Market Action

  • Poor international data inspired a downward start this past week. PMI data from China indicated contraction while escalating Ukrainian instability and more punitive sanctions coming from Europe against Russia spooked equities
  • A number of high profile stocks took major tumbles during the week. Twitter fell 18% on Tuesday alone based on diluted sales figures while Whole Foods has fallen over 20% due to a perceived lack of market share. Both companies have been used as a gauge of market sentiment in the past
  • Returns on value stocks and bonds continue to outpace those of growth companies over the past month as investors struggle to find directional clarity
  • Alibaba announced their long awaited IPO Wednesday after markets closed. The giant Chinese retailer has been valued in a range of $150 billion to $250 billion.
  • Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen testified before two committees in the U.S. Congress this week. She alluded that the Fed still considers there to be substantial slack in the economy though she articulated more concern over the U.S. housing market than in previous speaking engagements.
  • ECB President Mario Draghi emerged from the central bank’s scheduled meeting with no new action but gave strong hints at implementing additional easing measures in June.
  • The Euro fell in light of Draghi’s revelation that the currency’s present strength was a concern and helped spark a rally late in the week in the US Dollar Index
  • The US trade deficit narrowed in March as exports were higher than expected
  • Oil markets remained flat on the week as economic data and the performance of global markets was mixed

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