The last day of July saw major indexes post gains over their June closing values. Despite slumping tech stocks at the end of the month, the Nasdaq led the benchmarks for the month, closely followed by the Global Dow, as each index gained more than 3.0%. Both the large-cap Dow and S&P 500 posted gains, spurred by charging energy stocks and favorable corporate earnings reports. The small-cap Russell 2000, which has lagged behind other indexes, gained a little more than half a percent for the month and is up just over 5.0% year-to-date. The overall favorable performance of the market was more noteworthy considering the upheaval in the White House and the failure of Congress to enact health-care legislation. The yield on 10-year Treasuries was little changed from June. Yields increase as bond prices decrease.
By the close of trading on July 31, the price of crude oil (WTI) was $50.18 per barrel, up from the June 30 price of $46.33 per barrel. The national average retail regular gasoline price was $2.312 per gallon on July 24, up from the June 26 selling price of $2.288 but $0.106 more than a year ago. The price of gold increased by the end of July, closing at $1,275.60 on the last trading day of the month, up $34.20 from its June 30 price of $1,241.40.
Trading typically has been light during the first two months of the summer — a trend that is expected to continue through August. Interest rates will remain unchanged at least until mid-September, when the Federal Open Market meets again. The next release of the gross domestic product for the second quarter will be based on more current financial and economic information, which could impact the initial 2.6% growth rate that came out in July’s report.
Source: Forefield Financial Communications.
Notes: The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is a price-weighted index composed of 30 widely traded blue-chip U.S. common stocks. The S&P 500 is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-value weighted index of all common stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The Russell 2000 is a market-cap weighted index composed of 2000 U.S. small-cap common stocks. The Global Dow is an equally weighted index of 150 widely traded blue-chip common stocks worldwide. Market indexes listed are unmanaged and are not available for direct investment.