After a two-week losing streak, U.S. indexes ended in positive territory across the board. The S&P 500 increased by 0.38%, the Dow was up 0.04%, and the NASDAQ gained 0.83%. The MSCI EAFE, a measure of international developed nations’ performance, increased 0.93%.
Of course, seeing positive weekly results is always good, but right now, the general market sentiment seems unsure about where it stands and where to go from here.
Why did the markets have a sluggish week?
Experts last week described the markets as lazy and docile — and we have to agree. If these five days of trading were made into a movie, it would probably put a lot of people to sleep.
On paper, last week seemed to provide plenty of opportunities for market excitement — from major companies’ earnings releases to the European Central Bank’s latest policy announcement. In reality, however, much of what we saw and heard led to little change and few strong reactions.
We’d point to a few key occurrences:
1. Earnings reports were mostly good, but few were outstanding.
2. The European Central Bank held interest rates where they are.
3. The presidential election continues to hold the markets in limbo.
While last week’s markets seemed more sluggish than normal, a little break from the excitement can be nice sometimes — especially when coupled with increases across all major U.S. indexes.