Weekly Commentary

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Monday, February 8, 2016

Stocks lost ground for the week, pressured by falling oil prices, weak earnings and a disappointing jobs report. Investors seeking to shed risk embraced fixed income assets, bidding up U.S. Treasury securities. The yield on the ten-year note fell from 1.92% last week to 1.83% at Friday’s close. Gold posted strong gains as well.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Global stock markets ended a turbulent month with a strong rally, boosted by a surprise interest rate cut from the Bank of Japan – its first ever negative rate. The yen plummeted and Japanese bonds soared on the news. Traders brushed aside earnings letdowns, soft economic data and market volatility to bid up bonds, gold, oil and stocks. Even Chinese stocks gained, if only for the day. The ten-year U.S. Treasury note yield fell from 2.05% last week to 1.92% at Friday’s close.

Monday, January 25, 2016

U.S. stocks seesawed through a holiday shortened week with mixed results: the S&P 500 and Nasdaq gained but the Dow declined. Europe and Asia continued to struggle. U.S. investor sentiment was lifted by expectations of further policy support in Europe, and by a rally in oil. Gold prices also gained. The yield on the ten-year U.S Treasury note ended virtually unchanged from last week at 2.05%.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Stocks continued to struggle in 2016, declining across the globe for a second straight week. The major drags on investor sentiment were plunging oil prices and weakness in China shares; even gold was not immune to selling pressure. The yield on the ten-year U.S. Treasury note fell from 2.12% to 2.04%.

Monday, January 11, 2016

The first week of January saw one of the worst starts ever to a new year as stocks tumbled around the world. The wall of worry loomed large as selloffs in China triggered global stock declines. A strong December U.S. jobs report offered temporary relief but could not outweigh concerns about the upcoming 4Q15 earnings season.

Monday, January 4, 2016

The final week of 2015 saw U.S. stocks decline after four days of quiet trading. European markets finished mostly down, Asian markets finished mostly up. Oil and gold, which had both gained the previous week, again resumed their declines. The yield on the ten-year U.S. Treasury note rose slightly, from 2.24% to 2.27%.

Monday, December 28, 2015

U.S. stocks marked an upbeat, holiday-shortened week with diverse but positive gains. European markets were mixed; Asian markets except Japan posted gains. Oil broke its losing streak to post the strongest performance for the week; gold also gained. The yield on the ten-year U.S. Treasury note rose slightly, from 2.20% to 2.24%.

Monday, December 21, 2015

U.S. stocks declined despite a midweek lift from the FOMC decision to raise interest rates. Blame for the selloff mostly was assigned to continued oil market weakness, but also to option expirations. Stocks in Europe and Asia rose except for Japan, which sold off as the BoJ moved to supplement quantitative easing without increasing policy support. Gold and oil prices continued to slide; crude oil fell to $34.55/bbl. The yield on the ten-year U.S. Treasury note rose from 2.13% to end at 2.20% by Friday’s close.

Monday, December 21, 2015

U.S. stocks declined despite a midweek lift from the FOMC decision to raise interest rates. Blame for the selloff mostly was assigned to continued oil market weakness, but also to option expirations. Stocks in Europe and Asia rose except for Japan, which sold off as the BoJ moved to supplement quantitative easing without increasing policy support. Gold and oil prices continued to slide; crude oil fell to $34.55/bbl. The yield on the ten-year U.S. Treasury note rose from 2.13% to end at 2.20% by Friday’s close.

Monday, December 14, 2015

After slight gains last week U.S., European and Asian markets fell back to post losses for the second week of December. Oil continued its slide, at one point hitting a six-year low, on concerns about persistent oversupply. By contrast, gold prices rose for the week. The yield on the ten-year U.S. Treasury note fell from 2.27% to end at 2.13% by Friday’s close.

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