Week Ending February 4 Financial Markets Update

Overall equities were up modestly last week after the S&P 500 index returned 1.57%, however that doesn’t put into perspective how volatile some names were. Earnings reports dominated headlines and drove many individual stock returns. Paypal Holdings Inc. released disastrous quarterly results and guidance and the payment processing company returned -22.90% last week, the worst performing name in the S&P 500. The second worst performing name in the S&P 500 last weekwas Facebook and Instagram 
parent company Meta Platforms Inc. The social media giant plunged 21.42% last week after announcing weaker earnings and guidance because they are facing an ‘unprecedented level of competition’ and they lost users for the first time. This wiped out $252b in market cap, the largest single day loss ever for a stock.

The yield curve experienced a parallel shift upwards at each maturity last week. Friday witnessed an impressive jobs report that reinforced confidence in the economic recovery’s durability. Despite record COVID infections in January, U.S. employers added 467,000 jobs during the month representing a 280% beat relative to the median estimate of 125,000. Average hourly earnings also topped expectations and rose 0.7% in January and 5.4% year-over-year. Importantly, the labor participation rate jumped to 62.2% from December’s 61.9% level. The participation rate has increased 50 bps since October and is key to improving supply chains and curbing inflation. However, it still remains over 100 bps below pre- Covid levels. Nonetheless, the jobs report will likely provide the Fed with the necessary confidence in the U.S. economy to begin its path to multiple rate hikes in 2022.

The interpretations and organizations of these ideas are the confidential thoughts of 1st & Main Investment Advisors and do not represent the opinions of BFCFSDifferent types of investments involve varying degrees of risk including market fluctuation and possible loss of principal value. There can be no assurance that any specific investment strategy will be profitable. *some content provided by First Trust Portfolios L.P.  Member SIPC and FINR

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