Market Review: 7/31/20

By Steven Doll, Portfolio Strategist

U.S. stocks ended the week mostly higher with large-cap stocks up 1.7% and small-cap stocks up 0.7% as better-than-expected earnings outweigh coronavirus fears. Meanwhile, international stock markets continue to lag their domestic counterparts as developed markets fall 1.2% on the week and emerging market rise a modest 0.3%.

The total U.S. bond market is up 8.0% so far this year largely due to falling interest rates, and continues to rise this week as interest rates fall further after the Fed voted to leave the federal funds rate unchanged at the 0.00% to 0.25% range. Furthermore, Fed chairman Jerome Powell dovishly stated that the Fed “is committed to using our full range of tools to support the economy and help assure that the recovery from this difficult period will be as robust as possible.”

Falling interest rates, a weakening U.S. dollar, and coronavirus concerns have also caused the perfect storm for the price gold to rise substantially and is now up nearly 30.0% this year and jumped over 12.0% this past month.

The price of crude oil fell 1.1% this week to $40.40 a barrel with coronavirus concerns hindering demand for the oversupplied commodity.

Year-to Date Return (as of 07/31/2020)

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