Powell’s speech came the same day the Commerce Department reported that the core personal consumption expenditures price index, the Fed’s preferred inflation measure, increased by 3.6% in July. The year-over-year gain was in-line with economist expectations but represents the highest inflation reading since January 1991. On Wednesday, big U.S. tech companies Google, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft committed billions of dollars to cybersecurity measures at a White House cybersecurity summit. President Joe Biden is emphasizing U.S. cybersecurity measures following recent high-profile cyberattacks on government software contractor SolarWinds and key U.S. oil pipeline Colonial Pipeline.
The S&P 500 hit a new high as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell allayed market concerns about possible interest rate rises. Powell said at the annual Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium on Friday that the Fed is expected to begin cutting its $120 billion monthly bond purchases by the end of 2021. Powell, on the other hand, stated that the US job market still has “more ground to cover” before the Fed begins hiking interest rates.
Meme stock mania returned to Wall Street last week as shares of AMC Entertainment and GameStop traded higher by 19% and 29%, respectively, on no major news from either company. Groups of retail investors on social media have orchestrated targeted buying campaigns in AMC and GameStop throughout 2021 in an attempt to drive out short sellers. Shares of Chinese e-commerce company Pinduoduo gained more than 22% last week after the company reported its first-ever quarterly profit.
Second-quarter earnings season continues to wind down this week with reports from Zoom Video on Monday, CrowdStrike on Tuesday and Ford and Broadcom on Thursday. Since the second quarter of 2020, S&P 500 earnings have beaten consensus analyst estimates by an average of 19% compared with an average beat of just 2% from 2000 to 2019, according to Bank of America/. This week, investors will get more key economic updates on Friday when Eurostat releases its July Eurozone retail sales report and the U.S. Labor Department releases its August jobs report. Benzinga is a financial news and data company headquartered in Detroit.
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