This Weekly Market Update reviews the top market headlines: U.S. Job Growth Slows, U.S. Business Activity Continues to Expand in September, Oil Prices Keep Rising as OPEC + Stands Pat

Top Three Market Headlines

U.S. Job Growth Slows: The U.S. Department of Labor announced last Friday that U.S. employers added only 194,000 jobs in September, the smallest gain since December 2020. Increased employment in the leisure and hospitality, retail trade, professional and business services, and transportation and warehousing drove September's increase in hiring, while public education hiring was a laggard. The labor force participation rate decreased from 61.7% to 61.6%, meaning some workers gave up searching for a job and exited the labor force. The smaller pool of labor meant that despite the slowdown in hiring, the unemployment rate fell to 4.8% last month from 5.2% in August.

U.S. Business Activity Continues to Expand in September: The U.S. economy continued to grow in September, according to surveys of business executives released by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). The ISM Manufacturing index registered 61.1 in September, up from 59.9 in August. (A reading above 50 indicates an expansion of activity, while a sub-50 mark reflects contraction.) The services sector also continued to expand in September as the ISM Services index registered 61.9, slightly higher than August's reading of 61.7. Both indices have now exceeded 50 for 16 consecutive months.

Oil Prices Keep Rising as OPEC+ Stands Pat: OPEC and Russia (OPEC+) last week declined to amend their latest oil production plan, according to which the member countries expect to increase their collective oil output by 400,000 barrels a day on a monthly basis. However, amid rising oil prices there have been intensified calls for OPEC+ to expand output further. West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices rose to over $80 a barrel last week, nearing their highest price level since 2014 and up from $62 a barrel in late August

As of October 11, 2021
Week Quarter-To-Date Year-To-Date One-Year
MSCI All Country World 0.74% 1.16% 12.40% 25.56%
S&P 500 0.83% 1.99% 18.23% 29.29%
Russell 2000 -0.37% 1.32% 13.89% 38.49%
MSCI EAFE 0.29% -0.47% 7.84% 22.38%
MSCI Emerging Markets 0.85% 0.33% -0.92% 14.79%
FTSE NAREIT -0.09% 1.46% 24.94%
Bloomberg Commodity 1.68% 1.85% 31.52% 42.29%
Barclays U.S. Aggregate -0.78% -0.50% -2.05% -1.19%

WSJ 10/4/2021, Bloomberg 10/7/2021. WSJ 10/8/2021. BLS 10/8/2021. ISM World 10/8/2021. 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.