273.88 +0.36 (0.13%)
After hours: 4:10PM EDT
|Bid||273.84 x 800|
|Ask||273.85 x 100|
|Day's Range||273.30 - 276.36|
|52 Week Range||233.10 - 288.69|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||82.46|
|Expense Ratio (net)||0.05%|
For the week ending March 16, the S&P 500 Index closed at 2,752.01, a fall of 1.2%, as news about a possible second round of import tariffs could be announced soon and because of the increased political uncertainty at the White House. Two of the major S&P 500 sectors, utilities (XLU) and the real estate (XHB), managed to record gains last week, while the financials (XLF) and the materials sectors were the worst-performing sectors last week. Large speculators of the S&P 500 Index increased their net bullish positions last week.
This inflation report added to the risk appetite that was revived after the tariff flexibility and tepid hourly earnings growth reported in the previous week. Both the payrolls report on Friday and Tuesday’s inflation (TIP) report have increased the odds for a slower pace of rate hikes from the US Fed. In the last five weeks, markets were concerned that faster rate hikes could have an impact on the performance of businesses whose borrowing costs could increase if the Federal rates go up. The inflation report was released before the market opened, and the initial reaction was recorded in the index futures.
In the week ended March 9, 2018, the S&P 500 index closed at 2,786.57, rising by 2.4% after President Donald Trump turned flexible with his tariffs, allowing concessions for Canada and Mexico. The decision to introduce tariffs unnerved markets and generated resistance from domestic and international trade bodies, and President Trump’s softened stance allayed any fears about a global trade war, resulting in the equity rally on March 8. All the sectors within the S&P 500 Index registered gains last week, with S&P 500 industrials (XLI) gaining close to 4.4% after the concessions for Canadian and Mexican steel (SLX) and aluminum imports were announced.
For the week ending March 2, 2018, the S&P 500 Index closed at 2,691.25. The index depreciating 2.0% after President Trump previewed possible tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. All of the sectors within the S&P 500 Index registered losses last week. The S&P 500 materials and industrials (XLI) lost close to 4% because they might have to incur higher costs to procure steel (SLX) and aluminum.
The S&P 500 Index (SPY) has officially undergone a correction in February. Panic selling triggered by increasing bond yields led to a correction of more than 10% for the S&P 500 Index. This would represent the first negative monthly close for the S&P 500 Index in 12 months.
Will Gold Lose Its Shine with the Spotlight on Bitcoin? Bitcoin’s parabolic price rise was the big story of 2017 – putting the spotlight on the cryptocurrency market. Some commentators went as far as to claim cryptocurrencies could replace gold.
Will 2018 Be Another Blockbuster Year Under Trump Presidency? The ten-year Treasury rate actually fell for the first eight months of the President Trump administration, even with higher inflation and better growth. Economists continue to predict higher inflation and short-term interest rate hikes throughout 2018 and 2019.
In his latest shareholder letter, dated February 24, legendary investor Warren Buffett shared his views on financial markets. From this letter, newswires around the world picked up on one headline: his caution about long-term investment in the US bond (BND) market. The underlying message in that statement could be a challenge to the view that looks at investments in the bond market (AGG) as safer than investments equity (IVV) markets.
There was no major company news that drove market volatility in the holiday-shortened week. It was the FOMC meeting minutes on Wednesday that drove volatility higher. Markets displayed confusing reactions to the minutes as they jumped higher as soon as the minutes were released but dropped lower as investors realized that the FOMC was on course for further hikes.
In the week ended February 9, the S&P 500 closed at 2,619.6, depreciating by 5.2%. Among S&P 500 sectors, the energy sector (XLE) had the worst week, with a drop of 8.5%. According to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly Commitment of Traders report, in the week ended February 9, large S&P 500 speculators decreased their number of net bullish positions from 38,296 contracts to 36,189 contracts.
The biggest political risk to markets could arise from a trade war that has been playing out ever since Donald Trump came to power. President Trump has repeatedly threatened to terminate NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), which is important to all three member countries: the US, Canada, and Mexico. There has been much discussion ahead of the NAFTA renegotiation deadline in March. The question arises whether abandoning NAFTA could bolster US economic interests.
Exchange-traded products weathered perhaps their biggest challenge yet during the market decline and came through relatively unscathed.
The correction in equity markets across the globe in recent weeks has left everyone wondering what led to such a sudden drop. Although there have been calls for a correction for quite some time, the sheer depth and pace of the correction surprised investors. An impressive $13.6 billion was pumped into the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) during January, followed by the iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV) and the iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (IEMG) with inflows of $6.3 billion and $3.2 billion respectively.
The International Monetary Fund expects the US economy to grow 2.7% in 2018 and 2.5% in 2019. The simultaneous growth could have a huge positive impact on the stock markets around the world. In the United States, recent tax reform legislation could result in healthy corporate earnings growth.
Volatility is something else to think about. As the market has moved up, volatility has moved down. While volatility (price fluctuations) and drawdown risk (loss of principal) aren’t the same thing, dramatic price movements often lead investors to trade their portfolios at what, in retrospect, will turn out to have been an inopportune time.
For the week ended February 2, 2018, the S&P 500 Index (SPY) closed at 2,762.13, falling 3.9%. Among the S&P 500 sectors, the energy sector (XLE) shed the most, falling 6.4%. For the week ended February 2, large speculators of the S&P 500 Index (IVV) have increased the number of net bullish positions to 38,296 contracts from 29,980 contracts.