Monthly Archives: April 2017

Market Commentary: The Markets (as of Close April 21, 2017)

Better-than-expected earnings reports for the first quarter helped push stocks higher last week. Each of the benchmark indexes listed here posted gains, some for the first time in several weeks. The small-cap Russell 2000, which had fallen below its end-of-year closing value, jumped 2.57% for the week and is now over 1.50% ahead of last year’s closing value. Gains in the industrial sector were reflected in an almost 1.0% advance in the S&P 500, while the Nasdaq increased nearly 2.0% for the week. On the other hand, energy companies didn’t fare as well, as oil fell below $50 per barrel. Continue reading

Market Commentary: The Markets (as of close April 14, 2017)

With the United States and many global markets closed for Good Friday, stocks ended the short trading week lower. Trading volumes were low for much of the week, as investors may be concerned with rising tensions overseas in Syria and North Korea, and the continuation of strained diplomatic relations with Russia. Of the indexes listed here, only the Dow’s losses were under 1.0%. On the other hand, the Russell 2000 and Nasdaq suffered the largest dips, falling 1.42% and 1.24% respectively. Continue reading

The Markets (as of market close April 7, 2017)

Stocks gave back the prior week’s gains as each of the indexes listed here lost value by last Friday’s market close. The small-cap Russell 2000, which had gained over 2.0% the prior week, fell over 1.5% and is once again in danger of falling below its year-end closing value. Energy stocks rallied midweek, riding the increase in oil prices. However, that surge wasn’t enough to keep the large-cap Dow from falling back a bit. The labor report, while positive, came in well below expectations, which may have dampened investor enthusiasm by the close of the markets last Friday. Continue reading

The Markets (as of market close March 31, 2017)

Stocks rebounded last week as each of the indexes listed here posted week-over-week gains. The small-cap Russell 2000, the strongest-performing index last year, hit a rough patch over the past several weeks. But the index gained over 2.30% last week, pushing it up 2.12% year-to-date. Tech-heavy Nasdaq climbed about 1.40% after falling 1.20% the prior week. The Dow recouped some of its losses from the previous week after gaining a little over 0.30%. Of the indexes listed here, Nasdaq leads the way, having gained almost 10.0% year-to-date and about 1.50% for the month.

The price of crude oil (WTI) rose last week, closing at $50.85 per barrel, up from the prior week’s closing price of $48.14 per barrel. The price of gold (COMEX) continued to climb, closing at $1,250.60 by late Friday afternoon, up from the prior week’s price of $1,246.40. The national average retail regular gasoline price decreased to $2.315 per gallon on March 27, 2017, $0.006 less than the prior week’s price but $0.249 more than a year ago. Continue reading