Monthly Archives: March 2017

The Markets (as of market close March 24, 2017)

Uncertainty over whether Congress would pass a new health-care law, coupled with the prospects of additional interest rate hikes later in the year, may have weighed on investors’ minds as stocks tumbled early last week. The S&P 500 lost over 1.0% last week for the first time this year. By the end of last week, each of the indexes listed here posted notable losses, with the small-cap Russell 2000 falling over 2.50% for the week putting it in negative territory year-to-date. Late last Friday, the proposed American Health Care Act was pulled from consideration for lack of support, leaving the current Affordable Care Act in place for the foreseeable future. What impact, if any, this action will have on trading next week remains to be seen. Investors are likely to be watching the last GDP report of the fourth quarter to get a better fix on the economy. Continue reading

The Markets (as of market close March 17, 2017)

Following the Fed’s announcement that it was raising the target range for the federal funds rate 25 basis points, investors favored government bonds and dividend-paying stocks last week. As a result, the yield on 10-year Treasuries fell 7 basis points as prices climbed with increased demand. Each of the benchmark indexes listed here posted gains over their prior week’s closing values. The small-cap Russell 2000 and Global Dow led the way, followed by the Nasdaq. Continue reading

The Markets (as of market close March 10, 2017)

Stocks rallied last Friday, fueled by a robust jobs report. However, the end-of-week surge wasn’t enough to overcome index losses from earlier in the week. Falling energy prices dragged down both the large-cap Dow and S&P 500, while the Russell 2000 dropped over 2.0% and is barely in positive territory for the year. Long-term bond prices also plummeted with the yield on the 10-year Treasuries climbing 26 basis points for the week.

The price of crude oil (WTI) dropped again, closing at $48.39 per barrel, down from the prior week’s closing price of $53.20 per barrel. The price of gold (COMEX) also fell, closing at $1,204.50 by late Friday afternoon, down from the prior week’s price of $1,235.00. The national average retail regular gasoline price increased to $2.341 per gallon on March 6, 2017, $0.027 above the prior week’s price and $0.500 more than a year ago. Continue reading

The Markets (as of market close March 3, 2017)

The Dow reached 21115 last Wednesday, then fell back a bit, but still closed the week over 21000. The S&P 500 marked its sixth consecutive week of gains, while the Global Dow led the way, climbing over 1.0% by last week’s end. Of the benchmarks listed here, only the Russell 2000 fell, but only slightly. Following President Trump’s speech to Congress last Tuesday evening, stocks soared Wednesday before retreating Thursday and Friday while bond yields soared, possibly in response to Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s indication that interest rates are likely to be raised when the Committee next meets later this month. Continue reading