Last week, financial markets endured a series of whipsaws as breaking news stories roiled investors. Speculation on the scope and impact of pending trade tariffs had little impact on base metal prices, or commodities in general, but it had a material impact on stock prices. The basic material sector posted the week’s largest loss at -3.54%, driving the group to a 1.76% decline so far, this year. President Trump’s decision to block Singapore-based Broadcom from acquiring U.S. chip maker, Qualcomm, sent shock waves through the technology sector last week, costing the sector 2.4%. In a case of good news being mixed, the week’s inflation data was as benign as the week prior’s wage data, thus dampening expectation for higher interest rates. As a result, shares of the interest-rate-sensitive utilities were the winners last week, rising 1.7%. Meanwhile, the prospect of lower rates on loans sent financial service shares down 2.8%, the second largest decline of the week. Fears that tariffs might end in an all-out trade war weighed most heavily on the thirty stocks of the Dow Jones Industrial average that posted the greatest decline of the major averages last week at -1.54%. Investors continue to demonstrate a modest preference for the shares of smaller, domestically-oriented companies as witnessed by the performance between the S&P 500® Index and the Russell 2000® Index at -1.24% and -0.7%, respectively. Global markets broke with the U.S. last week, posting fractional gains, with the developed markets as represented by the MSCI EAFE® Index adding 0.13% and the MSCI Emerging Market Index gaining 0.49%.
Lost in the headline maelstrom are some important developments that will impact the economy and the financial markets later this year. This past week, Treasury conducted a double auction, selling both three- and ten-year maturity debt. A total of $49 billion was sold, and it had no impact on the market. In fact, the yield on the ten-year Treasury finished the week slightly lower. Now, what is notable is that demand, or bid-to-cover, was characterized as ‘average’, which is concerning given the size of the auctions scheduled for the second half of the year. In the illustration, I have plotted the current yield curve versus that of a year ago. Clearly, rates on the short end of the maturity spectrum have moved significantly, as central banks have dialed back on extraordinary liquidity measures. With the Federal Reserve set to let its bond holdings roll off, and the scope of borrowing needed to finance the budget deficit in the second half of the year, investors who have not taken defensive measures with their fixed income holdings may be running out of time. In energy, we have experienced several failed advances by crude oil due to a persistent inventory overhang. That will change later this year if OPEC continues to hold the line on production cuts and Venezuelan output plummets. One of the overlooked data points in the recent reports on U.S. economic strength is a pick-up in oil demand. Again, by the second half of this year, if these trends persist, supply and demand for oil will be in balance. You would never know it looking at the price performance for the energy sector, which is down almost 6% this year and virtually flat over the last twelve months.
For a PDF version of this publication, click here: 03.19.18_WeeklyMarketOverview
Source: All statistics herein obtained from Bloomberg.
NOTE: IMPORTANT INFORMATION
This is not a complete analysis of every material fact regarding any company, industry or security. The information and materials herein has been obtained from sources we consider to be reliable but Comerica Wealth Management does not warrant, or guarantee, its completeness or accuracy. Materials prepared by Comerica Wealth Management personnel are based on public information. Facts and views presented in this material have not been reviewed by, and may not reflect information known to, professionals in other business areas of Comerica Wealth Management, including investment banking personnel. The views expressed are those of the author at the time of writing and are subject to change without notice. We do not assume any liability for losses that may result from the reliance by any person upon any such information or opinions. This material has been distributed for general educational/informational purposes only, and should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation for any particular security, strategy or investment product, or as personalized investment advice. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss in a declining market. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. The performance of an index is not an exact representation of any particular investment, as you cannot invest directly in an index. The material is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any financial instrument. The investments and strategies discussed herein may not be suitable for all clients. The material is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, accounting, legal or tax advice, or investment recommendations. Comerica Wealth Management consists of various divisions and affiliates of Comerica Bank, including Comerica Bank & Trust, National Association; World Asset Management, Inc.; Comerica Securities, Inc.; and Comerica Insurance Services, Inc. and its affiliated insurance agencies. World Asset Management, Inc. and Comerica Securities, Inc. are federally registered investment advisors. Registrations do not imply a certain level of skill or training. Comerica Bank and its affiliates do not provide tax or legal advice. Please consult with your tax and legal advisors regarding your specific situation. Securities and other non-deposit investment products offered through Comerica are not insured by the FDIC; are not deposits or other obligations of, or guaranteed by, Comerica Bank or any of its affiliates; and are subject to investment risks, including possible loss of the principal invested. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Information presented is for general information only and is subject to change.
