Markets continued their bipolar tendencies this past week and actually turned depressive come last Friday as a global sell off occurred as to the troubles with the European Union, and the muted response to President Obama’s job creation program. It didn’t help to have one of Germany’s top representatives with the European Central Bank’s executive board resign over the tactics of the European Central Bank. Plus, a rumor that the country of Greece would default on its debt over this past weekend was just the icing on the cake. All of these events sent both the U.S.
With employment picture still dismal at best, the equity markets continued to struggle before the Labor Day holiday and as we enter the historical weak month of September. When it was reported that no new jobs were created in the month of August this past Friday, stocks took a tumble and finished the week out lower. Economists, which had been prepared for a low ball figure of roughly 75,000, were greeted with a big, far zero.
Stocks closed out last week considerably higher as investors were pleased with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s comments as to our struggling economy and his decision to leave the door open for additional accommodation measures. Stocks pared losses throughout last Friday and turned higher for much of the afternoon session. At one point, the Dow was up 177 points before trimming those gains in the final trading hour. And even though most investors were hoping that Mr.
Just when you thought it was safe to tip your toe back into the equity markets, stock market investors were greeted with another ugly week of losses as worries about a global economic slowdown resurfaced. We started the week having largely recovered from the huge sell-off of the previous week, thanks to the downgrade of United States long-term debt by the Standard & Poor’s on August 5. However, by midweek, stocks were all heading south again, as investors put their concerns on the growing European debt crisis, and the possibility of another recession here in the U.S.
After substantial losses during the previous week, the equity markets continued to show signs of massive volatility over the past five trading days, as this so-called “Jekyll & Hyde” market action continued. On the one hand the markets started off this past week poorly, but then hope for a new QE3 program on Tuesday helped the overall market put in this past week’s bottom, followed by gains on both Thursday and Friday. When it came to weekly sector performance, it was not surprising to see that both gold and bonds were the only groups to show continued leadership.
Just when all the market pundits were expecting a big relief rally after the passage of the new budget-ceiling package, equities dropped off a cliff, and sent most of the major stock indexes into ‘correction’ mode.
Given the back-and-forth movements between the Democrats and the Republicans as to solving the pending debt ceiling crises, you can almost say it’s become a ‘two-step’ tango dance, going back and forth. The major problem is that this bickering by our elected lawmakers happens to be going on when the economy is at risk of slipping into another murky recession. It nearly stalled in the first six months of the year, as economic growth was feeble at best in the second quarter and practically non-existent in the first.
Stocks rallied this past week to within 1.4% of a new 2011 high, due mainly to strong earnings reports and the significant progress made on the ongoing debt ceiling negotiations in Washington. Stocks also rose on the optimism over the European agreement on Greece’s sovereign debt load, and the fact that most of this past week’s economic indicators were to the positive as well.
Investors had plenty of noise to listen to last week with all the concerns over Italy, the European Union bank stress tests, debt ceiling negotiations, QE3 chatter, and a mixture of lethargic economic data. When the dust finally settled, all the domestic equity indexes were substantially lower for the past five trading sessions. The only two broad sectors that managed to close higher on the week were in the ‘risk off’ zone of gold and bonds. The dark cloud that is keeping buyers on the sidelines is obviously the Congressional debate over raising the U.S. Government debt ceiling.
Stocks closed out the holiday-shortened week on a negative note as a result of last Friday’s employment report, but still managed to move higher on the week. The dismal employment report showed that just 18,000 jobs were created last month, which is nothing when you consider that we are a country of 300 million people. That measly figure was far below the 125,000 jobs that economists had expected, and left politicians, economists, and the general public scratching their collective heads as the unemployment rate moved up to 9.25.