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Market Bullets - Weekly Update

For the market week ended Friday, June 8, 2018

  • Equity markets rallied again last week despite ongoing trade tensions between the US and its key allies, as investors are increasing confident in the strength of the US economy.  For the week, the S&P 500 increased 1.6%, bringing year-to-date gains up to 3.9%.  Both the Nasdaq and the Russell 2000 (small-cap stocks) reached fresh all-time highs last week, as the Nasdaq was up 1.2% to brings its gains for the year up to 10.8%, while the Russell 2000 rose 1.5% for the week and is now up 8.9% for the year.
  • The rising trade tensions caused increased volatility in the bond markets last week, though the strength of the US economy ultimately led to rates rising slightly for the week.  The yield on the US 10-Year Treasury rose to 2.95% from 2.90% the prior week.  The Fed meets on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, and it is widely expected that it will raise the Fed Funds rate by another 0.25%.
  • US economic data were limited this week, though the data that did come out were largely positive.  Measures of US Services activity came in better than forecasts, while Jobless Claims also were a touch better than expected.
  • Oil prices continued their recent slide, down another 0.2% for the week, as reports surfaced that Saudi Arabia has started to increase its production.  For the year, oil prices have risen 9.1%.  Gold prices ticked higher last week, up 0.4%, as investors await this week’s Fed meeting.  For the year, gold prices have dropped 0.1%.