Market week: U.S. stock indexes at record highs

08-21-2020
Market week: U.S. stock indexes at record highs

Investor optimism continues to buoy markets

 

The major U.S. indexes continued to edge higher last week, with both the S&P 500 Composite Index and the Nasdaq Composite Index closing at record highs on Friday. Rising U.S. home sales propelled by low mortgage rates and positive manufacturing data helped support U.S. stocks, as did optimism that Congress would approve a new COVID-19 relief package when it reconvenes after summer recess. The S&P 500 gained 0.7% on the week, while the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 2.7%, benefitting from the ebullient technology sector, as Apple Inc. (NSD: AAPL) reached market capitalization of US$2 trillion for the first ever time during the week.

In Canada, the S&P/TSX Composite Index again remained flat on the week, as crude oil prices remained unchanged on the week and as gold showed signs of running out of steam following its record highs over US$2,000 per ounce earlier in the month. Even though Canada’s headline retail sales surged 23% month over month in June, investors remained unimpressed as Canada’s inflation rate remained unchanged in July, reflecting stagnant demand in the month, resulting from the still high unemployment rate.

Fund news and updates

* TD launches new “One Click” ETFs. TD Asset Management Inc. on Aug. 18 debuted three new exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The TD One-Click ETF Portfolios were built to appeal to investors’ varying risk tolerances. They primarily invest in a strategic mix of broad market index TD ETFs and actively managed TD ETFs.

* BMO expands mutual fund lineup. BMO Investments Inc. on Aug. 17 announced additions to its mutual fund lineup with the following new funds:

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