Stock futures fall slightly to start trading in August as market records best month since 2020

Stock futures fell slightly after the market’s best month since 2020, as investors anticipate another week of earnings reports and key economic data.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 67 points, or 0.2%. S&P 500 futures fell about 0.2% and Nasdaq 100 futures fell 0.3%.

On Friday, all major indexes advanced, posting winning weeks and closing the best month of the year so far, and then some. The Dow gained 6.7% in July, while the S&P 500 gained 9.1%. The Nasdaq Composite rose 12.4% as investors flocked to the worst-hit tech stocks during this bear market. For each index, July’s performance was the best since 2020.

“We are seeing a rally of relief in the stock market, as pessimism has reached extreme levels and longer-term interest rates have come back down,” said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer at Independent Advisor Alliance.

“We think the recovery will last until later in the summer, but as stock prices rebound and it becomes increasingly clear that we are headed for a more typical recession (e.g., recession with higher unemployment and falling nominal GDP close to zero or negative), markets will experience another sell-off again,” he added. “But until then, enjoy the rally because it might catch a lot of people off guard.”

This week, investors have more economic and corporate earnings data to digest. On Monday, companies such as Activision Blizzard, Devon Energy, Loews and more reported earnings. Later in the week Uber, Caterpillar, Starbucks, Eli Lilly, Amgen and others also scheduled reports.

In addition, Friday’s nonfarm payrolls report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics will provide further insight into the strength of the labor market. So far this year, solid job growth has prompted economists to say that the United States is currently not in recession, even with two consecutive quarters of negative GDP.

Garland K. Long