July was the best month for the stock market since November 2020

The stock market closed high on Friday, with July marking the best month for the S&P 500 since November 2020, and the Nasdaq having its best month since April 2020.

The S&P 500 gained 1.4% on Friday, bringing July’s monthly increase to 9.1%, the highest since the index gained nearly 11% in November 2020. The news came as relief to those who were worried that the Federal Reserve’s latest rate hike would send stocks falling, but the economy remains in flux with high inflation and fears of a recession.

Why the market did so well in July

Driving the market’s banner month were blue chip tech companies that outperformed expectations, including Apple and Amazon, which together account for a market value of $4 trillion.

Here’s how other notable stocks performed in July:

  • Apple’s stock price increased by 19%, while Amazon increased more than 28%. Amazon added roughly $140 billion in market valuation on Friday alone.
  • Oil companies posted a strong month, with stock prices for Exxon and Chevron each growing by 13% in the last month, respectively.

What’s next for the economy?

Wall Street’s strong July may have assuaged the fears of some, but questions still remain about how inflation will impact the markets in the long term.

“I am not as sanguine as the market seems to be,” Lauren Goodwin, economist at New York Life Investments, told The New York Times. “But running for the hills when inflation is so high is just a drag on returns. We have to stay invested.”

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