John Hancock: Weekly Market Recap Week Ended February 21st
In the minutes from its January meeting, the U.S. Federal Reserve indicated it’s likely to keep interest rates unchanged, expressing confidence in the U.S. economy. Fed officials noted they’re also remaining watchful of other developments—including the coronavirus and trade uncertainty—and how they may affect the economic outlook.
U.S. building permits, considered a gauge of future home construction, rose to an almost 13-year high, according to a report released by the U.S. Census Bureau. The number of building permits grew 9.2% in January, exceeding expectations and marking the highest level since March 2007.
With the coronavirus outbreak top of mind, major U.S. stock indexes felt the pressure. Although the S&P 500 and NASDAQ both hit record highs Wednesday, they were down more than 1% for the week, as was the Dow.
The U.S. dollar rallied against the euro, Japanese yen, and Australian dollar, reflecting the U.S. economy’s strength amid ongoing uncertainty. On Tuesday, the euro experienced its biggest drop in 3 years against the greenback. The yen dropped to a 10-month low Thursday, and the Australian dollar plummeted to an 11-year low as of Friday.