As most of you know, in a video address on August 27th originally scheduled to be delivered in-person at a symposium in Wyoming, Jerome Powell clarified what many pondered – how to end the era of balance sheet expansion and ultra-low interest rates without unduly scaring markets. Powell set a clear line between slowing and ultimately ceasing purchases of bonds and other fixed income securities and raising interest rates. It seems the world can tolerate the former so long as the latter – low rates – stick around.
As a result, markets continued the upward trend they have now been on for seven consecutive months. The S&P 500® Index rose 3.04% for the month, putting it up about 21.6% year to date (through August 31st). However, markets continue to grapple with several factors.
Our August 2021 market commentary provided by Peter W. Tuz, CFA, CFP® President & Portfolio Manager, Chase Investment Counsel.