For the week, the equity markets were down more than 1 percent as investors followed political events in Washington D.C. While the markets have been mostly focused on the global surge in earnings growth this year, political drama took center stage this week as there are concerns that the current administration will be unable to successfully enact tax reform and deregulation.
Headlines screaming, “fire and fury,” and “ballistic rockets are on constant standby,” could have surely warranted a multi-percentage sell-off. Fortunately, the market’s reaction was somewhat muted, falling just over 1 percent for the week. Historically, North Korean headlines have had minimal impact on the stock market. In 2006, when they detonated their first nuclear device, U.S. stocks were actually up.
The slow creep higher in the markets continued this week. The S&P 500 finished the week up 0.12 percent with financials stocks leading the way, up 2 percent. The ADP jobs report on Wednesday and the nonfarm payroll today gave us “not too hot, not too cold” readings.
Amid the busiest week of second quarter earnings reports, blue-chip stocks continued to trade near record levels. With nearly 40 percent of the S&P 500 companies having reported over the past five days, the clear plurality of results has exceeded expectations.
A White House in Turmoil, The Fed Shifting Policy: Treasuries Are Actually Calm About It
For all the turmoil roiling Washington, D.C. from the Federal Reserve to the White House, and Treasury bonds, typically a go-to segment of the financial markets when you’re looking for a pessimistic take on the day’s affairs, appear unusually placid.
Equity markets sold off on Friday, but were mixed for the week. The S&P 500 closed out the week slightly higher, returning a positive .45 percent for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Index ended the week about -.30 percent lower, with energy leading decliners. The Nasdaq returned a strong 1 percent for the week.
Led by a 3.8 percent gain in emerging markets, global equities sustained their upward march this week. The S&P 500 returned 1.4 percent and again flirts with an all-time high. 10-year U.S. Treasury yields fell seven basis points as soft inflation data weighed on expectations for future interest rate hikes. The Fed continues to grapple with conflicting signals in an attempt to balance the dual mandate of maximizing employment and stabilizing prices.