According to the results of the first week of August, the major American indices S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 each added about 1%. On Thursday, the Nasdaq 100 tech index renewed its all-time high and closed at 15,182 points. However, on the last trading day of the week, the index’s capitalization fell by 0.4%. On Friday, the S&P 500 continued to rise 0.2%, ending the trading session at 4,436.5 points, which is an all-time high. Investors continue to closely monitor the global spread of the new COVID-19 delta strain in an effort to assess the potential impact on the global economy. The number of registered infections with the coronavirus COVID-19 in the world as of Thursday morning was 200 million 239 thousand 381, said Johns Hopkins University of America. Since the beginning of the spread of the virus, the number of victims of diseases related to COVID-19 has reached 4 million 256 thousand 797 people.
The main event of the week was the publication of a package of macroeconomic data on the US labor market. The numbers turned out to be significantly better than market expectations. The number of jobs in the US economy in July increased by 943 thousand, at a maximum rate in 11 months. According to the revised data, in June the figure rose by 938 thousand, and not by 850 thousand, as previously reported. Unemployment in the country fell to 5.4% last month, the lowest level since March 2020, down from 5.9% in June. Experts on average expected an increase in the number of jobs in July by 870 thousand and a decrease in unemployment to 5.7%. Good data suggests that the labor market is recovering at a strong pace. The yield on the ten-year US Treasury bonds rose by 7.5 bp on Friday. up to 1.2969%. September figures on the labor market will be critically important for the representatives of the Fed’s leadership before deciding to roll back stimulus measures and when and at what pace it will be implemented by the regulator. The market will keep a close eye on inflation figures, which will be released on Wednesday.
Federal Reserve Deputy Chairman Richard Clarida said on Wednesday that the Fed will begin to scale back its strong support to the economy with a reduction in bond buybacks, which will be announced later this year, after which it could move to a hike in the base rate in early 2023. Clarida acknowledged that the rapid spread of the new COVID-19 delta strain carries risks for the US economy, but painted a rather optimistic picture for the coming years. In his opinion, the situation in the American labor market will continue to improve, and inflation will remain above 2%, as a result of which “the necessary conditions for the Fed to raise the rate will be created by the end of 2022”, and this will pave the way for its rise from the current level of 0-0.25% per annum in 2023.
On Monday, there will be a speech by Atlanta Fed President Rafael Bostic and Richmond Fed President Thomas Barkin. Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester will speak on Tuesday. Important US inflation figures for July will be released on Wednesday, along with a speech by Kansas City Fed President Esther George, Bostic, and New York Fed Executive Vice President Laurie Logan. On Thursday, OPEC’s monthly oil review will be released. On Friday, the preliminary US consumer sentiment index from the University of Michigan for August will be released.