Market Screener: Major U.S. Indices Enter August Just Off All-Time Highs

  • Market Overview
  • Editors Pick

Welcome to the Market Screener, a weekly video from that breaks down what’s happening in the markets so investors can stay on top of the latest developments while remaining focused on what matters long term.


For all the agitation in the U.S. and elsewhere about the delta variant, inflation , and anything else that might derail the post-pandemic recovery, markets enter August just off all-time highs. That might seem counterintuitive, but we’re also in the middle of earnings season. And so far, so good, with companies beating numbers at record rates.

Last week did see a pullback in markets as some of the bellwethers in tech— Facebook (NASDAQ: FB ), Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ), and especially Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN )—despite solid quarterly results, ended the week on low notes. That highlights one of the three key questions to break down in the back half of earnings season.

1. Is This The COVID Hangover?

We are lapping our first full pandemic quarter, which is going to cause weird comparisons. Some companies had amazing Q2 2020 performance as customers bolted for online resources; other companies could hardly do anything due to the nature of lockdowns around the world.

So for some of these highflyers, we’re starting to see what the end of outperformance might look like. Amazon provides one key example. In the same segment, Etsy (NASDAQ: ETSY ) and Wayfair (NYSE: W ) are names to watch this week.

2. Where Are We In The Offline Recovery?

The flipside comes from the companies who have easy QoQ or YoY comparisons. Boeing (NYSE: BA ) surprised analysts with profit in Q2. While Boeing has its own issues—the 737 MAX was a 2019 problem, and then the pandemic hit—it’s the latest in a number of industrial and travel-related companies sounding bullish. Two big travel players, Booking (NASDAQ: BKNG ) and Expedia (NASDAQ: EXPE ) report this week, so we highlight, in the video, what to watch there.

3. Where Do Things Stand With Inflation?

We have the monthly, U.S. nonfarm jobs report on Friday, which will give us a hint as to the pace of recovery as well as wage growth , one pillar of inflation. Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG ) reported last week and during the earnings call, talked about how they’re managing inflation.

Kraft Heinz (NASDAQ: KHC ) has been a less stellar consumer packaged goods performer, but they also were not worried about inflation a few months ago. It will be interesting to see what their story will be this week when they report on Wednesday, Aug. 4, ahead of the open.

These are the three broader themes to watch for in earnings this week, along with following any stocks you own that might be reporting.

Video Timestamps

  • 0:20 - Market Setup
  • 1:20 – The COVID Hangover?
  • 4:40 – The Offline Recovery?
  • 6:35 – What About Inflation?

Disclosure: I am long BKNG and BRK.B

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