John Hancock: Weekly Market Recap Week Ended September 4th
An August to remember
The S&P 500 climbed more than 7% last month, posting its best August result since 1986 and recording seven record daily closing highs along the way. Information technology was the sector leader with a 12% gain; utilities was the weakest sector with a 3% decline.
The stock market’s five-week winning streak was snapped as the NASDAQ dropped more than 3% and the S&P 500 fell around 2%, with both indexes retreating from record highs. Technology stocks pulled the broader market down, reversing a recent trend.
Still on the mend
Combined with the roughly 9 million jobs added in the preceding three months, the 1.4 million jobs generated in August brings the labor market to about the halfway point in recovering the 22 million jobs lost in March and April. The unemployment rate dropped to 8.4%, the fourth monthly decline in a row.
The Cboe Volatility Index, which measures investors’ expectations of short-term stock market volatility, climbed on Friday to as high as 38 in intraday trading, its highest level in more than two months. However, the so-called VIX remained far below its record closing high of around 83 set in mid-March of this year.