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

On Friday (October 24, 2014), the U.S stock markets were up.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) rose by 0.76%, to 16,805.41; the S&P 500 (SPX) increased by 0.71%, to 1,964.58; the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) rose by 0.69%, to 4,483.72.

On weekly basis, the stocks saw the biggest weekly gains in nearly two years. DJIA increased by 425 points or 2.6%; S&P 500 increased by 77.82 points or 4.1%; Nasdaq Composite rose by 225.28 points or 5.3%.

On the year-to-date basis, DJIA increased by 1.38%, S&P 500 rose by 6.29%, and Nasdaq Composite increased by 7.35%.

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

  1. US existing homes sales data increased by 2.4% in September to a higher-than-expected annual rate of 5.17 million, which was the highest level of 2014. The consensus was 5.10 million.
  1. US new homes sales data was reported as 467.000 in September, which was high-than-expected number of 460.000. In addition, previous data revised down to 466.000 from 504.000
  1. US inflation rose by 0.1% in September, and 1.7% on yearly, which has supported the Federal Rserve to maintain low interest rates
  1. US weekly initial jobless claims rose by 17.000 to 283.000, which is lower than the estimate of 285.000. The four-week moving average fell 3.000 to 281.000.
  1. China’s economic growth slowed to 7.3% in the third quarter, which was under target rate of 7.5% and the slowest pace since 2009.
  1. Eurozone Markit Composite PMI Index slightly rose to 52.2 in October from 52.0 in September.
  1. UK’s economy growed by 0.7% in the third quarter and 2.8% on yearly. Recall that the growth rate was 0.9% in the second quarter.
  1. Some major US companies such as Apple, Microsoft, IBM, Amazon, Caterpillar, McDonald’s, GM, Daimler, Ford announced their quarterly profit reports. Generally, reports showed profits to be growing faster than estimated.