Read the top 10 stories to remember the week which ended July 2nd.
The pace of job growth accelerated in June, rebounding from recent moderation in the U.S. labor market’s recovery from the pandemic. The economy generated 850,000 new jobs last month, exceeding most economists’ expectations for around 700,000. In April and May, job growth totaled 269,000 and 583,000, respectively.
The second quarter produced a reversal in U.S. market leadership between the value and growth equity styles. An index of large-cap growth stocks returned nearly 12%, while its value counterpart added just over 5%. However, value remained the leader through the first half of 2021 with a 17% return to growth’s 13%, as value outperformed in the first quarter.
Through Wednesday’s close of the first half of the year, U.S. stocks extended their strong run that began in the spring of 2020. The S&P 500 posted a 15.3% return through the first six months of this year, and all 11 sectors were positive. Energy had the biggest gain at 45.6%; utilities was the weakest at 2.4%.
Elevated inflation remains a chief concern for investors in Brazil, and while the central bank has begun raising interest rates in response, T. Rowe Price sovereign analyst Richard Hall expects additional near-term inflation pressures stemming from rising electricity costs. During the week, the country’s electricity regulator announced a 50% increase in a tariff surcharge starting in July.
Chile’s ministry of finance said it step up its sales of dollar-denominated assets from Chile’s sovereign wealth fund to help finance the USD 10.8 billion fiscal package announced at the end of May to aid the economic recovery. The package, which the legislature approved in June, includes support for households, such as a universal emergency basic income for most citizens; smaller businesses, such as greater tax benefits; and the health system’s broad coronavirus vaccination efforts.