The S&P 500 closed out its seventh consecutive month of gains on Tuesday after rallying more than 3% in August. For the year, the S&P 500 is up more than 21%, leading both international developed (+11% YTD) and emerging markets (+3% YTD). It’s also been the strongest first eight months of a calendar year since 1997, the same year Titanic hit theaters (Daily Upside). In bonds, the Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index lost about -0.19% in total return for the month as interest rates moved gradually higher throughout August. As of mid-week, the 2-year and 10-year Treasury notes are trading around 0.21% and 1.30% respectively. On the data front, all eyes will be on the August employment data set to be reported on Friday. Expectations are for Friday’s Jobs report to show the addition of roughly 800,000 non-farm payroll jobs, with the unemployment rate falling to 5.2% and wages once again posting strong gains. With unemployment benefits set to expire and schools reopening, labor supply is expected to increase, which should bode well for labor market conditions. Meanwhile, Tuesday’s survey from the Conference Board showed that consumer confidence fell to a six-month low in August as COVID-19 infections coupled with higher inflation expectations continue to weigh on the mind of consumers. Housing data this week showed a continuation of the rapid rise in home prices during June. The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index jumped by 1.8% which leaves the index more than 19% year-over-year.
Source: GSAM, Daily Upside, JPM, Factor Investor
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