Despite the continued strength shown in corporate earnings reports, investors reeled in their enthusiasm last week, sending the large caps of both the S&P 500 and the Dow plummeting. Ongoing tensions between China, Russia, and now Turkey seem to have dampened investors' confidence. Following new sanctions levied against Russia by the United States, Russian Prime Minister Medvedev threatened that Russia will consider U.S. sanctions a declaration of economic war. Meanwhile, U.S. threats against Turkey for refusing to release an American pastor added to Turkey's economic crisis as the lira fell 14% against the dollar. And China has warned of a protracted trade war if the United States continues to add tariffs on Chinese goods.
Tech stocks and small caps took a hit last week as both the Nasdaq and Russell 2000 lost value. The large caps of both the S&P 500 and the Dow closed in positive territory following a turbulent week of trading. Of note last week was the descent in value taken by a major social media company, which lost over $120 billion in market value. Even with the loss, the company's value remains one of the highest in the world.
Trade tensions between the United States and the European Union were eased somewhat last week as negotiations between the economic giants are ongoing. Conversely, relations between China and the United States remain icy. Long-term Treasury prices fell last week, sending yields higher as reports intimated that more restrictive monetary policies of some major central banks are in the offing.
Stocks posted gains for the second week in a row following some good corporate earnings reports. Each of the indexes listed here improved, except for the small caps of the Russell 2000, which dipped less than a half a point. Year-to-date, only the Global Dow remains behind its 2017 closing value. For the week, the Dow climbed a solid 2.30%, followed by the Nasdaq, the S&P 500, and the Global Dow.
The benchmark indexes listed here continued to trend downward, losing value for the second week in a row. The Russell 2000 and the Nasdaq, both of which had been the leading performers for much of the year, suffered the biggest weekly losses, followed by the S&P 500, the Dow, and the Global Dow. While energy shares performed well on the heels of oil prices reaching a four-year high, overall fears of worsening trade relations between the United States and several of its trade partners pulled investors away from stocks.
Market gains achieved earlier in the week were given back by last Friday as investors appeared to react to China's retaliatory tariffs on American exports. The deteriorating relationship between the United States and China escalated last week as the Trump administration revealed plans to impose tariffs of 25% on a significant number of Chinese imports. In response, China targeted U.S. exports, including cars and crude
oil, for similar tariffs. By the end of the week, the Dow fell the most, suffering through its largest one-week loss since March. Other than the Global Dow, the remaining indexes listed here posted gains, with the Nasdaq climbing over 1.30%. The S&P 500 was virtually unchanged, and the Russell 2000 gained over 0.50%.
Domestic indexes rose last week despite sinking energy stocks and ongoing geopolitical uncertainties. Oil prices plunged, pulling energy shares down following indications that OPEC was planning to increase production. President Trump's cancellation of the summit with North Korea coincided with a sharp drop in stocks earlier in the week. Uncertainty over the course of trade negotiations between the United States and China may have added to a lukewarm response to equities from investors. In any case, the large caps of the S&P 500 and the Dow posted marginal gains. The Nasdaq recorded the largest weekly gains, while continuing to lead the year-to-date tally.
Despite a closing rally last Friday, large caps closed the week down from the prior week. The tech-heavy Nasdaq and the small caps of the Russell 2000 fared better, up 1.26% and 0.60%, respectively. The jobs report sent mixed messages to investors, with the lowest unemployment rate in several years being offset by minuscule wage growth. Mixed corporate earnings reports coupled with the Fed's decision to maintain interest rates raised the question of whether economic growth is slowing. Meanwhile, the rhetoric following trade talks between the United States and China seemed positive. Actions may speak louder than words, however, as China shut off all imports of U.S. soybeans in apparent retaliation for U.S. tariffs.
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