This Weekly Market Update reviews the top market headlines: U.S. Home Sales Rise Despite Surging Prices, Leading Economic Indicators Rebound, European Central Bank Pledges to Maintain Low Rates.

Top Three Market Headlines

U.S. Home Sales Rise Despite Surging Prices: Existing-home sales in the United States rose 1.4% in June compared to May, according to data released last week by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). This marked the first month[1]over-month increase since January. Compared to the prior year, sales were up 23%. The number of homes available for sale rose modestly over the month, helping support the uptick in the monthly sales rate, though inventories at month[1]end remained low at only 2.6 months of supply. The median existing-home sales price rose to $363,300 in June according to the NAR, a 23.4% increase from June of 2020.

Leading Economic Indicators Rebound: The Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. continued to rise in June, gaining 0.7% over May's level. The LEI, published monthly by The Conference Board, is intended to signal shifts in the business cycle based on readings of various economic and financial indicators. According to the latest report, the gain was broad based, with 8 of the 10 components within the index improving; the only laggards for the month were average weekly hours worked and new housing permits. While the growth rate of the index had stalled earlier in the year, recent monthly gains suggest the outlook for economic expansion remains solid.

European Central Bank Pledges to Maintain Low Rates: The European Central Bank (ECB) signaled last week that it would continue to support the Eurozone economy with low interest rates. In a statement, ECB authorities said they will not increase the Eurozone's key interest rate, which is currently set at -0.5%, until inflation moves closer to the bank's target of 2%. Many analysts believe the ECB will not increase its interest rates until 2024 or 2025, which would be 10 years after the bank first took the key interest rate below zero.

As of July 26, 2021 Week Quarter-To-Date Year-To-Date One-Year
MSCI All Country World 1.13% 1.08% 13.51% 33.58%
S&P 500 1.97% 2.74% 18.41% 38.47%
Russell 2000 2.15% -4.34% 12.44% 49.85%
MSCI EAFE 0.20% 0.14% 8.98% 25.71%
MSCI Emerging Markets -2.09% -4.34% 2.79% 23.92%
FTSE NAREIT 0.51% 4.50% 27.44% 44.27%
Bloomberg Commodity 1.33% 1.22% 22.62% 40.55%
Barclays U.S. Aggregate 0.19% 0.87% -0.75% -0.69%

WSJ 7/22/2021, National Association of Realtors 7/22/2021. Conference Board 7/22/2021. Data from Morningstar Direct. Returns for periods greater than one year are annualized. Investment advisory, named and independent fiduciary services are offered through Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Adviser. Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC does not express an investment opinion regarding any specific commodity, sector or individual security. Unless otherwise expressly noted, the contents of this communication do not constitute securities or investment advice, nor should this communication be construed as an opinion regarding the appropriateness of any investment. Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC is a single-member, limited-liability company, with Gallagher Benefit Services, Inc. as its single member. Neither Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC nor their affiliates provide accounting, legal or tax advice. The information provided cannot take into account all the various factors that may affect your particular situation, therefore you should consult your Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors consultant before acting upon any information or recommendation contained herein to discuss the suitability of the information/recommendation for your specific situation