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Newsletter: In the Markets – Week-Ending June 30th, 2017

by Peter J. Creedon

Newsletter: In the Markets – Week-Ending June 30th, 2017

Crystal Brook Advisors

We Make Financial Planning Crystal Clear™


United States:  Pending home sales fell well short of expectations, declining by 0.8 percent in May. The drop in purchase contracts comes on the heels of a downwardly revised April print and marks the third consecutive monthly drop for the series. (1)  The Midwest fared the best of all regions, with pending sales holding steady. After a downwardly revised 5.7 percent reading, pending sales fell by 1.3 percent in the West during May. (1)


Europe:  The U.K. economy grew just 0.2 percent in the first quarter of the year, the Office for National Statistics confirmed Friday. (2)  GDP had initially been estimated at 0.3 percent but was revised down. (2)  According to the data, while business services and construction drove economic growth, consumer-focused industries such as retail and accommodation slowed it down. Meanwhile, household savings have also dropped. (2)


Asia:  Bond yields in the United States and Europe were poised for big weekly gains on Friday, weighing on major equity markets, while oil prices extended their rebound into a seventh session but were still set to post their worst first half since 1998. (3)  The dollar was headed for its worst quarter in seven years against a basket of currencies. Expectations for stronger economic data in Europe and rate tightening at central banks around the globe has knocked the greenback from its perch, pushing it 4.7 percent lower for the April-June quarter, the worst performance since the third quarter of 2010. (3)


Latin America:  Donald Trump has decided to crack down on Cuba. He told a small crowd in Miami, “We will not lift sanctions on the Cuban regime until all political prisoners are freed, freedoms of assembly and expression are respected, all political parties are legalized, and free and internationally supervised elections are scheduled.” Trump’s decision to roll back some of Barack Obama’s Cuba policy’s is a break from the tone he’s taken when dealing with Russia, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines, and other countries with problematic records on human rights.  (4)  Trump’s policy changes have been criticized for being a return type of Cuba strategy the U.S. employed during the Cold War. Democratic Congressman Jim McGovern explained, “These policy changes by President Trump will only take us back toward a Cold War policy that was a miserable failure and held our country back for more than 50 years.” (4)


Monday 6/26 

  • Italy’s banking stocks led European equity markets higher on Monday as investors reacted with enthusiasm to confirmation that the Italian government would ride to the rescue of two flailing regional banks. (5)


Tuesday 6/27

  • S. equities closed lower on Tuesday as large-cap technology stocks fell more than 1 percent, while a Senate vote delay raised heighten policy uncertainty. (5)


Wednesday 6/28

  • Banks and other financial companies led the gainers as investors bet that global interest rates will rise further. Technology stocks also were among the big gainers. Utilities and real estate companies lagged the broader market rally. (6)


Thursday 6/29

  • The Dow dropped more than 165 points Thursday and tech stocks were led the way down. The Nasdaq tumbled nearly 1.5%, with tech leaders Apple (AAPL, Tech30), Amazon (AMZN, Tech30), Google owner Alphabet (GOOGL, Tech30), Facebook (FB, Tech30) and Microsoft (MSFT, Tech30) all lower. (7)


Friday 6/30

  • The Dow Jones industrial average shed 0.8%, while the S&P 500 declined 0.9%. The Nasdaq plunged 1.4% as tech stocks took a hit. (7)


Contributor: Thomas Padula


Source: (1) Wells Fargo Economic Group, (2) Politico, (3) Reuters, (4) Forbes, (5) CNBC, (6) ABC News, (7) CNN Money

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