On Monday, U.S. stocks ended mixed, with the Dow eclipsing previous day’s closing record, as investors assessed the prospects of economic growth following Donald Trump’s presidential election win.

On Tuesday, the Dow closed at a record high for four consecutive sessions, leaving it within striking distance of the round-number mark of 19,000 points, as investors cheered over a strong rebound in oil prices.

On Wednesday, U.S. stocks closed mixed, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average snapping a 7-day winnings streak, as investors digested economic data and Fed officials’ remarks.

On Thursday, U.S. stocks ended higher Thursday, as investors meditated on Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s testimony amid a batch of economic data.

On Friday, U.S. stocks ticked down as concerns about a December rate hike weighed on the market.

At the beginning of the week, investor euphoria was still ignited by Donald Trump’s victory in the country’ s presidency election, as investors believed Wall Street will benefit from Trump’s economic plan.

Analysts thought that the increased prospect of tax cuts and a generally pro-growth set of policies from Trump, aided and abetted by the Republican clean sweep of Congress, are bullish for the stock market.

Then concerns about the timing of a next rate hike came into the spotlight amid remarks from several policy makers, including Fed Chair Janet Yellen.

In her testimony before the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress Thursday, Yellen said that it will be appropriate for the central bank to hike interest rate relatively soon, and warned of the risks of keeping rate low for too long.

“The (Federal Open Market) Committee judged that the case for an increase in the target range had continued to strengthen and that such an increase could well become appropriate relatively soon if incoming data provide some further evidence of continued progress toward the Committee’s objectives,” said Yellen.

Meanwhile, other Fed officials also expressed similar opinions. Kansas City Fed President Esther George said Friday the U.S. economy would benefit from the Fed raising rates sooner rather than later.

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said Friday he is leaning towards supporting a rate hike next month and argued that the real question now is the Fed’s rate path in 2017.

Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren said Tuesday the central bank won’t be easily swayed from a December rate hike.

Analysts took Fed officials’ comments as a clear indication that the U.S. central bank could raise interest rates next month.

According to the CME Group’s FedWatch tool Friday, market expectations for a December rate hike were 95.4 percent.

On the economic front, advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for October increased 0.8 percent from the previous month to 465.9 billion dollars, above market estimates of 0.6 percent.

After a 0.2 percent increase in September, U.S. import prices advanced 0.5 percent in October, also beating market consensus.

U.S. privately-owned housing starts in October were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.323 million units.

The Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers increased 0.4 percent in October on a seasonally adjusted basis, on par with market consensus.

In the week ending November 12, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 235,000, a decrease of 19,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 254,000.

For the week, the blue-chip Dow edged up 0.1 percent, and broader the S&P 500 gained 0.8 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq jumped 1.6 percent. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh


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