Market Flash Report - August 2021

August saw US equities hit new highs and the S&P 500 made positive returns for the seventh straight month despite labor shortages and the spread of the Delta variant. Treasury yields remained relatively muted despite Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell suggesting that the Fed is likely to reduce the pace of bond purchases before year-end. China’s regulatory actions hampered returns at the beginning of the month, but Emerging Markets indexes bounced back through the second half. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Equity markets continued their march higher in August despite the continued spread of covid and supply chain issues. Large Cap U.S. equities led the way higher and Emerging Markets equities bounced back from a mid-month lull as tighter regulatory efforts in China had weighed on Chinese stocks.
  • The much anticipated commentary from the virtual Jackson Hole Symposium proved innocuous as the U.S. Fed continues to hint that they are likely to slow the pace of bond buying sometime later this year. Chairman Powell also made it clear that interest rate hikes will not be related to the taper and are still likely some time off in the future.
  • Industrial activity has picked up in Europe even as China’s stringent covid measures have shutdown ports and otherwise further exacerbated global trade delays.
  • Core Bonds gave up a little ground in August as yields crept slightly higher. Investors remain challenged by the fact that heightened inflation and low interest rates continue to eat away at their purchasing power.

Click to download the “Market Flash Report – August 2021” PDF. 

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INDEX PERFORMANCE (as of 8312021)

You cannot invest directly in an index; therefore, performance returns do not reflect any management fees. Returns of the indices include the reinvestment of all dividends and income, as reported by the commercial databases involved. Returns over one year have been annualized.

Source — Bloomberg, Morningstar, treasury.gov. S&P Dow Jones Indices.

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