Market Update & Important Indicators
U.S. stocks slipped Friday, dragging the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average to narrow weekly losses. That marks the second-straight week of declines for both indexes, which previously had been on a two-month-long stretch of gains, boosted by strong corporate earnings and solid economic growth around the world. But with the S&P 500 up more than 15% so far this year, some investors are asking how long the upswing can last. Major indexes have wobbled over the past several sessions, hurt by a drop in the price of oil even as consumer companies have risen. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 100.12 points, or 0.4%, to 23358.24 Friday and the S&P 500 shed 6.79 points, or 0.3%, to 2578.85 after both indexes notched their biggest one-day gains since September on Thursday. The Dow industrials ended the week down 0.3%, while the S&P 500 declined 0.1%. It was their biggest two-week declines since mid-August, when worries about rising tensions between North Korea and the U.S. weighed on stocks. The Nasdaq Composite edged down 10.50 points, or 0.2%, to 6782.79 on Friday, but finished the week up 0.5%. The U.S. gold price traded higher overnight, closing at 1,293.40 US$/oz.
European stocks declined on Friday, suffering a second straight weekly loss, as disappointing corporate updates and broker downgrades provided pressure. Equities were also weighed by a stronger euro against the dollar, after the greenback stumbled on news top officials from President Donald Trump's election campaign were subpoenaed in the Russia probe. The Stoxx Europe 600 index gave up 0.3% to close at 383.80, extending its weekly decline to 1.3%. Germany's DAX 30 index dropped 0.4% to 12,993.73 on Friday, while France's CAC 40 dropped 0.3% to 5,319.17. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index slipped 0.1% to 7,380.68.
Asian bourses ended the week higher but their early strength cooled by the end of the session. In China, stocks were down amid worries about the economy. Recent soft data spooked investors, resulting in the People's Bank of China injecting more money into the financial system this week than at any time since the typical jump before the Lunar New Year holiday period. The Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.5% while most other Asian markets finished higher.
Australian shares rose modestly further Friday, trimming the week's slide as the country's big banks provided support. As they rose as much as 0.6%, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.2% to 5957.3 after a similar advance Thursday. But the market was stronger early and saw another fade into the close, resulting in a 1.2% weekly drop for the index, the most in five months. BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto fell some 1.5%, but Fortescue jumped 1.5% as Chinese iron-ore futures continued to recover.
The London Metal Exchange’s 3-month copper contract traded higher Friday, adding 0.6% to finish at $6,777/t. The other base metals also finished higher. Aluminium prices rose 0.1% to 2,087/t, whilst zinc prices gained 1.0% at 3,216/t. Lead prices bounced 1.3% at 2,424/t, whilst nickel prices recovered 2.0% at 11,519/t. Tin also gained ground, rising 0.6% to 19,555/t.
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