While I thought the Federal Reserve’s decision to hold off on an interest rate hike was in the rear view mirror for a while, it appears that the bank is still on traders’ radar screens. The market was not pleased with last week’s decision and was looking forward to some sign of a move higher, as domestic growth data seemed poised for a positive move. If the Fed can be convinced that uncertainties abroad will be less of an economic issue to our shores, a rate hike is fairly likely to take place in December. Janet Yellen all but implied such in a speech on Thursday, which saw the market spike briefly. Although the Dow managed a small 70 point loss for the week, or 0.4%, thanks in part to Nike shares moving higher on Friday by 9%, the broader market was lower by 1.4% as indicated by the S&P 500 and the bio-tech heavy NASDAQ reversed to the tune of nearly 3%. Specifically, health care stocks were negative by 6.5% on the week. With the exception of interest sensitive unities and financials, all other sectors lost ground. Basic materials and industrials were particularly hard hit with continued worries about China’s growth and its effects on other economies. With third-quarter earnings season looming, the market will probably see-saw and react this week to indications from Federal Reserve members as to their thoughts on a vote for a rate hike this year. Also, employment numbers on Friday will be a key indicator to watch. Investors remain on edge, as can be seen by the sizable swings in the leading averages of late. However, if there are no significant earnings surprises to the downside over the next few weeks and at least neutral guidance for the remainder of the year and early 2016, equities can move higher and, hopefully, at least break-even for the year.
Here is the answer to last week’s trivia question: When did New York City commission the iconic charging bull statue? 1966, 1975, 1989, or 1997. Answer: 1989. The bull’s sculptor, Sicilian-born Arturo Di Modica, installed the three-and-a-half ton piece during the wee hours of the morning on December 15, 1989 directly outside the NY Stock Exchange. When daylight came, the bull created quite a stir with traders and tourists alike embracing the new piece of art. City officials, however, were unamused and confiscated the bull a few days later. However, the public outcry at the bull’s removal prompted the city to officially lease the bull from Di Modica and install it on permanent display a few blocks south at Bowling Green Plaza on December 21st of that year.
Today’s Trivia Question: The initials for security firm ADT originally stood for? Advance Detection Technology; Automatic Discovery Transfer; Addison, Dixon & Turkoff; or American District Telegraph.