Stability ball: A congressional accord on the debt ceiling plus fresh reassurance about Fed policy seemed to outweigh lackluster economic news, helping domestic equities follow through on the previous week’s late rally. The Nasdaq’s week was its best since late October, while the Russell 2000’s gain was the best for any of the four domestic indices listed below so far this year. Meanwhile, the Dow edged above 16,000 once again.
|Market/Index||2013 Close||Prior Week||As of 2/14||Weekly Change||YTD Change|
|Fed. Funds||.25%||.25%||.25%||0 bps||0 bps|
|10-year Treasuries||3.04%||2.71%||2.75%||4 bps||-29 bps|
Chart reflects price changes, not total return. Because it does not include dividends or splits, it should not be used to benchmark performance of specific investments.
Last Week’s Headlines
- The contentious issue of the debt ceiling was resolved (at least until March 2015) after President Obama signed the bill passed by both the House and Senate, which contained none of the additional provisions that had created conflict in recent years.
- Many Americans apparently spent much of January shoveling instead of shopping. Though retail sales were 2.6% ahead of January 2013, the Commerce Department said sales for the month fell 0.4%, with a 2.1% drop in auto-related sales a major factor. However, severe weather couldn’t account for the downward revision in December sales, which went from a 0.2% gain to a 0.1% loss, and January sales outside brick-and-mortar stores also fell 0.6%.
- Steady as she goes: New Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told Congress that absent any unexpected economic downturns, the Fed will continue to wind down its bond purchases while maintaining its target interest rate at its current low level. Read more: market week 02182014