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Newsletter: In the Markets – Week-Ending March 31st , 2017

by Peter J. Creedon

Newsletter: In the Markets – Week-Ending March 31st, 2017

Crystal Brook Advisors

We Make Financial Planning Crystal Clear™


United States: Pending home sales, which are contract signings that lead closings by one to two months, jumped 5.5 percent in February, recouping all of January’s 2.8 percent loss. (1) Strength in contract signings was broad-based, as all regions posted a gain on the month. Notably, pending home sales in the Midwest surged 11.4 percent, ending a three-month string of declines. The South also saw a solid increase of 4.3 percent. (1)  The resurgence in pending sales was likely influenced by unusually mild winter weather, which boosted contract signings in the Midwest. Weather provided less help in the West, where sales are being held back by exceptionally tight inventories. (1)


Europe:  The European Union’s competition watchdog said Wednesday it was blocking the deal between the London Stock Exchange (LDNXF) and Deutsche Boerse (DBOEF). (2)  The European Commission said the deal “would have created a de facto monopoly” in an important part of the financial markets related to bonds and debt. (2)  The London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Boerse both said they regretted the decision. (2)


Asia: The London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Boerse both said they regretted the decision.  Addressing the fourth concluding meeting of the Asia-Pacific Forum for Sustainable Development in Bangkok on Friday, he said the elimination of inequality, and promotion of peace and harmony are major challenges for the Asia-Pacific region. (3)


Latin America:  If recent Latin American history means anything, Ecuador’s runoff vote for president is Guillermo Lasso’s to lose. Conservative and market-friendly, the 61-year-old Guayaquil-born banker rode a swell of discontent over outgoing President Rafael Correa’s mercurial and divisive decade-long rule to reach the second round, set for April 2. Polls show a tight race with Lasso, of the opposition alliance CREO, running just behind Correa’s pick, Lenin Moreno, of Alianza Pais. The country’s seething opposition is banking on Lasso’s rise as part of a prevailing wind. (4)


Monday 3/27

  • The Dow fell on Monday for the eighth day in a row, its longest losing streak since 2011. (2)
  • Trump’s stunning failure to repeal and replace Obamacare spooked investors, sending the Dow sinking as many as 184 points in the first few minutes of trading. But the index rebounded from those early losses, closing down by 46 points. The Nasdaq eked out a gain of 0.1%. (2)


Tuesday 3/28

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) declined 0.2% to close at 20,550.98. The Dow declined for an eighth straight session, its longest losing streak since August 2011. The Dow ended about 45 points lower with Goldman Sachs ( GS ) contributing the most losses. The S&P 500 fell 0.1% to close at 2,341.59. Initially, the benchmark index dropped below its 50-day moving average for the first time since November. But a spate of late day activity by bargain hunting investors helped to pare some losses. (5)


Wednesday 3/29

  • The London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Börse have tried to merge three times since 2000, hoping to create a European stock market heavyweight. And now, after a ruling from European regulators on Wednesday, all three efforts have failed. (6)


Thursday 3/30

  • Financial stocks clawed back some of the losses from earlier in the week, and the Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEMKT:XLF) beat the broader market with a 1.3% increase. Gold prices dropped by nearly 1%, which sent the highly leveraged Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bull 3X ETF (NYSEMKT:NUGT) down almost 5%. (7)


Friday 3/31

  • The broad-market S&P 500 index SPX, -0.01% also is on track for its best quarter since the last three months of 2013, with a 5.8% rise in sight. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.14% is on track for its longest streak of winning quarters. In fact, the Dow has climbed 4,440 points, or 28%, over the past six quarters, marking its best six-quarter advance since 2006. (8)


Contributor: Thomas Padula

Source: (1) Wells Fargo Economic Group

(2) CNNMoney

(3) The Nation

(4) Bloomberg


(6) New York Times

(7) The Motley Fool

(8) MarketWatch

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