Exchange traded funds indexed to the S&P 500 fell more than 1% on Monday as stock bulls didn’t get the bounce they were hoping for after last week’s drop.
“Last Friday’s employment report was the latest in a string of economic numbers portraying very slow growth in the U.S. economy,” said David Kelly, chief market strategist at JP Morgan Funds, on Monday.
He said the “litany of lethargy” now includes May vehicle sales at their lowest level in eight months, April housing starts at their second lowest level in two years, the May ISM manufacturing index at its lowest level in 20 months, and May private payrolls growing at their slowest pace in the past 11 months.
“It now appears that real GDP growth in the second quarter will be close to the 1.8% recorded in the first, which is clearly a major disappointment,” Kelly wrote in a note Monday, although he added there “remain good reasons to believe” growth will pick up in the second half of the year.
“The biggest drag on the U.S. economy remains a pervasive lack of confidence, and media reports on the latest weak numbers, however temporary they may be, will not have helped in this regard,” he added. “For investors, last week’s numbers led to a fifth straight weekly decline in the stock market which has now only posted small gains for the year so far. The weakness also contributed to a rally in Treasury bonds pushing the 10-year yield below 3%, despite a continuing Washington stalemate on debt issues. It is a nervous time, and predictions of a second half rebound are increasingly met with skepticism.”