Weekly Commentary

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Monday, March 28, 2016

After posting five weeks of gains, global stock markets slipped back during a holiday-shortened trading week. Hints that the Fed might raise interest rates sooner than expected strengthened the U.S. dollar, which hurt equities and caused oil prices to retrace some of their gains over recent weeks. Gold prices fell and the widely watched yield on the ten-year U.S. Treasury note closed at 1.90%, up slightly from 1.87% the prior week.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Stocks posted a fifth straight week of gains, with the exceptions of Japan and the U.K. U.S. stocks rose broadly as the Dow and S&P 500 turned positive for the year. Investors saw good news in the slow but steady U.S. economic progress and in the FOMC decision to not raise interest rates. That decision allowed the U.S. dollar to depreciate somewhat against other currencies; oil prices rebounded and gold prices rose. The ten-year U.S. Treasury note yield briefly touched 2.00%, settling Friday at 1.88%.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Global stocks pushed through resurgent volatility to another week of gains. Investors took favorable views of the ECB’s latest stimulus measures, the health of the U.S. economy and the prospects for limiting crude oil production. Oil prices rose whereas gold and bond prices slipped. The yield on the ten-year U.S. Treasury note rose from 1.87% the prior week to 1.98%.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Calmer conditions soothed market nerves and led to a third straight week of global stock gains. With the 4Q15 earnings letdown over, volatility receded, oil prices stopped falling and the dollar stopped rising. Expected inflation began to climb, as did gold prices. The yield on the ten-year U.S. Treasury note rose from 1.76% the prior week to 1.87%.

Monday, February 29, 2016

U.S. stocks notched a second week of gains as investors shrugged off mixed economic data. European bourses were up as well, while Asian markets showed mixed results. Oil rallied mid-week on news of a proposal to freeze production at January levels, finishing with a modest gain by Friday. Gold and government bonds fell slightly. The yield on the ten-year U.S. Treasury note was virtually unchanged from the prior week.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Global stock markets brushed aside disappointing earnings, holiday interruptions and oversold conditions to advance for the week. The rally drew strength from encouraging talk of a freeze on oil production and dovish notes from the January FOMC meeting. Oil prices rose, whereas gold fell and government bonds were mixed. The yield on the ten-year U.S. Treasury note rose slightly from the prior week.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Stocks finished the week in the red, as investors questioned the ability of central banks to reinvigorate the world economy. Japan dragged down Asian markets with its worst decline since 2008. Europe and the United States rallied on Friday but could not overcome weak bank earnings and plunging oil prices. Bids climbed for gold and government bonds; the ten-year U.S. Treasury yield fell from 1.83% to 1.73%.

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%.

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