Last week, U.S. markets (Dow and S&P) were positive, thanks to Friday’s high increases. On weekly basis, DJIA increased by 2.3 per cent to 16,466; S&P 500 rose 1.8 per cent to 1,940; Nasdaq Composite fell by 0.5 per cent to 4,614.
On the year-to-date basis, DJIA decreased by 5.5 per cent, S&P 500 fell by 5.07 per cent, and Nasdaq Composite decreased by 7.86 per cent.
U.S. markets focused on the following news last week:
- Bank of Japan to lower interest rates into negative territory
- Rise in oil prices boosted energy stocks
- Earnings announcements. Note that nearly 73% of the companies reporting in the S&P 500 Index have beaten expectations, and 47% of companies reporting have beaten revenue forecasts as well, according to research from Zacks Investment Research.
- Fed policymakers lefted rates unchanged, leaving open the probability of a rate increase in March, but weaknesses in global economy should be considered.
- The US economy grew at a modest 0.7% annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2015, reflecting the impact of a strong US dollar, weak global demand and an inventory glut. Growth slowed from a 2% pace in the year’s third quarter. For the full year, gross domestic product rose 2.4%, matching 2014’s growth rate.