FinSyn Insights

Weekly insights on the markets, economy, and financial planning

September 8, 2017 Weekly Market Recap

The major U.S. indices all moved lower this week as geopolitical tensions with North Korea, declining confidence in the feasibility of tax reform, and Hurricane Irma – which is expected to hit Florida this weekend – weighed on investor sentiment. The Nasdaq led the retreat, dropping 1.2%, while the Dow and the S&P 500 finished with respective losses of 0.9% and 0.6%.

September 8, 2017 Weekly Market RecapEven though the equity market settled lower for the week, it remains within striking distance of its all-time high; the S&P 500 finished Friday’s session just 0.8% below its record-high close of 2,480.91. Treasuries rallied this week, sending yields to new lows for the year. The benchmark 10-yr yield dropped 11 basis points to 2.06%, hitting its lowest level since early November.

Similarly, other safe-haven assets, like gold and the Japanese yen, moved higher, jumping 1.6% and 2.3%, respectively. The yellow metal settled at a 13-month high ($1,351.10/oz) while the dollar/yen pair finished at a ten-month low (107.78). In addition, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) spiked 20.2% to 12.18. The financial sector (-2.8%) was pressured by the decline in Treasury yields, but most of the remaining groups finished with losses of no more than 1.1%.

Relative strength in heavyweight names like Home Depot (HD), Exxon Mobil (XOM), and Pfizer (PFE) prevented the stock market from a significant decline, but there were some soft spots in small-cap and high-beta pockets of the market. The small-cap Russell 2000 – which is seen as a leading indicator given that small-cap companies largely rely on domestic consumers – underperformed, dropping 1.0%. After pacing the stock market’s post-election rally, the small-cap index now holds a year-to-date gain of just 3.1%, far below the S&P 500’s year-to-date advance of 9.9%.

Following this week’s events, the fed funds futures market places the chances of a December rate hike at 31.9%, down from last week’s 43.7%.

Source: Briefing Investor

Mike Minter

As Chief Investment Officer, Mike directs the overall investment strategy, develops portfolio allocations, oversees trading and rebalancing, and conducts research and analysis. As a perpetual student of investing and the markets, Mike considers himself obsessed with the subject. He has earned the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) and Certified Fund Specialist® designations. He is also an active member of the Houston chapter of the Financial Planning Association (FPA).   Read Mike’s Profile HereRead More Articles by Mike

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