Wall Street finished a turbulent week with respectable gains. After Monday’s follow-through 260-point plunge in the Dow Industrials, stocks rallied the next four days, erasing much of the 5.3%, two-day slide that followed the Brexit news. For the five-day trading, equities were higher by a net 3% with all market sectors participating in the recovery. Telecommunication and consumer goods led the way and the even the sole laggard – Basic Materials – was able to manage a small gain. Commodities bounced back with oil closing at nearly $49/bbl. up $1.35 and gold continued its assent moving higher by $16.70/oz. to $1,336.70 at week’s end – a multi-year high. Volume was also higher and stocks are up about 3% since the beginning of the year. Friday ended with a strong uptick toward the final bell, signaling the possibility of a higher open on Tuesday.
In economic news, the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index, a measure of commercial activity in the area, posted a nearly 57-point jump for June and about 14 points higher for the year; solid numbers indeed. In all, the economy looks as if it will end the first half-year on a firm note. Housing continues to be a strong spot, retailing is showing signs of improvement and, with the exception of May, payrolls are on an upswing. There could be greater headwinds globally, however, given the exit of the U.K. from the European Union, although many unknowns remain. The slowing economy in China, and the questions now raised on the world’s political stage in the wake of the British vote have the potential to further unsettle markets.
Monday is Independence Day and all equity and fixed-income markets will be closed in the U.S. Later in the week, jobless claims will be reported and on Friday, the Labor Department will release the results of June’s non-farm payroll data, expected to bounce back to the 200,000 new job mark. In the meantime, enjoy the holiday and stay safe.
Here is the answer to last week’s trivia question: Last month, which pharmaceutical company offered to buy U.S. agricultural giant Monsanto? Roche, Merck, Bayer or Pfizer. Answer: German drug and chemical giant Bayer AG.
Today’s Trivia Question: Hertz Global Holdings, one of the world’s largest auto rental providers, owns Hertz and what other car rental brand? Dollar/Thrifty, National, Budget or Alamo.