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Market Wrap March 24th-30th 2018

Market Wrap March 24th-30th 2018

This week was a shortened trading week due to the Good Friday holiday.  The US markets showed a mix of gains and losses as the Dow dropped 0.61% this week to end at 24103.11. However, the S&P gained slightly for the week, rising by 0.11% before finishing at 2640.87.  This week also marks the end of the first quarter of 2018 wraps up, which saw US stock markets suffer their worst quarter in years due to a combination of fears over inflation and trade policy.

Key Highlights:

-The price of crude oil has made modest gains, to $64 a barrel.

-Facebook is still reeling from recent negative publicity concerning the Cambridge Analytica scandal, suffering a drop of more than 15% this week.

-US markets remain volatile, including tech stocks which got hammered hard as well.

-There are hopes that the new quarter will get off to a better start for equities, as $400 billion in dividends are set to be released in April.

Market Wrap for March 17th-23rd 2018

Market Wrap for March 17th-23rd 2018

Global markets all suffered this week as political and monetary policy actions weighed heavily on investors. The Dow dropped 5.67% this week, ending at 23,533.20, while the S&P 500 tumbled 5.95%, to finish at 2,588.26. Tech stocks were at the forefront of the decline due to increased scrutiny of Facebook’s role in the burgeoning Cambridge Analytica scandal, resulting in weekly losses for both benchmarks that were the sharpest since January 2016.

Key highlights:

-Donald Trump escalated a potential trade war with China by announcing a tariff worth $50 billion, alleging widespread intellectual property theft. China has responded with tariffs of its own, and communicated their ability to retaliate more heavily should Trump pursue additional trade barriers. Additional turmoil was caused by the recent announcement of the firing of H. R. McMaster in the role of National Security Adviser, and his replacement with war-hawk John Bolton.

- Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, announced a modest rate hike of 0.25%, to 1.5-1.75%. In a subsequent press conference, Mr. Powell indicated that there will likely be two additional rate hikes by the end of 2018.

Market Wrap 10 to 16 March 2018

 

Market Summary

US stocks closed up somewhat Friday, ending a four day losing streak.  The Dow Jones finished the week down by 1.54%, while the S&P 500 finished down 1.24%.  The US dollar also finished the week stronger than expected, despite a recent nine-day low.
We are anticipating further volatility this week due to domestic political and economic conditions in the United States.  There is still concern over instability and global trade tensions being caused by the President's newly announced steel and aluminum tariffs.  Adding to more uncertainty is the departure of Gary Cohen, to be replaced by Lawrence Kudlow as the new director of the National Economic Council, and the removal of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.  The firing of deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe Friday evening and rumours that special counsel Robert Mueller is about to be fired will undoubtedly contribute to further uncertainty this week.

Market Wrap 3 to 9 March, 2018

Market Summary

There was more volatility in US markets again this week, with investors tense following the President's sudden tariff announcement which sparked fears of a trade war. The tariff announcement also led to the departure of Chief Economic Advisor Gary Cohn from the White House, which contributed to the market turmoil. Overall, the S&P 500 ended the week up 3.54%, while the DOW performed similarly, up 3.25% 

Market Summary February 24th-March 2nd, 2018

U.S. markets continued to experience heightened volatility this week, resulting in declines across all benchmarks including Treasuries and the dollar. Stocks were similarly hit, though late-day rallies on Friday in both the S&P 500 and the Dow helped to mitigate their losses for the week. Overall, the S&P ended the week down 2.5%, and the Dow finished down 3.1%. This week saw two new major sources of volatility. First, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell implied to Congress that he would be open to four interest rate hikes this year instead of the three that had already been priced in by markets, and also indicated that he would be less interventionist than his two predecessors in the case of market volatility. Second, the President suddenly announced new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, causing uncertainty about how the tariffs would be implemented and stoking fears that other countries would retaliate against politically sensitive American exports.