Hello and welcome to this week’s Jones Financial Blog! Our goal at Jones & Associates is to help keep you up to date with interesting current economic/market happenings as well as some proprietary portfolio happenings. Knowledge is power and thought we would share some of ours with you. Enjoy!
All data is for the week ended May 7, 2021.
The overall market continued to rally with the S&P 500 up 1.26% for the week and is now up 13.25% year to date. Small cap stocks were up slightly for the week (+0.25%) while the Nasdaq market (comprised of a high degree of technology and biotech stocks) was down 1.48% and has underperformed the S&P 500 for the year. (1)
US interest rates declined slightly for the week as 2-year US Treasury rates declined 2 basis points to end the week at 0.14% while 10-year treasuries dropped by 5 basis points to end the week at 1.60%. While Treasury rates have stagnated recently, the rise from the beginning of the year has still been the primary driver of the US Aggregate Bond Index being negative for the year (-2.34%). (1)
Gold prices had a strong week, rising 3.5% during the week but remains negative for the year. Oil prices also rose during the week as WTI Crude closed at $64.90. Over the weekend, news was released regarding the largest US petroleum pipeline was shut down as part of a ransomware attack, igniting some worry regarding the security of the nation’s energy infrastructure. (2)
The US labor market added 266,000 jobs in April, which was significantly below expectations. A positive component of the jobs report was wage growth, rising 8.2% year over year and significantly above long term trends. (1)
Proprietary portfolio happenings:
Company News (7)
Louisiana-Pacific (LPX), a Contrarian Choice, Core Select and G50 holding, reported much stronger sales and earnings growth than expected. The stock rose by 10.40% for the week. (3)
Sensata Technologies (ST), a G33 and Core Select holding, rose by 1.91% last week after reporting earnings that beat consensus expectations. The sensor-based company discussed a recovery in their automotive, heavy vehicle, and industrial markets. (4)
Did You Know? In 2006, the Royal Horticulture Society of Britain banned the use of “brightly colored creatures” in landscaping for the Chelsea Flower Show (the gardening world’s equivalent to the Kentucky Derby). Unfortunately, the ban applied to gnomes since show organizers claim they detract from garden designs. Gnome supporters believe it’s a case of snobbery because of the popularity of the statues in the gardens of working class people.