Stocks posted their fourth consecutive week of gains in the United States this week, marked with the S&P’s milestone in crossing 2,000. While data released this week was mixed the markets continue to build momentum off of positive sentiment for the economic landscape as a whole.
European markets also climbed this week, riding energy after Mario Draghi’s statement following the Jackson Hole summit. There is growing expectation that Mr. Draghi will embark on a Quantitative Easing (QE) program. Blackrock, the asset manager consulted by the Fed during the financial crisis, will advise the ECB on purchasing Asset Back Securities (ABS).
A flight to safety still seems to be present in international markets as strife between Ukraine and Russia escalated late Thursday. The dollar rose versus the Euro and Yen while U.S. Treasury yields also declined on the week. In Europe German Bunds remain below 1%. In addition, utilities led the way in U.S. markets, often a sign of investors seeking safe assets.
Data from Europe unveiled on Friday showed the inflation rate falling to 0.3%, mainly due to drops in food and energy prices. Stripped of these components the numbers show a flat trend.
Officials from the FBI are investigating a cyber attacked conducted against major U.S. banks. JP Morgan was one of the institutions admitting to the attack. Speculation in the media is pointing at Russia being behind the attack.
In India a court ruled the allotment of 23 coal licenses under the previous administration illegal. The nation is trying to crack down on corruption and inefficiencies embedded in the economy. Follow up action is uncertain. Onlookers are concerned about the impact a punitive ruling could have on the nation’s underdeveloped energy sector.
Multiple retail firms delivered poor earnings results this week while consumer spending throughout the economy remains feeble. Positive data reported such as Consumer Confidence, Q2 GDP, Jobless claims, and Durable Good Orders outweighed concern about weak spending patterns.