Stocks posted gains for the week to close out a stellar month, aided by positive economic data and reports that all major banks had passed the Federal Reserve’s annual stress test. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 2.02%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 2.35%. The Nasdaq Composite index added 2.19%. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, increased by 0.76%.1,2,3
Investors shrugged off weekend news of a short-lived insurrection in Russia and calls later in the week for more restrictive monetary policies from global central bankers. What powered early-week gains? New home sales, durable goods orders, and a rise in consumer confidence proved influential. More so were Thursday’s reports of a drop in initial jobless claims and an upward revision in first quarter Gross Domestic Product growth, which helped allay recession fears. The results of the Fed’s annual bank stress tests, which all major banks passed–further emboldened investors. Stock prices rallied Friday following an encouraging inflation report, capping the end to a solid week, month, and first half.
At last week’s European Central Bank Forum, central-bank governors from around the world gathered to discuss their monetary outlook and the policies needed to manage inflation amid unexpected economic strength. Fed Chair Powell reiterated that more rate hikes were coming owing to a robust labor market. He added that he wouldn’t dismiss the idea of hiking rates at consecutive Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meetings. While saying there is a possibility of an economic downturn, Powell didn’t believe it was the most likely case. Meanwhile, bankers from the European Central Bank and the U.K. echoed Powell’s comments, declaring that further rate hikes are needed to tame their still-elevated inflation rates.4
1.The Wall Street Journal, June 30, 2023.
2. The Wall Street Journal, June 30, 2023.
3. The Wall Street Journal, June 30, 2023.
4. CNBC, June 28, 2023.