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Market Update 08/28/23

Hashim Effendi

Markets slightly gained between Aug. 22 and Aug. 28 as investors retained a positive outlook of monetary policy from a multitude of Federal Reserve officials.

Markets closed mixed on Tuesday, following Moody’s decision to cut the credit ratings of several regional banks with sizable commercial real estate loan portfolios. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.5%, the S&P 500 lost 0.3% and the Nasdaq Composite added 8.3 points.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange’s Volatility Index fell 0.9% to $16.97. The CBOE Volatility Index is utilized as a gauge for investor sentiment concerning equity markets — a reading below $20.00 depicts positive sentiment towards the state of the market.

The three major indexes closed in the green on Wednesday due to positive sentiment regarding the technology sector. The Dow increased 0.5%, the S&P 500 increased 1.1% and the technology-heavy Nasdaq increased 1.6%.

Positive speculation regarding NVIDIA Corp.’s second-quarter earnings boosted the market. The Technology Select Sector, the Communication Services Select Sector and the Real Estate Select Sector gained 1.8%, 1.6% and 1.5%, respectively.

Markets closed lower on Thursday due to lackluster performance from the technology sector and anxious sentiment surrounding Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech at the annual Jackson Hole Economic Symposium. The Dow lost 1.1%, the S&P 500 lost 1.4% and the Nasdaq lost 1.9%.

The CBOE Volatility Index climbed 7.6% to $17.20, marking a significant increase from the previous close.

The Technology Select Sector, the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector and the Communication Services Select Sector declined 2.3%, 2.0%, and 1.9%, respectively.

Prior to Chair Powell’s long-awaited speech at Jackson Hole, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker and Boston Fed President Susan Collins revealed their near-term outlook on the economy.

“Right now I think that we’ve probably done enough, and it’s probably a good idea to hold steady for the rest of this year,” Harker told CNBC on Thursday, Aug. 24.

“We may be near, we could even be at a place where we would hold and not raise rates further,” Collins said in an interview with Yahoo! Finance prior to the Fed’s Jackson Hole meeting.

The Department of Labor announced that jobless claims declined 10,000 to 230,000 for the week ended August 19.

Investor sentiment rallied on Friday, following comments from Fed Chair Powell who suggested that the economy experienced stronger-than-expected growth. By Friday’s close, the Dow increased 0.7%, the S&P 500 increased 0.7% and the Nasdaq increased 0.9%.

The major indexes gained on Monday, with 10 out of the 11 S&P 500 sectors ending in the green. The Dow rose 0.6%, the S&P 500 rose 0.6% and the Nasdaq rose 0.8%.

In the upcoming week, investors should remain vigilant of the statements made by various Fed officials regarding the Fed’s decision to ultimately raise interest rates again in the near-term.

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