Weekly Wrap: September Living Up To Its Reputation As The Market Gets Punched This Week

  • Equity markets lost ground during the first week of  the typically volatile month of September.
  • The once market-leading tech sector is taking a beating both in the markets and on Capitol Hill.
  • Wage growth is accelerating, which puts more pressure on the Fed to raise rates.
  • Italy is becoming more worrisome while little progress has been made on Brexit.
  • Trade wars continue with American companies asking the Administration to show some restraint.

The Markets

It was a short week for the markets due to the Labor Day holiday on Monday, thankfully, as the first four post-summer trading days have been fairly dour. I’m pretty sure that Tesla’s (TSLA) CEO, Elon Musk wished it were shorter.

Tuesday was the first day of trading in what is typically the most challenging month for U.S. equities, particularly in years with mid-term elections and prospects for a yet another escalation in the current trade war. Going back to 1950, the average return for the S&P 500 during this month is a loss of -0.5% and no other month has had as many 10%+ declines than September’s record of seven. Nasdaq and S&P 500 both lost -0.2% on the first trading day of September despite Amazon (AMZN) briefly reaching $1 trillion in market cap during trading.

Wednesday tech was in the hot seat as Facebook (FB) COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter (TWTR) CEO Jack Dorsey were grilled by Congress. Share price performance for the two, down -2.3% and -6.1% respectively, indicate that investors were not impressed by the day. But at least they showed up, while the expected folks from Alphabet were a no-show. The tech sector was the worst performer of the day, with Netflix (NFLX) leading the way, down -6.2%, the Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) lost -1.4%, the Nasdaq Composite lost -1.2%, the S&P 500 fell -0.3% but the DJIA managed to squeak out a gain of +0.1%.

Thursday was yet another tough day for the tech sector as the Nasdaq Composite closed in the red for the third consecutive day. The S&P 500 and the NYSE Composite also lost ground.

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