Heading into the last week of July, we aren’t exactly happy. After last weeks’ worth of record gains, the major markets spent much of their time trending downward this week. A multitude of factors caused stocks to give up their recent gains.
Data for the most part was poor, with measures of employment, manufacturing, and consumer health showing some troubling declines. Likewise earnings have been rather mixed. Several bellwethers have either hit it out of the park or stumbled hard this earnings season. Traders have been reacting to that in a mostly negative way.
Also acting negatively toward that was the Fed. This week was the latest FOMC meeting, and the central bank decided to leave rates where they were. The Fed gave a cautious tone about the economy — both here and abroad — and left the possibility of raising rates at next meeting. However, some analysts have predicted that the Fed has already missed the boat on this tightening cycle.
As a result, stocks spent much of the week on the downside.