Last Week Recap:
The S&P 500 (-0.6%) fell for the third week in a row led by consumer staples (-1.5%), consumer discretionary (-1.5%) and communication services (-1.7%). The S&P 500 is still up 2.75% YTD but is now down 7.5% from its Sept. 2nd intraday high. However, four sectors were higher on the week, energy (3%), industrials (1.5%), materials (1%), and healthcare (0.9%). Also, surprisingly the small-cap Russell 2000 index had its best week since August At the FOMC meeting we received updated economic projections lowering growth expectations for 2021 and 2022. The Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell maintained expectations for low interest rates for at least the next three years and described the ecumenic outlook as "highly uncertain". He also indicated that he believe more fiscal support is likely needed.
Equity futures markets are showing a much lower start to the week. Some may be in part as we start to see an uptick in new coronavirus cases as we enter the winter season. This week will see testimony from Fed Chair Jerome Powell on Tuesday as well as from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday. On the economic front we will also get new Unemployment Claim data and Durable Goods Orders. One of the biggest areas of focus of course for the markets is the election which is now just 6 weeks away. We also do not seem to be any closer to a new coronavirus relief package and with the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, it may have just made it even more difficult to pass as some of the focus may switch to whether a new nominee is presented before the election or not.
Sources: Seeking Alpha, YCharts Inc, TD Ameritrade, Yahoo Finance.