John Hancock: Weekly Market Recap Week Ended March 22nd
Stocks were having a mostly positive week until the market swiftly reversed course on Friday amid further signs of a global growth slowdown and an inversion in the U.S. Treasury bond yield curve. The major U.S. stock indexes dropped around 2%, as did indexes in France, the United Kingdom, and Germany.
In addition to keeping interest rates unchanged, the U.S. Federal Reserve indicated that it’s unlikely to raise rates for the rest of 2019. Eleven of the seventeen Fed officials who play a role in rate policy don’t expect a rate hike will be needed this year. As recently as December, just two officials held that view.
Momentum from the stock market’s early-year rally shifted as the major indexes fell for the second week out of the past three. The Dow fell more than 1%, while the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ posted smaller declines.
U.S. crude oil prices climbed to their highest level in four months, approaching $60 per barrel on Wednesday, as government data showed an unexpected decline in U.S. supplies. Oil prices have risen more than 20% since the start of the year.