Weekly Commentary

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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.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Stock markets had mixed results for the week. On Friday, U.S. stocks got a lift from a strong jobs report and recovered from a mid-week stumble. Asian bourses were mixed; European markets were weighed down by disappointment over the European Central Bank’s stimulus plan. Gold rose, but oil prices plunged as OPEC decided to maintain current production levels. The ten-year U.S. Treasury yield began the week at 2.22% and rose to 2.27% by Friday’s close.

Monday, November 30, 2015

U.S. stocks posted slight gains over a holiday-shortened week. Markets in Asia were mostly down on news that leading Chinese brokerages were being investigated for rules violations. European stocks declined somewhat in sympathy but still posted the best gains for the week. Gold and oil prices continued to fall. The ten-year U.S. Treasury yield, which began the week at 2.26 percent, eased to 2.22 percent by Friday’s market close.

Monday, November 23, 2015

U.S. equities finished higher this week following an outsized selloff the week before. Elsewhere, stock markets traced uneven paths but ended mostly up; European bourses saw more volatility but claimed the week’s best performers. Gold and oil prices kept falling. The ten-year U.S. Treasury yield ranged as high as 2.31% but ended the week down at 2.26%

Monday, November 16, 2015

After a step-down on Monday, stocks paused briefly then continued to fall, ending down to snap a six-week string of gains. Markets in Asia and Europe also declined; only Japan showed a gain for the week.

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.

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