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The market started the week with caution over escalating international tensions, but strong Q2 earnings reports and positive comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell during his testimony to Congress encouraged the bulls to take control later in the week.

Sure, the market is worried about the flattening yield curve and there were enough concerns about the role of the U.S. in NATO to push bulls out of the market this week, but in the end, it’s the economy that matters the most – and investors paid attention to the right topics.

The retail sales report for June showed how rising gas prices are having a negative effect on the disposable income of Americans, but thankfully, the oil price traded at a 3-week low as both the U.S. and the Saudis increased production over the last few weeks.

In the end, the Fed Chair raised some concerns over the historically low labor force participation rate, but overall, he didn’t forget to underscore the buzzing labor market and increasing inflation that will keep him and his colleagues busy hiking rates in the coming months.

Be sure to check out our previous week’s edition here, in which investors cheered the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh by President Trump.

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