- Stocks were down across the board last week. We saw global markets (represented by the MSCI All Country World Index) down -1.8% and domestic stocks (represented by the S&P 500 Index) down -0.6%.
- A report on consumer spending headlined economic data last week. It was reported that U.S. retail sales dropped 1.1% in July relative to June. Much of the concern relates to the delta variant weighing on consumer confidence.
- The Federal Reserve dominated headlines last week, as they have for a while now. The minutes from the Fed’s July meeting indicated a growing consensus for beginning the tapering of the asset purchase program. The expectations are slowing turning to the Fed starting this prior to yearend.
- The rise of the delta variant has put a halt to rising oil prices. Through the end of last week, prices per barrel have dropped down to about $62 per barrel.
- We thought it would be helpful to see the sequential progress of key economic data over the last several months:
|Consumer Price Index (CPI)||5.40%||5.40%||5.00%||4.20%|
|CPI minus Food and Energy||4.30%||4.50%||3.80%||3.00%|
I’d like to leave you with the final line we’ve used since we started these commentaries back at the very height of market volatility in March 2020. Always remember that we create financial/investment plans not for the easy times, but to prepare for the tough ones.