Market week: Stocks edge up without enthusiasm

Market week: Stocks edge up without enthusiasm

COVID-19 fears again stall momentum


Stock markets made slight gains on the week as central banks continue to pump liquidity into the financial system, and as both the U.S. and Canadian governments ramp up spending in an effort to support economies crippled by forced pandemic-related lockdowns. The U.S. congress, for example, is preparing another US$1 trillion spending bill for the end of July to provide COVID-19 relief.

However, the markets aren’t rallying with anything like the enthusiasm shown in May, as investors begin to digest the resurgent COVID-19 infection rate in populous U.S. states like Florida, Texas, and California, as the U.S. marked another record day of cases earlier this week, totalling 63,000. The concern is that a fresh round of lockdowns and quarantines could easily derail nascent consumer spending, depressing corporate earnings, and once again block GDP growth, extending the COVID-19 recession to the end of the year and into next year.

The S&P 500 Composite Index advanced 1.8% on the week, while the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.7%. Toronto’s S&P 500 Composite Index, meanwhile, gained 0.8% on the week. Crude oil and gold remained flat on the week.

Fund news and updates

* Franklin Templeton winds up loan ETF. Franklin Templeton Canada announced on July 10 that it will terminate Franklin Liberty Senior Loan ETF (CAD-Hedged) (TSX: FLSL) on or around Sept. 17, 2020, with the fund delisted from the TSX on Sept. 14.

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