The U.S. stock markets pulled back last week amid signs of weakening global growth as the Dow (-1.0%), NASDAQ (-0.7%), and S&P 500 (-0.5%) all declining. Taxable bonds ranged between -0.2% to +0.2%, while tax free municipal bonds stayed relatively flat for the week.
U.S. retail sales fell 1.1% in July compared to June, as the rise in COVID-19 Delta Variant cases is considered to be a main factor in the pullback of consumer demand. In other economic news, the U.S. Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) for July showed that all of the 10 indicators reported a positive reading compared to June. While this is a good sign, the year-over-year LEI growth rate decelerated slightly compared to June. These data demonstrates that while the economy is still growing, that growth is beginning to slow down. Investors are also keeping a close eye on the situation in Afghanistan, as the U.S. military’s withdrawal and the Taliban’s subsequent rapid take over is being viewed as a geopolitical risk that could be a future source of volatility in the global economy.
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.