Market, Economic & Earnings Action – Monday Morning Market Memo – August 24, 2020

Market, Economic & Earnings Action – Monday Morning Market Memo – August 24, 2020

Good morning,

The major stock market averages all rose last Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining 190 points, led by shares of Apple, whose shares gained over 5% on the day and over 8% on the week, hitting an all-time high and becoming the first public company in the United States to hit a $2 trillion valuation. Also in the mix were a couple data points regarding manufacturing and housing that helped support market sentiment.

Data from IHS Markit indicated that activity for U.S. manufacturing in August hit its highest level in 19 months, while services hit the highest level in 17 months. The manufacturing index came in at 53.6, while the services index came in at 54.8 (readings above 50 indicate growth).

July Existing Home Sales came in at 5.86 million versus consensus estimates of 5.39 million, with a record month-over-month increase of nearly 25%. This was the second consecutive month showing the largest increase on record. Also, the average selling price for homes also hit an all-time high of over $304,000.

So when it was all said and done for the week, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose .7% to 3,397 which is a record high and its fourth straight weekly gain – the Dow ended unchanged at 27,930– and the NASDAQ Composite gained 2.7% to 11,311 as market gains continue to be driven primarily by big tech. Looking to the week ahead, we’ll get another interesting batch of earnings reports to digest as second quarter earnings reporting season wraps up. Companies set to report this week include Palo Alto Networks, Best Buy, Dell Technologies, Nordstrom, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Dollar General and Dollar Tree.

Important economic data due out this week includes August Consumer Confidence, July New Home Sales, July Durable Goods and the August University of Michigan Sentiment Index. Other focal points will of course be developments regarding the pandemic and treatments/vaccines, along with if any news comes out of Washington regarding further stimulus.

All the best – Southport Station Financial Management, LLC