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David Becker

US stocks moved lower on Friday helping the Nasdaq notch up its second consecutive lower week. The Nasdaq was the worst-performing of the major indices during the week, despite some solid earnings from large-cap technology names. Next week the earnings parade will continue to Apple and Amazon reporting financial results. Most sectors in the S&P 500 index were lower on Friday, led down by technology, communications bucked the trend.

Gold prices hit a fresh 8-year high on Friday closing up the week more than 5%, and helping to buoy the mining sector. The dollar also moved lower for the week with the dollar index declining by 1.75%. Despite the downward movement in stocks for the week, the VIX volatility index barely changed rising 0.6% for the week and closing below 26. The VIX still remains elevated and is hovering above the 50-day moving average well above the 2019 average of 15. Optimism in the US jobs market is fading. President Trump is attempting to revamp his outlook on COVID, understanding that his poll numbers are fading as he fights for a second term as the US president.

Republicans Will Unveil Their Stimulus Package Next Week

Early in the week, Republicans will unveil their stimulus package proposal, which will then be debated as Friday’s deadline nears for the expiration of enhanced unemployment benefits. The current outlines shows that Senators want to add $100 per week onto standard unemployment benefits. This is in contrast to the House which wants $600 per week. The House goes on recess on July 31.

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US Job Optimism is Fading Quickly

Job optimism in the US is fading. In April, 78% of those in households with a job loss thought they’d be temporary. Now, 47% think that lost job is definitely or probably not coming back, according to the latest poll from The Associated Press.

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