What happened in the U.S markets in the last week?

On Friday, the U.S stock markets were volatile and closed mixed. Only the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed the day with some gains. All others were decreased. However, for the whole week, DJIA increased by 292.23 points, reaching 17,279.74; S&P 500 increased by 24.86 points, reaching 2,010.40; and Nasdaq Composite rose by 12.19 points, reaching 4,579.79.

On the year-to-date basis, DJIA increased by 4.24%, S&P 500 rose by 8.77%, and Nasdaq Composite increased by 9.65%.

Last week, U.S. investors focused on the following developments;

  1. Federal Reserve announced that it would continue to maintain low interest rates policy for a “considerable time”. And it said that asset purchasing program would be finished by October. Fed members expect the benchmark bank funds rate to rise to 1.25% – 1.5% by late 2015 and 2.75% – 3.0% by late 2016, but they lowered the 2015 forecast interval for GDP growth to 2.6% – 3.0% from previous projection of 3.0% – 3.2%.
  1. U.S. August consumer price index (CPI) fell a seasonally adjusted 0.2% from July. The CPI rose a modest 1.7% from a year earlier in August. In addition,the August producer price index (PPI) was unchanged from July, and rose 1.8% from a year earlier.
  1. U.S. weekly initial jobless claims fell to 280,000 in the week ended 13 September, which is the 2nd-lowest level in 14 years. The four-week moving average dropped 4,750 to 299,500.
  1. U.S. housing starts dropped 14.4% in August and building permits fell 5.6%. In addition, July’s housing starts were revised up to the highest level since November 2007.
  1. Chinese e—commerce giant Alibaba listed in New York Stock Exchange with an estimated value of $21.8 billion, corresponding a $68 per share. Alibaba controls China’s online commerce. It’s estimated initial value of $168 billion placed it among the world’s 40 largest public companies.