Worsening global headlines and a weaker than expected report on U.S. consumer spending and income failed to dampen investor moods on Friday, sending the major indexes to their best monthly gains since February. Continue reading
Concerns about escalating hostilities between Ukraine and Russia and the Middle East situation trumped a bevy of upbeat U.S. economic reports, knocking stock prices down on Thursday. Continue reading
European bond yields fell to fresh lows on Wednesday on speculation that the European Central Bank is getting closer to initiating an asset purchase program along the lines of the QE programs that the central banks of the U.S., U.K. and Japan have employed since the financial crisis began 6-7 years ago. Such thinking got a boost from a report by Bloomberg that BlackRock has been engaged by the ECB to help develop an asset-backed securities purchase program.
It didn’t make it by much, but the S&P 500 closed above 2000 – 2000.02 to be exact – for the first time ever on Tuesday. Continue reading
The S&P 500 closed at an all-time high of 1998 on Monday, 27 years to the day after it hit what was then a record high of 337. Over 27 years, this near sextupling of stock prices equates to a compound annual rate of price appreciation of 6.8% or 9.3% including dividend income, nearly one percentage point shy of its 1926-2014 average annual return of 10.1%. That high of 27 years ago is memorable, of course, for the 20% one-day decline that followed within two months (October 19), and it would be nearly two years before the S&P 500 would get back to its August 1987 peak.
The S&P 500 is opening the final week of August at record highs. Follow the link below to return tables and our report on last week’s stock, bond, FX and commodities markets.
Last Week In Markets 08.22.14
The Good: U.S. economic data released this past week were almost uniformly good, indeed, better than expected in most cases. The Atlanta Federal Reserve’s “GDPNow” rules-based GDP forecaster has bent up from an early August indication of 2.6% GDP growth for the third quarter of 2014 to more than 3.0% last week, largely on improvements in wholesale and international trade, industrial production and housing starts.
On a day dominated by economic reports – positive in the U.S., negative in the euro zone and China – global stocks were mostly higher on Thursday. Continue reading
U.S. stock prices were mixed Wednesday, with big, blue-chip stocks generally a little higher, while smaller stocks, biotechs and social media issues ran into a bit of profit taking after their recent rallies. NASDAQ was essentially flat with Tuesday’s 14-year highs, but the Dow climbed 0.35%, getting back to within 1% of its all-time high. The S&P 500 (+0.25%) flirted with an all-time high before losing momentum in the final half hour of trading.
Global stocks were broadly higher again on Tuesday, although the gains in the U.S. were about half as strong as Monday’s. Continue reading