Under the steady flow of headline grabbing news from the Executive Branch, investors are evaluating the new corporate earnings and economic data from the last quarter. Retail sales were strong in the month of June and economists are expecting a healthy second quarter GDP number to arrive soon. Congress is considering revising the 401(k) rules to encourage additional saving, make emergency funds more accessible and to allow small unaffiliated businesses to work together to offer shared plans. President Trump continued to break with convention this week – taking a more conciliatory tone with Russia and publicly criticizing the Federal Reserve’s plan to continue to raise rates.
In spite of the excitement during the week, the net result for large cap stocks was roughly a wash. Small cap stocks continued to rise with ongoing positive economic news and international stocks rebounded at the end of the week as Trump’s currency comments sparked a U.S. dollar decline. Bond funds were relatively flat this week with the Aggregrate index down 0.2%. Oil prices had a roller coaster ride – down significantly on Monday based on supply but up again at the tail end of the week. On a three- and five-year basis, commodity prices have still lost a significant amount of value and oil prices are nowhere near their $100 highs from 2014.
Click on the image below for a larger view.