Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through July 23rd

US stocks gained for the week as the market reacted positively to a fresh batch of earnings. The S&P 500 rose by 2.6% and the Dow increased by 2.0% for the week. Foreign markets experienced larger gains with the FTSE All World Ex US up 4.0% for the week. US crude fell to $94.70 per barrel down from $97.59 the week prior. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.78% down from 2.93% the week prior.

Business activity fell sharply in the US and around the globe in July, according to surveys of purchasing managers, raising recession fears globally. The S&P Global Composite U.S. Purchasing Managers Index fell to 47.5 in July from 52.3 in June, with a reading below 50 indicating a contraction.

The European Central Bank increased its key interest rates, for the first time in 11 years, by a larger than expected half percentage point and signaled that further rate rises are likely at coming meetings. The move takes the ECB’s key interest rate to zero, ending eight years with negative interest rates. The ECB also unveiled a new plan to buy the debt of Europe’s most vulnerable economies, as they navigate skyrocketing inflation and slowing economic growth.

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