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

  1. NEGATIVE: Due to the tension between Russia and Ukraine, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services cut Russia’s credit rating to one level above junk on Friday. The rating agency cited that the large capital outflows from Russia would probably continue in the second quarter. After S&P’s announcement, Central Bank of Russia increased its key interest rate by 1.5 points to 7.5%. Due to the last developments, Russia’s economy could enter a recession in 2014.
  2. In general, U.S economic data increased optimism related to the economy.
  • POSITIVE: Leading indicators rose by 0.8% in March from 0.5% in February
  • POSITIVE: Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index increased to 7.0 in April from -7.0 in March.
  • POSITIVE: Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index rose to 84.1 in April, which was the highest level in the last nine month.
  • POSITIVE: Durable Goods Orders  rose by 2.6% in March
  • NEGATIVE: Markit Services PMI fell to 54.2 in April from 55.3 in March, while Markit Manufacturing PMI was 55.4 in April, almost the same 55.5 in March
  • NEGATIVE: Weekly Jobless Claims rose by 24.000, leading a four-week moving average of 316.750
  • NEGATIVE: Existing Home Sales fell by 0.2% in March, while New Home Sales decreased by 14.5% in March

As a result of these developments, weekly returns of markets were;

  • S&P 500 Index : -0.1%
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average : -0.3%
  • NASDAQ Composite : -0.5%