Weekly Commentary

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Monday, February 2, 2015

Markets finished off a difficult month on a sour note, with each of the big-three indexes returning to their losing ways for the week. For January, the DJIA and S&P 500 each shed more than 4%, while the Nasdaq loss was closer to 3%; European equities, in contrast, delivered the best monthly performance in more than three years surging nearly 7%. Yield on the benchmark ten-year Treasury fell to as low as 1.65%, the lowest level since May 2013. Crude oil prices climbed after the number of U.S. rigs in operation were reported lower.

Monday, January 26, 2015

In a period dominated by news that the ECB was launching a larger-than-expected QE program in March, domestic equity markets delivered their first positive week of 2015 while many bourses in Europe and Asia were sharply higher. Oil continued to trend lower, with West Texas Intermediate crude prices closing at a six-year low.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The equity markets’ early-2015 struggles continued, as the big three indexes delivered a third consecutive week of losses despite an impressive Friday rally. Oil continued to trend lower, with West Texas Intermediate crude prices approaching lows not seen since the financial crisis, though a Friday report from the International Energy Agency reducing its non-OPEC supply forecast sparked a small rebound. Yield on the benchmark ten-year Treasury fell below 1.7% during the week, the lowest since May 2013, while 30-year yields established new record lows near 2.35%.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Equity markets entered 2015 on a volatile note, posting a series of large gains and losses throughout the first full trading week of the year; despite all the tumult, major domestic indexes ended flattish on the week. Oil prices continued to test new lows during the week, while Treasuries and other safe-haven sovereigns attracted investor interest; yield on the benchmark ten-year Treasury fell below 2% for the first time since October.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Equity markets finished 2014 on a quiet note, easing slightly off all-time highs but remaining comfortably in the black for the year. The DJIA has delivered six consecutive positive years, while the S&P 500 capped off its third. Yield on the benchmark ten-year U.S. Treasury finished the year around 2.2%, well below its end-2013 near 3%. The dollar ended 2014 near 11-year highs against a basket of major currencies. Oil prices, meanwhile, continued to weaken into year-end, leveling near five-year lows as it lost about half its value in the second half of 2014.

Monday, December 29, 2014

The post-FOMC comeback by the equity markets continued last week, sending the DJIA and S&P 500 back to new record highs in time for Christmas. Notably, the DJIA eclipsed 18,000 for the first time, having rallied more than 1,000 points in only five trading days. The dollar continued to strengthen against the euro and the yen, while yield on the benchmark ten-year U.S. Treasury moved higher

Monday, December 22, 2014

Though last week’s drubbing extended into the first few days of the new week, equity markets staged a furious comeback after the Fed on Wednesday reiterated it would take a patient approach to its rate hikes. Oil prices continued to decline but showed some stability near a five-year low around the mid-$50/barrel level. Yield on the benchmark ten-year Treasury approached 2% during the week before rebounding to finish around 2.17%.

Monday, December 15, 2014

U.S. stocks took their first weekly loss in two months as plummeting oil prices stoked fears of deflation in the global economy. The DJIA and S&P 500 recorded their worst weekly losses in more than two-and-a-half years; the Nasdaq also posted a loss. European and Asian bourses sustained losses similar to or worse than U.S. markets.

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.


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