After last week’s tail-end implosion, traders this week took a more optimistic tone, sending the broader indexes to new records. The wins this week came from a variety of good economic data, several agreements in Washington, and continued reassurance from Federal Reserve Jerome Powell.
Last week, the Fed shocked investors with the idea that because of rising inflation, the Central Bank may have to act sooner than later with regard to raising rates. The Fed had long promised investors that its new inflation targeting stance would keep rates low for the long haul. This week, Powell’s testimony provided more substance to its moves and put investors’ minds at ease.
Putting their minds at ease was the potential agreement for more stimulus measures. Infrastructure has long been one of President Biden’s main talking points and news broke that his administration may be close to a $1 trillion deal.
Data was mixed this week. It was bullish, but less than expected, which also helped ease inflation expectations and drive stocks higher throughout the week. With the summer doldrums and July 4 holiday coming up, the number of earnings and corporate actions have slowed to a trickle.
In the end, the Fed and inflation continue to drive the markets. This week, those expectations moved the needle higher.
Be sure to check out our previous Wrap here, when stocks had their worst week of the year.