A conciliatory tone on trade from both China and the US as well as easing fears around a military escalation stemming from Syria’s apparent chemical attack led to rising stock prices. Tech stocks got a boost from well-received testimony from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, though many officials cited the need for increased regulatory oversight of personal data and privacy. The market continued to digest comments from Fed Chairman Powell last week reiterating a view for gradual rate hikes. Bonds were down modestly for the week.

Weekly Returns:

S&P 500: 2,648 (+1.7%)
FTSE All-World ex-US (VEU): (+1.0%)
US 10 Year Treasury Yield: 2.82% (+0.05%)
Gold: $1,333 (+0.3%)
EUR/USD: $1.234 (+0.5%)

Major Events:


  • Monday – The Justice Department agreed to allow Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto based on additional asset sales.
  • Monday – Iran’s currency hit a record low against the dollar, down by about a third this year and adding to economic pressures.
  • Tuesday – Sprint and T-Mobile were said to have reengaged in merger talks. Both stocks rose.
  • Tuesday – Chinese President Xi Jinping soothed trade war fears with a speech which promised further economic liberalization and greater intellectual property protection.
  • Wednesday – Federal Reserve minutes showed greater confidence in reaching the 2% inflation goal, suggesting additional rate hikes remain likely.
  • Wednesday – Fidelity announced changes to simplify how it charges for asset management. Most clients appear set to pay well over 1% of assets on top of fund fees.
  • Thursday – Broadcom announced a $12 billion share buyback program following its failed acquisition of Qualcomm.
  • Thursday – Speaker of the House Paul Ryan announced he will not seek reelection in November.
  • Thursday – Former FBI head James Comey released a book which included scathing commentary about President Trump.
  • Friday – JP Morgan, Wells Fargo and Citigroup all reported solid increases in earnings but shares fell as investors appeared to be expecting more.
  • Friday – President Trump is pushing for a more forceful response to Syria than military officials originally presented, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
  • Friday – Embattled Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was said to have arranged a $1.6 million settlement for a top Republican fundraiser to a former Playboy model who said she was impregnated.
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