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MCF Weekly Capital Market Review - July 8th, 2019

Last week can best be described as business as usual. The S&P 500 set a new record high last week, closing just shy of the 3,000 landmark at 2,995.82 on Wednesday July 3. Despite the soft ADP Employment Report, the US jobs report exceeded expectations by adding 224,000 jobs, far above the 72,000 recorded last month. The unemployment rate ticked up to 3.7% due to an increase in jobseekers entering the workforce pool, an indication of strong labor markets. Reports from ISM/PMI Manufacturing indices reflected what was already known: manufacturing has slowed but is still growing. The Non-Manufacturing ISM index shows that the rest of the economy is growing at a higher rate[1].

The strong employment report has already scaled back expectations for rate cuts this year. Treasury yields received a small bounce across the curve but remain severely compressed with a difference of only 0.28% between 1-month and 30-year yields. The yield curve still represents a U-shape with inversion for shorter-maturities but a more typical curve (yields increasing as maturities increase) for longer maturities[2].

Geo-political events have been quiet, giving markets a break for now in exchange for possible surprises later. Both the US and China have been silent on the trade dispute since the temporary truce was announced but negotiations apparently are continuing. In European markets, IMF chair Lagarde is favored to replace ECB (European Central Bank) head Draghi, providing a low chance of future surprises as she is expected to maintain Draghi’s loose and transparent monetary policies[3]. On Brexit, hardliner Boris Johnson is favored to replace Theresa May as UK Prime Minister with a large potential for rattling markets approaching the 10/31 deadline[4].

This week likely will be dominated by central banking topics. Fed Chair J. Powell has three speeches slated for this week. In addition, CPI and PPI data will be released. Any pickup in inflation likely will cause the Fed to pivot back towards a holding position rather than the expected rate cut position that was setup from the last FOMC meeting and expected by market participants. It has been unclear whether the Fed or the market is leading the other, and we likely won’t know until the July 31 FOMC announcement, at the earliest. After this week, market focus will shift to corporate earnings season.

[4] https://www.dw.com/en/uk-prime-minister-race-narrows-to-boris-johnson-jeremy-hunt/a-49283782

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION

Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results.  Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by MCF), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this newsletter will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful.  Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this newsletter serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from MCF.  To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing.   MCF is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the newsletter content should be construed as legal or accounting advice.  A copy of the MCF’s current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available upon request. If you are a MCF client, please remember to contact MCF, in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/evaluating/revising our previous recommendations and/or services. Please click here to review our full disclosure.

REFLECTED INDICES

S&P Composite 1500® Index combines three leading indices, the S&P 500®, the S&P MidCap 400®, and the S&P SmallCap 600® to cover approximately 90% of the US market capitalization. It is designed for investors seeking to replicate the performance of the US equity market or benchmark against a representative universe of tradable stocks. Investors cannot invest in an index.

MSCI ACWI ex USA Index captures large and mid cap representation across 22 of 23 Developed Markets (DM) countries (excluding the US) and 23 Emerging Markets (EM) countries. With 1,859 constituents, the index covers approximately 85% of the global equity opportunity set outside the US. Investors cannot invest in an index.

Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate ex-USD Index is a measure of global investment grade debt from 24 local currency markets. This multi- currency benchmark includes treasury, government-related, corporate and securitized fixed-rate bonds from both developed and emerging markets issuers. Investors cannot invest in an index.

Bloomberg Barclays High Yield Corporate Bond Index measures the USD-denominated, high yield, fixed-rate corporate bond market. Securities are classified as high yield if the middle rating of Moody's, Fitch and S&P is Ba1/BB+/BB+ or below. Bonds from issuers with an emerging markets country of risk, based on Barclays EM country definition, are excluded. Investors cannot invest in an index.

S&P GSCI is a composite index of commodity sector returns which represents a broadly diversified, unleveraged, long-only position in commodity futures. The S&P GSCI is intended to provide exposure to broad-based commodities. Investors cannot invest in an index.

Bloomberg Barclays US Aggregate Bond Index is a broad-based flagship benchmark that measures the investment grade, US dollar-denominated, fixed- rate taxable bond market. The index includes Treasuries, government-related and corporate securities, MBS (agency fixed-rate and hybrid ARM pass- through), ABS and CMBS (agency and non-agency). Provided the necessary inclusion rules are met, US Aggregate eligible securities also contribute to the multi-currency Global Aggregate Index and the US universal Index, which includes high yield and emerging markets debt. The US Aggregate Index was created in 1986 with history backfilled to January 1, 1976. Investors cannot invest in an index.

Bloomberg Barclays 1-10 Year US Government Inflation-Linked Bond Index tracks the 1-10-year inflation protected sector of the United States Treasury market. Investors cannot invest in an index.

Bloomberg Barclays US Treasury 1-3 Year Index measures the performance of public obligations of the US Treasury with maturities of 1-3 years, including securities roll up to the US Aggregate, US Universal, and Global Aggregate Indices. Investors cannot invest in an index.

Bloomberg Barclays US Treasury Bellwethers 3 Month Index is an unmanaged index representing the on-the-run (most recently auctioned) US Treasury bill with 3 months’ maturity. Investors cannot invest in an index.