Weekly Commentary

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Monday, November 9, 2015

U.S. stocks posted a sixth straight week of gains. The primary performance catalysts for the week were strong U.S. job growth and unemployment reports, which unsettled markets a bit by further opening the door to a December rate liftoff. Asian and European markets were mixed for the week. Gold continued its recent slide; oil prices also declined.

Monday, November 2, 2015

The approach of Halloween did not spook U.S. stocks, which ended October with a fifth straight week of gains. Investors reacted positively to generally upbeat earnings and a supportive FOMC announcement. But the goblins held sway in Europe and Asia, where markets except Germany and Japan stumbled. Gold prices fell, oil prices climbed. The ten-year U.S. Treasury yield rose on the week, from 2.09% to 2.15%.

Monday, October 26, 2015

A generally upbeat stream of earnings announcements led to a fourth upbeat week for stocks as markets in the United States, Europe and Asia posted gains. Monetary policy played a supporting role, thanks to dovish takeaways from Thursday’s ECB meeting, followed on Friday by interest rate cuts and lower reserve requirements from the Peoples’ Bank of China ― while investors looked ahead to next week’s FOMC meeting. The yield on the ten-year U.S. Treasury bounced from 2.02% to settle at 2.09%. Gold and oil prices fell.

Monday, October 19, 2015

It was a busy week of earnings announcements, especially for financials, technology and industrials. It was also full of economic news: U.S. consumer confidence was encouraging but retail sales disappointed, leading to a mid-week setback. Nonetheless, U.S. stocks posted a third consecutive week of modest gains; Asian and European bourses generally fared somewhat better. The yield on the ten-year U.S. Treasury fell from 2.10 to 2.03 percent. Gold prices made solid gains, while oil prices declined.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Markets breathed a sigh of relief as progress was made toward a deal that would keep Greece in the euro zone. The Nasdaq delivered its best week since October while hitting a new all-time intraday high, and the S&P 500 had its strongest performance in four months to close in on a new high of its own.

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Dow and S&P 500 shook off bouts of volatility to post weekly gains, whereas the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost ground. Momentum vacillated ahead of the U.S. jobs report; when that report proved to be a let-down, stocks initially retreated but later rallied. European and Asian bourses were mixed for the week.

Monday, September 28, 2015

High profile visits by the Pope and China’s President Xi Jinping didn’t do much for investor sentiment. U.S. stocks got a temporary lift after Fed Chair Janet Yellen asserted she expects a rate hike this year; still, equity markets around the globe finished down to continue a string of weekly losses. Gold prices rose whereas oil prices fell. The ten-year U.S. Treasury yield rose on the week to 2.17%.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Global stock markets again had a roller coaster week. After early declines, stocks rallied until the FOMC announced that it had decided not to raise interest rates, citing concerns about weak global economic growth and low domestic inflation. As a result European and Asian bourses lost ground, with the notable exception of China. U.S. markets also fell but not enough to erase earlier gains.

Monday, September 14, 2015

The potential for a Fed interest rate hike next week was the major theme for investors during a holiday-shortened trading week. All eyes were fixed on the latest U.S. economic data before the start of the two day FOMC meeting on Wednesday. Despite high levels of volatility, U.S. markets posted gains for the week, as did most Asian and European markets.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

September started off with the same kind of turbulence that characterized August. Early in the week China’s PMI fell to a three-year low, triggering a global selloff. Chinese markets closed midweek for a national holiday, which gave investors a breather and led to a brief recovery. The anxiously awaited August payroll report on Friday did not come through as hoped, however, and markets continued their slide.


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