Global equities set aside concerns about rising trade tensions, and instead advanced on data that mostly pointed to a stronger economy. As the risk-on mood returned, new highs in mega-cap names including Apple and Amazon lifted the NASDAQ Composite Index to a new all-time high. Global government bond yields continued to bounce back from last week’s dip that resulted from the Italy-induced flight to safety. 10-year U.S. treasuries once again flirted with 3% before retreating slightly due to stresses in Brazil and other emerging markets. As the week drew to a close, investors kept a wary eye on geopolitical stresses. G7 leaders gathered on Friday in Québec, where U.S. President Donald Trump was expected to get a frosty reception from the other group members upset over recent tariff announcements. From there Mr. Trump heads to Singapore for the highly anticipated summit with North Korean leader Kim Jung Un.
Sector gains in Canada’s S&P/TSX Composite Index were led by health care, where Valeant Pharmaceuticals (soon to be known as Bausch Health Companies) surged as investors bet on a comeback for shares of the beleaguered company. Technology was also strong, with continued performance from e-commerce platform provider Shopify (note: health care and technology together comprise less than 6% of the index weight). Materials posted the best gain among major sectors, after a spike in copper prices lifted mining companies. The interest rate sensitive utilities and staples sectors lost ground due to the rebound in bond yields. The energy sector lagged and oil prices struggled amid speculation that Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) may increase production, and the weekly U.S. Energy Information Administration report showed an unexpected increase in U.S. crude stockpiles.
The S&P 500 made gains in response to a string of impressive economic data that reinforced the strong-economy message of last week’s jobs report. U.S. purchasing managers indices were better than expected, unemployment claims remain at record lows, and job openings are at a record high (there are now more job openings in the U.S. than there are unemployed workers). All sectors of the benchmark index rose, except for utilities, which dropped under pressure from rising interest rates. Consumer discretionary, telecom services, and materials led the gains.
Major European equity markets were mixed as they continued to shake off last week’s tumble in the midst of Italian political turmoil. In a speech to Parliament, the new Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, pledged his country was not considering leaving the euro. But he also reiterated that the new government would pursue a radical policy program, which pushed Italian securities markets to further losses. Economic data continued to suggest slowing momentum in the euro area, especially in Italy and Germany. In contrast, growth in the United Kingdom appears to be picking up from a lackluster first quarter. Major Asian markets were all higher, taking their cue from strength in the U.S.
What’s ahead next week:
- Teranet/National Bank Home Price Index (May)
- New Housing Price Index (April)
- Manufacturing sales (April)
- Existing home sales (May)
- Federal Reserve FOMC interest rate decision
- NFIB Small Business Optimism Index (May)
- Consumer and Producer Price Indices (May)
- Real average hourly earnings (May)
- Retail sales (May)
- Import and Export Price Indices (May)
- Business inventories (April)
- Empire State Manufacturing Survey (June)
- Industrial production and capacity utilization (May)
- U. of Michigan Sentiment Index (June Preliminary)
This weeks market closing values