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The Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 have rallied 4% and 3% respectively this month of August. All eyes are currently on the unemployment data and job creation reports coming later this week on Friday.
On Monday, August 30, the US stock indices surged to record high levels. The world’s largest stock market index S&P 500 (INDEXSP: .INX) ended at 0.43% higher at 4528.79 levels. At the same time, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (INDEXNASDAQ: .IXIC) closed 0.90% higher at all-time highs of 15,265 levels, making Wall Street wonder whether new high levels will be taken next. However, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX: .DJI) headed south ending at 35,399 levels.
It looks like the US stock market is on a very strong footing at this point and looking for a strong finish to August. The S&P 500 is up more than 3% this month while the Nasdaq Composite is up nearly 4%. However, the Dow Jones Industrial Average remains at 1.6% gains for August 2021. This solid performance in August came on the backdrop of strong corporate earnings for the second quarter.
Other companies like Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Netflix Inc (NASDAQ: NFLX) were up by 1.3% each. Also the Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) stock was up by 2% on Monday. The eCommerce giant announced a partnership with Affirm Holdings to integrate its ‘Buy Now, Pay later’ check-out option. As a result, the Affirm Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: AFRM) stock price shot by a staggering 47% on Monday.
Airline stocks remained under pressure with the European Union recommending that all member countries should reinstate a ban for non-essential travel to the US amid the rising delta variant cases in America.
Analysts Remain Divided on Future Momentum
While the market has been trading at an all-time high, analysts remain divided on future momentum. Last week, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell noted that the central bank will initiate bond-tapering measures later this year. However, it’s in no rush to hike the interest rates.
Ryan Detrick, the chief market strategist for LPL Financial, expects a rally going ahead in 2021. He said:
“We can’t entirely dismiss the risks, including the Delta variant, supply chain disruptions, and inflation pressures—particularly wages. But we expect corporate America’s efficiency and the strength of the reopening to continue to power earnings ahead and lead to additional gains for stocks over the rest of 2021″.
On the other hand, Morgan Stanley’s Mike Wilson sees a 10% correction coming in the market. Wilson noted:
“With record GDP and earnings growth, rising inflation and the rates of infection from the Delta variant peaking, the Fed will feel more pressure to remove what is essentially emergency monetary accommodation. We expect a more formal signal from the Fed at the September FOMC meeting, and the markets are likely to anticipate it. That means higher interest rates and lower equity valuations.”
Later this week, the Labor Department will release the jobs report for August 2021. Economists at Dow Jones expect the unemployment rate to drop 5.2% with 750,000 new jobs created.