The stock market endured some volatility, which resulted in a lower finish for the major indices. Relative weakness among technology stocks sent the Nasdaq Composite down 2.0% for the week while the S&P 500 surrendered 0.6%. The price-weighed Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.2%) ended the week little changed.
The influential financial sector opened the week on a positive note, ending its four-session losing streak with a gain of 0.5%. However, negative performances from the heavily-weighted technology and health care groups mitigated the bullish influence of financials, leaving the benchmark index just a tick above its unchanged mark. Meanwhile, crude oil registered its third-consecutive win, climbing 0.8%.
Things got a bit more interesting on Tuesday, especially in the global bond market, where sovereign yields jumped after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi provided an upbeat assessment of eurozone inflation and growth trends. The financial group outperformed, once again, amid a steepening of the yield curve, but the ten remaining sectors finished in the red with the technology group pacing the retreat.
The midweek session brought some relief as investors bought the dip and put the S&P 500 back at its flat line for the week. The financials and technology sectors led the charge, but strength was broad-based with nine sectors settling in the green. The improvement in risk sentiment came after the ECB said that Mr. Draghi's Tuesday remarks were misinterpreted as hawkish while they were meant to strike a balance. However, longer-dated Treasuries and German bunds held their ground.
The relief rally didn't last long as the market reversed and set a fresh low for the week on Thursday. The technology sector fell to heavy profit-taking, dropping 1.8%. Selling was broad-based with only the financials and energy spaces escaping the session with wins. Banks underpinned the financial group after the Federal Reserve approved the capital plans of all 34 banks required to partake in the annual stress test.
Thursday also saw more selling in the global bond market. Treasuries tumbled in a curve-steepening trade while German bunds slid following hotter than expected inflation data out of Germany.
Friday's session featured a weak rebound in the broader market, as financials, health care, and technology struggled. NIKE (NKE) surged more than 10.0% after beating earnings expectations, which helped keep the market above water.
The fed funds futures market still points to the December FOMC meeting as the most likely time for the next rate-hike announcement with an implied probability of 54.4%, up from last week's 51.3%.
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