North American equities advanced led by continued strength in “stay-at-home” stocks. European equities underperformed amid concerns over accelerating COVID-19 cases. A cautious economic outlook pushed gold prices, and 10-year government bond yields in Canada and the U.S., to record levels. The U.S. dollar, oil prices, and financials weakened.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index advanced led by strong gains in I.T. and health care. Materials and bond-proxy sectors also advanced while energy and financials weakened. Canada’s GDP returned to growth in May rising a record 4.5% as economic activity resumed helping lift the CFIB Business Barometer Index back to its long-term average in July.
The S&P 500 Index (C$) advanced led by I.T. and discretionary amid stronger-than-expected corporate earnings, albeit off low estimates. REITs benefited from lower rates. U.S. initial jobless claims rose for the 2nd consecutive week, consumer confidence fell more than expected, and negotiations over the next round of fiscal support stalled.
The MSCI EAFE Index (C$) declined as all sectors weakened. Energy, discretionary, and financials experienced the largest losses. Japan underperformed as Fitch revised its outlook to negative. European equities also struggled particularly in Spain and Italy where economies are more reliant on tourism and face increased concerns over an acceleration in COVID-19 cases