Stock markets continued their 5-week rally last week, as the Dow (+1.4%), NASDAQ (+3.1%) and S&P 500 (+2.0%) also set new record highs. Plus, small caps surged 6% in a spectacular week for that asset class. Taxable and tax-free municipal bonds also rallied last week, as they each gained about 0.5%. What a great week for balanced portfolios.
Last week was full of positive economic news. Initial and continuing unemployment claims continued to go down, as the unemployment rate dropped to 4.6%. The October jobs report showed an addition of 531,000 jobs, well in excess of expectations. Unit labor costs also jumped 8.8% in the 3rd quarter, as salaries and wages grew by the most on record. Some pundits, however, fear the wage growth could squeeze corporate profits and/or cause inflationary pressure. In more good news, Pfizer announced a therapeutic pill that can be used to treat COVID-infected victims. Lastly, Congress approved the $1 trillion infrastructure bill Friday night, and it apparently won’t be accompanied with increased taxes. This was a load of good news that caused a continued rally of the markets last week, and also a jump in the markets to start this week.
The views stated in this letter are not necessarily the opinion of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC and should not be construed directly or indirectly as an offer to buy or sell any securities mentioned herein. Due to volatility within the markets mentioned, opinions are subject to change without notice. Information is based on sources believed to be reliable; however, their accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed. Past performance does not guarantee future results.