The Dow (-0.5%) and NASDAQ (-0.4%) fell fractionally last week, while the S&P 500 (0.0%) remained virtually unchanged. Meanwhile, taxable bonds and tax-free municipal bonds were both down about 0.1% - 0.2%, as the interest rate of the 10-year Treasury bond rose again last week. Last week also closed out a very strong April, as the S&P 500 was up about 5% for the month, extending the market’s positive streak for five of the last six months. Plus, all 11 sectors of the S&P 500 were positive for April. Thus far in 2021, the Dow, NASDAQ and S&P 500 are up between 8.5% and 11.8%, extending the post-pandemic rally.
We are in the midst of quarterly corporate earnings season, as about 60% of the S&P 500 companies have already reported. And boy, have they! As of last Friday, 86% of the companies have exceeded their earnings estimates, well above the long term average of 74%. According to FactSet, that is the highest percentage of companies exceeding their estimates since they have been tracking this data since 2008. Those results are rather impressive, but if you ask me, it seems that the estimates must typically be low if there is an average of 74% exceeding their estimates, right? But of course, they forgot to ask me!