The S&P 500® Index, S&P MidCap Index, S&P 600 Index and Dow Jones Wilshire 5000 (collectively, “S&P® Indices”) are products of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC or its affiliates (“SPDJI”) and Standard & Poor’s Financial Services, LLC and has been licensed for use by Comerica Bank, on behalf of itself and its Affiliates. Standard & Poor’s® and S&P® are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC (“S&P”) and Dow Jones® is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC (“Dow Jones”). The trademarks have been licensed to SPDJI and sublicensed for certain purposes by Comerica Bank, on behalf of itself and its Affiliates. Nothing herein is sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by SPDJI, Dow Jones, S&P, any of their respective affiliates (collectively, “S&P Dow Jones Indices”) or Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC. Neither S&P Dow Jones Indices nor Standard & Poor’s Financial Services, LLC make any representation or warranty, express or implied, to the owners of the content herein, or any member of the public regarding the advisability of investing in securities generally or in particular strategies or the ability of any particular strategy to track general market performance. SPDJI and Standard & Poor’s Financial Services, LLC only relationship to Comerica Bank, on behalf of itself and its Affiliates with respect to the S&P® Indices is the licensing of the Indices and certain trademarks, service marks, and/or trade names of S&P Dow Jones Indices and/or its licensors. The S&P Indices are determined, composed and calculated by S&P Dow Jones Indices or Standard & Poor’s Financial Services, LLC without regard to Comerica Bank and its Affiliates or any of the content herein. S&P Dow Jones Indices and Standard & Poor’s Financial Services, LLC have no obligation to take the needs of Comerica and its Affiliates or the owners of any of the content herein into consideration in determining, composing or calculating the S&P Indices. Neither S&P Dow Jones Indices nor Standard & Poor’s Financial Services, LLC are responsible for and have not participated in the determination of the prices, and amount of any particular strategy or the timing of the issuance or sale of any particular strategy or in the determination or calculation of the equation by which any particular strategy is to be converted into cash, surrendered or redeemed, as the case may be. S&P Dow Jones Indices and Standard & Poor’s Financial Services, LLC have no obligation or liability in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of any particular strategy. There is no assurance that any particular investment product based on the S&P Indices will accurately track index performance or provide positive investment returns. SPDJI is not an investment advisor. Inclusion of a security within an index is not a recommendation by S&P Dow Jones Indices to buy, sell, or hold such security, nor is it considered to be investment advice.
NEITHER S&P DOW JONES INDICES NOR STANDARD & POOR’S FINANCIAL SERVICES, LLC GUARANTEES THE ADEQUACY, ACCURACY, TIMELINESS AND/OR THE COMPLETENESS OF THE WAM STRATEGIES OR ANY DATA RELATED THERETO OR ANY COMMUNICATION, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, ORAL OR WRITTEN COMMUNCATION (INCLUDING ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS) WITH RESPECT THERETO. S&P DOW JONES INDICES AND STANDARD & POOR’S FINANCIAL SERVICES, LLC SHALL NOT BE SUBJECT TO ANY DAMAGES OR LIABILITY FOR ANY ERRORS, OMISSIONS, OR DELAYS THEREIN. S&P DOW JONES INDICES AND STANDARD & POOR’S FINANCIAL SERVICES, LLC MAKE NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES, OR MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE OR AS TO RESULTS TO BE OBTAINED BY COMERICA AND ITS AFFILIATES, OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY FROM THE USE OF THE S&P INDICES OR WITH RESPECT TO ANY DATA RELATED THERETO. WITHOUT LIMITING ANY OF THE FOREGOING, IN NO EVENT WHATSOEVER SHALL S&P DOW JONES INDICES OR STANDARD & POOR’S FINANCIAL SERVICES, LLC BE LIABLE FOR ANY INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, PUNITIVE, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, LOSS OF PROFITS, TRADING LOSSES, LOST TIME OR GOODWILL, EVEN IF THEY HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, TORT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR OTHERWISE. THERE ARE NO THIRD-PARTY BENEFICIARIES OF ANY AGREEMENTS OR ARRANGEMENTS BETWEEN S&P DOW JONES INDICES AND COMERICA AND ITS AFFILIATES, OTHER THAN THE LICENSORS OF S&P DOW JONES INDICES.
“Russell 2000® Index” is a trademark of Russell Investments, licensed for use by Comerica Bank and World Asset Management, Inc. The source of all returns is Russell Investments. Further redistribution of information is strictly prohibited.
MSCI EAFE® is a trade mark of Morgan Stanley Capital International, Inc. (“MSCI”).
FTSE International Limited (“FTSE”) © FTSE 2016. FTSE® is a trade mark of London Stock Exchange Plc and The Financial Times Limited and is used by FTSE under license. All rights in the FTSE Indices vest in FTSE and/or its licensors. Neither FTSE nor its licensors accept any liability for any errors or omissions in the FTSE Indices or underlying data.