The Markets (as of market close April 22, 2016)
Equities markets had a fair week as each of the major indexes listed here posted gains (except the Nasdaq) over the prior week. Both the large-cap Dow and S&P 500 are well ahead of their respective 2015 closing values. The Russell 2000 recorded the largest weekly gain and is now ahead of last year’s closing value. The Global Dow posted weekly gains despite the European Central Bank’s decision to maintain interest rates at their current level and the effects of the devastating earthquake in Japan. Of the major indexes listed here, only the Nasdaq remains below its end-of-year mark. As money moved into equities, the prices of investments such as gold and long-term bonds slipped. Oil prices gained, despite the collapse of talks between some major oil-producing nations aimed at capping production.
The price of crude oil (WTI) closed the week at $43.75 a barrel, up $3.35 over the prior week’s closing price. The price of gold (COMEX) fell by last week’s end, selling at $1,233.70 by late Friday afternoon, down from the prior week’s closing price of $1,235.80. The national average retail regular gasoline price increased to $2.137 per gallon on April 18, 2016, $0.068 above the prior week’s price but $0.348 below a year ago.
Last Week’s Headlines
Eye on the Week Ahead
The big news this week comes from the Federal Reserve, which is meeting for the third time this year. Since raising interest rates in December, the Fed has been cautious about increasing them again. While some experts believe the Fed will raise rates again in 2016, it may not be in April. The Committee does not meet again until June.
Data sources: News items are based on reports from multiple commonly available international news sources (i.e. wire services) and are independently verified when necessary with secondary sources such as government agencies, corporate press releases, or trade organizations. Market data: Based on data reported in WSJ Market Data Center (indexes); U.S. Treasury (Treasury yields); U.S. Energy Information Administration/Bloomberg.com Market Data (oil spot price, WTI Cushing, OK); www.goldprice.org (spot gold/silver); Oanda/FX Street (currency exchange rates). All information is based on sources deemed reliable, but no warranty or guarantee is made as to its accuracy or completeness. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed herein constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities, and should not be relied on as financial advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. All investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal, and there can be no guarantee that any investing strategy will be successful.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is a price-weighted index composed of 30 widely traded blue-chip U.S. common stocks. The S&P 500 is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-value weighted index of all common stocks listed on the NA