Hi there—here is this week's update!
TL;DR - Too Long Didn't Read
-The economy is worsening further
-Weekly unemployment claims rose for the first time in 4 months
-Consumer spending, which accounts for 70% of our economy, is still down
-Big Tech companies are underperforming
The number of people in the US that filed for unemployment rose by nearly 1.42 million last week, reversing a 4 month decline.
The monthly number of new jobless claims is still well above the peak during the 2008 recession. This marks the 18th straight week that initial jobless claims were above 1 million.
With 31.8 million Americans claiming unemployment benefits for the week ending July 4th, approximately 20% of workers are now collecting unemployment benefits. To give you context, the unemployment rate was 20% in the Great Depression.
Consumer spending, which accounts for 70% of the economy, soured in July. Air travel and restaurant bookings leveled out at less than a third of typical levels.
The US is a consumer-based economy, and if the consumers don’t have a job or are fearful of spending money, it will become even more challenging to dig us out of the current recession.
Since the market’s unprecedented rally since March, it’s evident that Big Tech has been the biggest winner.
The average total return of Apple, Alphabet (Google), Microsoft, and Amazon over the last two weeks (7/10/-7/24) was -4.3%. The S&P500 returned +1.0% over the same period, meaning an outperformance of 5.3%.
This may be a sign of the stock rally losing steam.
The rally in the S&P 500 has declining volume, and the big tech companies which have effectively led the market rally, have underperformed lately. Investors have been buying more safe-haven assets, such as gold, government bonds, and there has been an increase of inflows into money market funds.
There has been a continued disconnect between the financial markets and the economy.
We have been in the most severe recession since the great depression, while the financial markets have broadly rallied. However, we’re starting to see signs of weakness in the financial markets.
We hope you’re staying safe and we’ll see you next week!
-Saul & The Round Team
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