John Hancock: Weekly Market Recap Week Ended July 2nd
July 7, 2021
The pace of job growth accelerated in June, rebounding from recent moderation in the U.S. labor market’s recovery from the pandemic. The economy generated 850,000 new jobs last month, exceeding most economists’ expectations for around 700,000. In April and May, job growth totaled 269,000 and 583,000, respectively.
June by the numbers
June was the fifth positive month in a row for the S&P 500, which posted a total return of 2.3%. Results were uneven, as 5 of 11 sectors generated negative returns. Information technology was the strongest performer with a 7.0% return; materials was the weakest with a 5.3% decline.
Style tug of war
The second quarter produced a reversal in U.S. market leadership between the value and growth equity styles. An index of large-cap growth stocks returned nearly 12%, while its value counterpart added just over 5%. However, value remained the leader through the first half of 2021 with a 17% return to growth’s 13%, as value outperformed in the first quarter.
Through Wednesday’s close of the first half of the year, U.S. stocks extended their strong run that began in the spring of 2020. The S&P 500 posted a 15.3% return through the first six months of this year and all 11 sectors were positive. Energy had the biggest gain at 45.6%; utilities was the weakest at 2.4%.