Market Commentary for the Week: 7 (12- 16 February 2018)

After the steepest selloff in two years began its reversal last week, most global stock markets followed through with gains every day this week. Although a faster-than-expected U.S. inflation reading threatened to derail the advance early Wednesday and lifted 10-year Treasury yields to a four-year high, investors’ fears were quickly pushed aside by reports of weaker U.S. retail sales and slower industrial production. As the economic data reinforced views that the Fed would maintain a gradual approach to raising interest rates, the U.S. dollar resumed its year-long decline.

The benchmarks produced their best weekly rise in years, as the stock market attempts to claw back from last week’s 10% pullback. For the week, the Dow rose 4.3% in its biggest one-week percentage rise since November 2016. The S&P 500 also gained 4.3% in its best week since January 2013, while the Nasdaq ended up 5.3% in its best weekly percentage gain since December 2011.



On Friday the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose less than 0.1%, to 25,219.38.

The S&P 500 index  ended up about a point, or less than 0.1%, at 2,732. The S&P 500 index saw gains in all major sectors;  the technology and financial sector were especially strong.  With 80% of S&P 500 companies having reported fourth-quarter results, corporate earnings in the most recent period have risen 15.2% versus a year earlier. And revenue growth has averaged 7.9%, its fastest pace since the fourth quarter of 2011. 



The Nasdaq Composite Index meanwhile, closed down 0.2%, to 7,239.47.



Gold booked a gain of 3% for the week, representing its biggest weekly rise since April 29, 2016. April gold added 90 cents, or less than 0.1%, to $1,356.30 an ounce, marking its highest level in nearly three weeks.



Oil futures ended higher Friday, holding gains after data showed another rise in the number of U.S. drilling rigs. WTI crude for March delivery rose 34 cents, or 0.6%, to end at $61.68 a barrel. For the week, the U.S. benchmark rose 4.2%, cutting its month-to-date decline to 4.7%.



Bitcoin found itself in a struggle to remain above $10,000 Friday, temporarily slipping below that mark. The muted price action comes a day after bitcoin pushed back above the psychologically important level of $10,000 for the first time since early February. Since the start of the year, bitcoin has lost about 26% of its value. On the futures front the March contract on Cboe Global Markets closed up 0.5% at $10,150,  while the February CME Group Inc. contract closed up 0.2% at $10,110.



Elsewhere in the cryptocurrency universe, ether was unchanged at $939.68.