Stocks rose last week on solid economic news. The Russell 2000 Index led up 0.77 percent, followed by the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq with returns of 0.66 percent, 0.61 percent and 0.48 percent, respectively.
SPDR Technology (XLK) gained 1.52 percent over the course of the week thanks to a strong rally on Friday. SPDR Financial (XLF) increased by 1.42 percent. However, SPDR Energy (XLE) was a big winner, up 6.96 percent.
The ISM PMI for manufacturing rose to 61.2 percent in May, beating economists’ forecasts. The ISM services PMI hit 64.0 percent, also higher than April and better than expected.
Automobile sales reached an annualized pace of 17.0 million in May, up from 18.5 million in April.
Initial jobless claims fell below 400,000 for the week ending May 29, the first drop since lockdowns began. The non-farm payroll report showed 559,000 net new jobs in May, which is below projections but almost double what it was in April. The unemployment rate fell from 6.1 percent to 5.8 percent. Extended unemployment benefits are still weighing on results as the economy should create nearly 1 million new jobs as it reopens. In addition, the average hourly wage should rise or even fall slowly as low-wage workers return to work. Instead, average wages rose by 0.5 percent.
The bond market ignored the rise in wages and focused on the weaker employment rate. The yield on 10-year government bonds fell from 1.62 percent on Thursday to 1.56 percent on Friday. The US dollar also fell on Friday, but the US dollar index ended the week up 0.17 percent.
Higher energy prices helped push the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets (EEM) higher this week. It gained 2.64 percent. The end of sanctions against Russia over the Nordstream 2 energy pipeline helped VanEck Russia (RSX) rise 3.47 percent.
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