Weekly Commentary

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Monday, December 8, 2014

Equity markets continued their winning ways last week, as generally positive economic data flow was punctuated by a blockbuster jobs report on Friday. The DJIA and S&P 500 both closed at record highs, while yield on the benchmark ten-year Treasury moved higher to finish around 2.3%. Crude oil prices continued to struggle, ending the week at a five-year low.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Despite falling prices and the threat of oversupply from North American shale oil, OPEC decided not to curtail oil production following its latest meeting. Reacting to the news, WTI crude sold off sharply to end below $70/barrel; energy stocks, including solar and renewable-energy companies, tumbled. U.S. inflation expectations dropped on the news.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Another week, another round of new highs for equity markets; the S&P 500 is now up more than 10% off its mid-October lows. Domestic data flow continued to be supportive of risk assets, while a rate cut in China and heightened ECB rhetoric further buoyed sentiment.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Equity markets continued to recover from their September/October swoon, as the big three indexes posted a fourth consecutive weekly gain; the S&P established its 41st record high of the year. The down trend in oil persisted, as prices hit four-year lows during the week before bouncing back slightly on speculation of an OPEC production cut. The CBOE Volatility Index inched higher but remained well below its mid-October highs, while yield on the benchmark ten-year U.S. Treasury was little changed on the week.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Equity markets continued to recover from their September/October swoon, as earnings and economic data have investors turning back to equities. Both the S&P 500 and DJIA inched to new record highs; the S&P 500 is up more than 9% since it set a six-month low on October 15. Yield on the benchmark ten-year Treasury moved to a one-month high before retreating following the payrolls release.

Monday, November 3, 2014

The market snapback continued last week, as major domestic averages surged on continued strong earnings and economic data, with an unexpected boost from the Bank of Japan. Both the S&P 500 and DJIA finished the week and October at new all-time highs, while Nasdaq closed at a 14-year high. European and Asian markets were also frothy during the week.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Major U.S. averages snapped a four-week losing streak as strong earnings and economic data had investors shaking off concerns about an Ebola case in New York. The S&P 500 delivered its biggest weekly gain since early 2013, while the Nasdaq experienced its strongest week rally since late 2011. After dipping below 2% last week, the yield on the benchmark ten-year U.S. Treasury has rebounded to finish the week around 2.25%.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Another wild week on Wall Street saw equity indexes end mostly down, as investors grappled with a stream of disappointing economic news and heightened concerns about Ebola. While the S&P 500, DJIA and Nasdaq all lost ground despite a sharp Friday rally, the Russell 2000 Index of small cap stocks posted its first weekly gain in seven weeks. The CBOE Volatility Index spiked to its highest level since 2011 before easing, while safety-seeking investors sent the yield on the benchmark ten-year U.S. Treasury bond to its lowest level since May 2013.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Markets continued to oscillate wildly as fears of the economic growth prospects in Europe and Asia weighed heavily on investors; last week saw both the biggest one-day gain for the DJIA in 2014 as well as the biggest one-day loss. The Nasdaq delivered its poorest weekly performance since 2012, and European stocks fared even worse. The CBOE Volatility Index touched the highest level since December 2012, while yield on the benchmark ten-year Treasury fell to a 16-month low near 2.28% before recovering somewhat.

Monday, October 6, 2014

A sharp rally on Friday following a stronger-than-expected jobs report wasn’t enough to save equity markets from another negative week; weakness in Europe, fears about the spread of Ebola and the emergence of Hong Kong as a new geopolitical hotspot weighed heavily. Yield on the benchmark ten-year U.S. Treasury bond fell about 10 basis points on the week to finish around 2.44%. After soaring more than 35% in September, the CBOE Volatility Index fell sharply to begin October. The price of gold fell to a four-year low, while crude oil also declined to multi-year lows.

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