US stocks remained volatile last week, with investors growing increasingly concerned about the deadlock between the Congress and the White House over the new covid-19 rescue package. Although President Donald Trump signed orders last week to extend provide some relief, the legal status of these orders is still in question.
Market sentiment was also hit by reports of talks between US and Chinese officials, due for the weekend, being postponed indefinitely. The upbeat tone of the economic reports released through the week provided some support to the markets, with initial jobless claims falling below the 1 million level for the first time during the coronavirus crisis. Industrial production for July climbed 3%, exceeding expectations of a 2.7% rise.
Covid-19 cases in the US also showed signs of a slowdown, while the government signed deals with various drug makers for supplying millions of vaccine doses, provided they receive regulatory approvals.
Performance of US Indices
US stocks closed mixed on Friday, after trading flat for most of the session. Weaker-than-expected growth in retail sales kept investors on the sidelines for most of the day.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1% to close at 27,931.02 on Friday. The index closed the week higher by 1.8%, after gaining 3.8% in the previous week. The S&P 500 index slipped 0.58 point on Friday and closed the week higher by 0.6%. The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.2% to close at 11,019.30 on Friday, closing the week higher by just 0.1%.
Top US Stocks of the Week
Shares of Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE: FL) gained around 8% on Monday, after the company posted an 18% surge in quarterly same-store sales and issued strong Q2 earnings guidance. Foot Locker’s stock gained 5% last week.
Brinker International, Inc’s (NYSE: EAT) shares climbed around 15% on Wednesday, after the company posted a narrower-than-expected loss for the latest quarter. Brinker’s stock recorded gains of 25% for the week.
Moderna, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA) announced an agreement with the US government to supply 100 million doses of its covid-19 vaccine, following regulatory approval. The company’s shares gained just 1% on the news but ended the week lower by 7%.
Tesla Inc’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) shares climbed 13% on Wednesday after the electric-vehicle maker reported a 5-for-1 stock split. Tesla’s stock spiked around 14% last week.
On Thursday, Cisco Systems, Inc’s (NASDAQ: CSCO) shares plummeted more than 11% despite the company reporting upbeat Q4 results. However, weak forecast for the current quarter disappointed investors. Cisco’s stock ended the week lower by 10%.
Shares of FAT Brands Inc. (NASDAQ: FAT) jumped around 99% on Thursday after the company announced plans to acquire Johnny Rockets for $25 million. FAT Brands closed the week higher by 92%.
Performance of European Indices
European stocks fell sharply on the last trading day of the week, with the UK announcing its decision to add France to its quarantine list, which hurt travel stocks. Downbeat data from China also hit market sentiment, with the country’s retail sales surprisingly dropping 1.1% in July.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slid 1.2% on Friday but still managed to close the week higher by 1.2%. The German DAX 30 slipped 0.7% on Friday, but gained around 1.8% for the week. The French CAC 40 climbed 1.5%, while the FTSE 100 index rose 1% last week.
Top European Stocks of the Week
Shares of Clarkson jumped around 12% on Monday, after the shipping company posted higher pretax profits for the first half of the year.
Admiral Group’s shares climbed 6% on Wednesday following a rise in profits and the company reinstating its special dividend payment.
Shares of Thyssenkrupp dipped 16% on Thursday after the German firm posted a loss of €679 million for the latest quarter.
Aegon’s shares nosedived 15% on Thursday after the company reported a 67% decline in profits in the first half of the year.
On Thursday, shares of Carlsberg slipped 6% after the brewer projected a 10-15% decline in profits for 2020.
The Forex Market
The euro started the week on a lower note, falling back to the 1.17 level. The shared currency found some support later in the week, as the greenback came under pressure again after the Congress walked out on the covid-19 relief package talks. After gaining 0.25% on Friday, the EUR/USD closed the week higher by 0.5%.
The Japanese yen slipped 0.6% versus the US dollar last week. The yen was among the few currencies that recorded a decline versus the greenback last week, as the greenback coming under pressure versus most of its major rivals. Japan’s Eco Watchers Survey for current conditions came in weaker than expected, at 41.1 in July.
The Crypto Market
Cryptos remained highly volatile last week but the Bitcoin ended the week flat. The crypto king broke above the $12,100 level on Monday, but enthusiasm faded quickly, taking the digital currency as low as $11,100 over the next few days. Bitcoin made a strong comeback later in the week. The BTC/USD traded around $11,800 over the weekend.