August 14, 2020

Bill Hastie |

In a quiet day of trading yesterday, the Dow and S&P 500 drifted lower near the end of the day, Dow dropping 80.12 points, or -0.29%, and the S&P 500 losing 6.92 points, or -0.20%.  The NASDAQ also lost steam going into the close of trading, managed to hang on to a gain of 30.26 points, or 0.27%.

While otherwise rather uneventful, yesterday was a historic milestone for the Dow and S&P 500.  Since bottoming on March 23, 2020, the Dow has gained 50% and the S&P 500 gained 51% - the best 100 trading days since 1933!  In that same period, the NASDAQ has gained 62% - its best 100 trading day rally since 2000.

The S&P 500 is on track for a muted gain this week, placing it right below its closing high from February.  “The market has been quite stoical this week,” said Jane Foley, head foreign-exchange trader at Rabobank.  “It’s August, so we may have to wait until September to find any strong direction.

The Commerce Department reported this morning that U.S. retain sales rose 1.2% in July, down from 8.4% in June.  This is vitally important as the consumer spending, American’s willingness and ability to spend, is a major component of gross domestic product (GDP).  Expectations are high that 3rd quarter GDP will reflect the economy’s ability to recover from the more than 32% decline in the 2nd quarter.