Equities Show An Up And Down Week, Mixed Performance On Major Indices

Market Down and Dirty

Last Week’s Economic/Market Summary


  • U.S. equities saw an up and down week that ended with mixed performance on major indices.
    • S&P 500 +0.79% Dow -0.45% Russell 2000 -0.35%, Nasdaq +2.26%[1]
      • The All-Country World Index was lower by +0.52%.1
    • S&P 500 sub-sectors were mixed last week.
      • Consumer Discretionary & Tech led to the upside. 1
      • Energy & Consumer Staples led to the downside. 1
    • The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) declined 9.25% to end at 15.70. 1
  • US Treasury bond yields were mixed last week.
    • US 2yr +0.11% at 5.03%, 10yr -0.01% to 4.25%, 30yr -0.08% to 4.30%.1
    • The short-end rose on the back of Jerome Powell indicating the Fed could raise rates further.
  • Commodities as an aggregate asset class were mixed last week.
    • WTI Crude declined -1.53%.1
    • Gold was rose -1.31%.1
    • The US Dollar index gained +0.78%.1
  • In our opinion, U.S. economic data continued to be mixed last week.
    • US business activity stagnated in August while manufacturing declined. 1
    • The housing market saw mixed data as new home sales rose and mortgage apps sank. 1
    • Measures of corporate new investment continue to point to cautious spending. 1
  • An index of equities outside the US (FTSE All-World ex-US) rose +0.65%.1


  • US Equities had a back and forth week culminating with the S&P 500 snapping a 4-week losing streak.
    • The Nasdaq led to the upside on the back of Nvidia’s better than expected earnings.
      • Despite this, there were few new weekly closing highs in the Nasdaq constituents.
    • The small-cap Russell 2000 continued its underperformance of ’23 and led to the downside.
      • While returns this year have been dominated by Mega-cap Tech companies, if a sustainable new bull market were to emerge, small-caps would need to participate.
      • This has not been the case as the Russell has been range bound for much of ’23.
  • S&P 500 subsectors were mixed last week.
    • Consumer Discretionary & Tech led to the upside, driven largely by Nvidia.
      • Price action on Nvidia was classic “buy the rumor, sell the news” as it closed lower post-earnings.
    • Other price action at the sector level was fairly muted last week outside of Energy which saw it give back some of its recent gains.
  • US Treasury yields were mixed last week.
    • The 2yr rose on the back of Fed Chair Powell’s speech while the 10yr & 30yr declined.1
    • The 10yr touched 4.36% during the week for its highest yield since 2007. 1
    • Interesting to note that lower credit quality bonds continue to perform as if interest rates aren’t going to impact borrowing for this group of companies.
      • This is despite the Fed’s continued emphasis on keeping rates high to battle inflation.
  • Non-US equities were positive last week despite a stronger US Dollar.
    • Chinese officials launched several initiatives to attempt to boost spending & stock market investment, including reducing taxation on stock gains by 50%.1
      • Outside of putting stimulus money in the hands of citizens, we believe these stimulus effects will be muted in the Mainland.
    • While investors tend to pay the most attention to equities, the US Dollar has quietly rose 6 weeks in a row. 1
      • It is approaching a significant level that in the past has led to increased volatility in other asset markets.
  • The Jackson Hole Economic Symposium came and went with little new intel being revealed.
    • Fed Chair Powell made no big highlights or statements during his speech and spent the majority of the time reiterating things he has been communicating for some time.
      • Mainly that the Fed will do what it takes to bring inflation down, including raising rates further from current levels.
      • “Although inflation has moved down from its peak — a welcome development — it remains too high.” -J. Powell1
    • He also reiterated that the Fed’s inflation target will remain 2% despite a lot of chatter from participants & media members that they were considering raising this to 3%.1

Ryan A. Mumy, CFP®,

AIF® – Chief Investment Officer

Contact: 828/855-9400
info@CIASonline.com or rmumy@bloomberg.net 

 1 Source: Bloomberg – 8/25/2023 

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