Equities retreated last week despite strong corporate earnings data. European and Asian stocks slid following China's regulatory crackdown aimed at large tech companies. Although corporate earnings generally have been solid, last Friday's lower-than-expected earnings results from some heavily weighted megacaps may have caused some uncertainty about the pace of economic growth. By the close of last week, tech shares fell, pulling the Nasdaq down 1.1%, with the large caps of the Dow and the S&P 500 each declining 0.4%. The small caps of the Russell 2000 climbed 0.8%, while the Global Dow rose 0.4%. Crude oil prices climbed 2.4% to $73.81 per barrel. Gold prices rose nearly 1.0%, while the dollar dipped 0.8%. The yield on 10-year Treasuries decreased 5 basis points. Materials (2.8%) and energy (1.6%) led the market sectors.
Last week began with each of the benchmark indexes posting gains on Monday, as concerns over the resurgent spread of the coronavirus were outweighed by a positive start to corporate earnings season. The Global Dow added 0.7%, followed by the Russell 2000, which edged up 0.3%. The large caps of the Dow and the S&P 500 each gained 0.2%, while the Nasdaq ticked up by less than 0.1%. Treasury yields and the dollar dipped. Crude oil prices climbed marginally higher. The market sectors were mixed, with energy the clear mover after advancing 2.5%. Among the remaining sectors, communication services, consumer discretionary, and materials gained between 0.7% and 0.9%.
The market reversed course last Tuesday as megacap technology stocks tumbled. The Nasdaq posted its largest decline in nearly two months after slipping 1.2%. The S&P 500 fell 0.5%, while the Dow dipped 0.2%. The small caps of the Russell 2000 lost 1.1% and the Global Dow declined 0.2%. Several global markets dipped lower following China's imposition of a regulatory campaign aimed at the country's largest tech companies. The drop in tech stocks in China may be having a carryover effect on similar stocks in the United States. The sectors finished mostly lower, with information technology and energy falling 1.0%, while consumer discretionary fell 1.2%. Treasury yields, the dollar, and crude oil prices fell.
Stocks closed last Wednesday mixed, with the Russell 2000 (1.5%), the Nasdaq (0.7%), and the Global Dow (0.1%) edging higher, while the large caps of the Dow fell 0.4%. The S&P 500 ended the day essentially unchanged. The dollar dipped lower, while Treasury yields and crude oil prices rose. Energy and communication services led the market sectors, while consumer staples fell. Strong earnings reports and the Federal Reserve's statement that accommodative measures will remain in place for some time helped drive stocks higher. Still, concern remains that the global spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant could slow economic recovery.
Each of the benchmark indexes listed here advanced last Thursday following a favorable gross domestic product report and declining unemployment claims. The Global Dow led the way, climbing 0.9%, followed by the Russell 2000 (0.7%), the Dow and the S&P 500 (0.4%), and the Nasdaq (0.1%). The dollar fell, while crude oil prices and the yield on 10-year Treasuries advanced. Communication services (-0.9%) and real estate (-0.2%) were the only market sectors to decline. Financials and materials led the advancing sectors, each increasing 1.1%.
Stocks fell to close the week last Friday, with each of the benchmark indexes losing ground. The Global Dow dipped 0.9%, followed by the Nasdaq (-0.7%), the Russell 2000 (-0.6%), the S&P 500 (-0.5%), and the Dow (-0.4%). The yield on 10-year Treasuries decreased, while the dollar and crude oil prices advanced. Among the sectors, consumer discretionary dropped 2.8% and energy slid 1.8%.
The national average retail price for regular gasoline was $3.136 per gallon on July 26, $0.017 per gallon less than the prior week's price but $0.961 more than a year ago. Gasoline production increased during the week ended July 23, averaging 9.8 million barrels per day, up from the prior week's average of 9.1 million barrels per day. U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 15.9 million barrels per day during the week ended July 23; this was 132,000 barrels per day less than the previous week's average. For the week ended July 23, refineries operated at 91.1% of their operable capacity, down from the prior week's level of 91.4%.