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“The first hundred thousand – that was hard to get, but afterwards, it was easy to make more.” – John Jacob Astor

Morning stock market summary

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It’s looking like a lackluster start to the trading week, but what can you expect after a week like the last one. The main driver of the subdued sentiment is weaker-than-expected economic growth statistics out of China where Q2 GDP came in an entire percentage point below forecasts (+6.3 y/y vs 7.3% est.).  It’s going to be a busy week for both economic and earnings-related data, but the week is starting off on a quiet note with Empire Manufacturing the only report of note. The headline reading was modestly better than expected (+1.0 vs -1.8 est).  While we haven’t yet fully gone through the report, the Prices Paid component stood out as it plunged from 34.9 to 22 which was the lowest reading since August 2020 and is now back below its pre-COVID average reading of 26.

After 2022, where gains were hard to come by in just about every corner of the equity market, the last several weeks have been a different ballgame entirely, with last week serving as a perfect example.  Participation trophies were all over the place as every US equity index that we track in our Trend Analyzer rallied at least 2% during the week.  Small Caps (Russell 2000) and Mega Cap tech (Nasdaq 100), which have taken divergent paths over the last several months, managed to come together and top the leaderboard with gains of 3.5% or more.

At the sector level, gains were also widespread. Energy was the smallest winner as it rallied just 0.82%.  Besides every other sector rallying over 1%, all but two, Consumer Staples (+1.12%) and Financials (+1.96%) gained at least 2%. Topping the list were Consumer Discretionary (+3.28%) and Communication Services (3.23%) which are now up over 35% on the year and trailing only the 42% rally in the Technology Sector. Outside of those three sectors, though, only one other sector is up by double-digit percentages, and three are in the red (Energy, Utilities, and Health Care).

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