This week saw a wild stock market, but in the end, we finished in positive territory for the week. The Nasdaq led the way again with a gain of 1.6%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average lagged and was down -0.5% for the week. The S&P closed up +0.5% and is up 2.3% for the year.
The positive on the week was the jobs report, which came out better than expected. The unemployment rate hit a new 18 year low at 3.8%, and wages grew by 2.7%, year over year. The report was not without controversy, as President Trump tweeted before the release the report that he was looking forward to seeing the numbers released. This of course was a wink, wink tweet, and could put him in hot water, as that is nonpublic information he was giving out with specific guidelines on when something can be discussed publicly. The other positive take away for the week was news that the leaders of the US and North Korea may be putting their summit back on, which would be a good way to ease global uncertainty.
The main negative for the week was the trade war fears coming to the surface again, as President Trump put new tariffs on a number of steel and aluminum imports on Mexico, Canada and the European Union, some of our biggest allies. This news was met with instant retaliation on many fronts, and will especially put pressure on the farming industry, as one of the largest US exports is food. There was also political turmoil in Italy that put pressure on stocks around the global, as a five day standoff finally ended when the feuding political parties agreed on a coalition government.
In commodity news, gold and oil had rough weeks, being down -0.7% and -3.2%, respectively. The VIX index (fear index) was up +1.8% this week, despite the stocks being up, proving that there are fears out there despite the market hanging tough.
Cryptocurrencies were mixed for the week. Bitcoin was up slightly and closed the week at $7,500, while altcoins, including Steem (closed at $2.40) drifted downward.
Overall, the US Capital Markets remain strong and I continue to be fully invested.
Good luck, and thank you for stopping by!