Aug 22, 2022 - Economy & Business

Last week was worst for stocks since early July

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

With a four-week winning streak ended last week, the market is a bit rudderless in the late August doldrums.

Driving the news: The S&P 500's 1.2% drop last week, was its worst since the week ended July 1, when it tumbled 2.2%. It's down 11.3% for the year.

  • The Nasdaq dropped 2% and is down 18.8% in 2022.
  • The Russell 2000 declined by 2.1%, down 12.8%.

Our thought bubble: Don't read too much into the meanderings of the market as the summer comes to a close. With corporate earnings season over and little top-shelf economic data due to give investors hard information, the markets can waffle around without providing much of a signal.

  • For instance, Friday's market flop came amid the monthly expiration of options on S&P 500 futures contracts, a procedure that's known to add a bit of volatility as brokerage firms and traders settle contracts and close out positions.

Looking ahead: This week won't be much more active with key economic updates.

  • We'll get a second take on Q2 GDP on Thursday, and an update on the Fed's preferred gauge of inflation on Friday.
  • Also on Friday: Fed chair Jerome Powell is slated to deliver the keynote speech at the Fed's annual high-altitude gabfest in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
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