The final week of July closed out the month with gains across all five of the major markets. The Nasdaq returned to the top spot for the second week in a row with the S&P 500 not far behind. For the S&P 500, last week’s gains added to an already significant monthly return. In fact, the S&P 500 logged its best monthly return since November of 2020. During the flurry of earnings announcements, the FOMC held their summer session. On Wednesday, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell held the post conference press committee in which he announced the 75-basis point increase and gave further guidance on the plans for the committee. Activity in the housing sector has weakened, in part reflecting higher mortgage rates. At the beginning of the conference, Powell continued to highlight the challenge of the current 9.1% inflation rate. Powell was careful not to say the word “recession” until asked of him by one of the reporters in attendance. The Biden administration had come under pressure within the last week with its publication of a memo that provided a definition to the term “recession” beyond the short-hand designation of two consecutive negative quarters of GDP. Rather, they redirected people to the National Bureau of Economic Research which holds a more ambiguous classification of what defines a recessionary period. While the Administration is accurate to say that the definition of a recession hasn’t truly changed, two consecutive quarters of negative GDP has long stood as that used by the everyman and oft repeated by economists. The CME Group’s FedWatch tool still places the greatest probability of a 50-basis point increase at the next mid-September meeting with a greater probability of additional 25-point increases in November and December. At Leap Wealth, we are here to help you manage through the economic and political noise to stay on track. Contact us today to learn more.