What I’m Watching This Week – 16 June 2014

The Markets

Equities took a break across the board from their recent upward surge. After fresh all-time record closes early in the week, both the S&P 500 and the Dow Industrials saw profit-taking that also returned the small caps of the Russell 2000 to negative territory for the year. Renewed conflict in Iraq contributed to equities’ swoon, raising concerns about global oil supplies and pushing oil to roughly $107 a barrel.

Market/Index 2013 Close Prior Week As of 6/13 Weekly Change YTD Change
DJIA 16576.66 16924.28 16775.68 -.88% 1.20%
Nasdaq 4176.59 4321.40 4310.65 -.25% 3.21%
S&P 500 1848.36 1949.44 1936.15 -.68% 4.75%
Russell 2000 1163.64 1165.21 1162.68 -.22% -.08%
Global Dow 2484.10 2599.33 2587.94 -.44% 4.18%
Fed. Funds .25% .25% .25% 0 bps 0 bps
10-year Treasuries 3.04% 2.60% 2.60% 0 bps -44 bps

Chart reflects price changes, not total return. Because it does not include dividends or splits, it should not be used to benchmark performance of specific investments.

Last Week’s Headlines

  • U.S. retail sales rose 0.3% in May and were 4.3% higher than a year earlier. The Department of Commerce said the biggest increases were seen at auto and auto parts dealers, building/garden supplies stores, and miscellaneous store retailers such as florists, office suppliers, and used-merchandise stores.
  • Wholesale prices fell 0.2% in May, leaving the wholesale inflation rate for the last 12 months at 2%. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that’s down slightly from the previous month, but substantially higher than the 1% of last May. The decline in prices at the final stage of wholesale distribution was evenly split between goods and services. Inflation is one of the measures being watched by the Federal Reserve as it unwinds its bond-buying efforts.
  • The World Bank cut its estimate of 2014 global economic growth to 2.8% rather than the 3.2% it predicted in January. The Global Economic Prospects report said developing countries have been especially hurt by bad weather in the United States, a slowing housing market in China, political conflicts, and slow progress on structural economic reform; the report sees emerging-market growth at 4.8% this year rather than 5.3%. However, 2015 is expected to be better, with a 3.4% global growth rate and 5.4% growth in the developing economies.

Eye on the Week Ahead

The Fed is expected to once again reduce its monthly bond purchases, and options expiration at the end of the week could mean volatility as traders on the wrong side of equities’ recent surge attempt to manage those positions. U.S. manufacturing data and the state of the oil market also could influence the mood of the markets.