Weekly Market Outlook: S&P 500 Back To The Inflection Point

Another week, another win. The S&P 500 inched 0.7% higher from the prior Friday's close last week, marking the third weekly gain in the past four weeks, and the sixth in the past eight. Yet, the index is only up 2.6% for the past six weeks. The tepid advance ultimately reflects the fact that the S&P 500 -- and the broad market -- continues to grapple with a major ceiling. Indeed, the more it grapples, the better-defined and stronger that resistance becomes.

And now, another potential stumbling block is back in play. Or, maybe it's a bullish catapult. We'll dissect it below, as always. First though, let's run through last week's major economic news and preview what's coming this week. There are a few biggies in the lineup.

Economic Data Analysis

The stream of economic reports last week was pretty steady, but there was only one set of real interest: inflation, for consumers as well as factories and production plants. It's still uncomfortably high, even though some measures cooled off just a bit.

Producers' input prices came in above expectations, and are 7.8% above last year's costs -- when we were in the thick of the pandemic's shutdowns. Consumers' costs now stand 5.4% higher year-over-year, or 4.3% not counting ever-volatile food and energy costs.

Inflation Rate Charts

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, TradeStation

Everything else is on the grid.

Economic Calendar

Source: Briefing.com

This week's party starts in earnest on Tuesday with last month's capacity utilization and industrial production numbers from the Fed, and July's retail sales data from the Census Bureau.

Although the recovery from the COVID-19 slowdown is tapering off, economists are looking for a little more forward progress in terms of industrial output as well as use of the country's capacity to make things.

Capacity Utilization and Industrial Productivity Rate Charts

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