-weighted index that measures all NASDAQ domestic and non-U.S. based common stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock market. Dow Jones Industrial Average is a widely used indicator of the overall condition of the stock market, a price-weighted average of 30 actively traded blue chip stocks, primarily industrials, but also includes financial, leisure and other service-oriented firms. Russell 2000 Index measures the performance of the smallest 2,000 companies in the Russell 3000 Index of the 3,000 largest U.S. companies in terms of market capitalization. MSCI Emerging Markets Index is a free float-adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure equity market performance of emerging markets.

Park Avenue Securities LLC (PAS) is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian). PAS is a registered broker/dealer offering competitive investment products, as well as a registered investment advisor offering financial planning and investment advisory services. PAS is a member of FINRA and SIPC.

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2019-85338 (Exp 11/19)