For the second straight week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average outpaced the S&P 500, with the former breaking above a key milestone at 22,000 for the first time on Wednesday, and ending at a record high on Friday. Friday's U.S. jobs report was the highlight of the prior week, with data showing that the economy added 209,000 jobs in July, easily topping the consensus expectation of 180,000. The unemployment rate sank to 4.30%, its lowest level since 2001, as monthly job gains continued to exceed the 200,000-mark - the fifth time of the seven non-farm payrolls reports released this year.
Shifting gears, Chinese fundamentals remain on shaky ground, with data showing growth in the manufacturing sector that cooled off in July amid tepid foreign demand for Chinese goods. The official manufacturing PMI came in at 51.4, down from the prior month's 51.7. The GBP was the other notable mover this week, with the sterling tumbling to its lowest level against the euro since November of last year after the Bank of England left interest rates unchanged and revised down its outlook for the U.K. economy. Accordingly, the central bank slashed its current year growth forecast to 1.70% from the 1.90% projected in May.