The present fear of the Delta virus spread, adding to the US Federal Reserve’s tapering of their bond purchases, and China’s regulatory crackdowns were all the factors impacting the markets this week.
US stock indices closed higher on Friday; however, the week overall was in a loss. The market tried to recover on Friday, with techno stocks leading in the S&P 500 and the energy sector catching up after a week of declining oil prices.
The S&P 500 gained 0.81% to 4441.67; the Dow Jones gained 0.65% to 35120.08; and the Nasdaq Composite gained 1.19% to 14714.66.
However, the weekly performance was not looking good, with the S&P 500 sliding by 0.6%. The Dow decreased by 1.1%, and the Nasdaq declined by 0.7%.
US, What was driving the markets?
This week was filled with worry over the rapid rise in US Covid cases; a sharp rise in deaths and hospitalizations surged. The average daily cases in the US increased to 143,827 since Thursday, which is 44% up from two weeks ago. This is the highest since February this year. Now, the Fed is reconsidering its tapering plans.
Companies in focus this week were Deere & Co, whose quarterly earnings were due Friday. Their quarter three profit more than doubled, well above expectations. Shares dropped by 2.1% on Friday.
Foot Locker gained 7.3% after a solid earnings report exceeded expectations.
The Ten year Treasury yield increased by two basis points to 1.259%. However, it was down 3.8 basis points for the week. On the bright side, the US dollar index, which measures the strength against other major currencies, dropped 0.1%, trading at the nine-month high.
Oil futures continued to slip, and prices decreased for the seventh consecutive day. Gold futures increased to $1784 per ounce.
This week’s focus will be US quarterly GDP, crude oil inventories, initial jobless claims, and existing home sales. The UK’s PMI and the ECB’s monetary policy meeting for Eurozone. Furthermore, the markets will be focused on the Covid-19 Delta variant infection rates.