In July, the U.S. economy stayed strong despite bad medical news. Commonwealth CIO Brad McMillan weighs expectations for August. : In many ways, July was both the best of times and the worst of times. We saw some good news on the financial front. U.S. markets hit new all-time highs, and earnings reports substantially beat expectations. Dropping interest rates also helped drive markets higher, with bond markets rallying on those lower rates. Abroad, the news was more of a mixed bag.