U.S. stocks returned to record territory this week as tech profits have raised investor sentiment after a volatile week. The gains on Wall Street were accompanied by soaring oil prices and steady gains in the dollar as a result of optimistic economic data. Meanwhile, cryptocurrencies were evolving at a standstill, with most of the attention being given to Bitcoin and Bitcoin Gold.
The meteoric rise of the Nasdaq
The Nasdaq Composite Index recorded huge gains on Friday after Microsoft, Amazon, Intel, and Google Alphabet all released quarterly stellar results. On Friday, the high-tech index rose 2.2% to hit a new record of 6,701.26. A total of 205 companies listed on Nasdaq recorded new records on Friday. For the week, the Nasdaq gained more than 1%.
The large-cap S & P 500 index joined the Nasdaq in record territory on Friday after gaining 0.8% to close at 2,581.07. Six of 11 sectors posted positive results, with information technology adding 2.9%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1% to 23,434.19, finishing just behind an all-time record. The last blue-chip ended up in registration territory on Tuesday. For the week, he earned about half a percent.
Friday's Wall Street rally undermined market volatility after four days of anxious trading. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) volatility index plunged 13.3% on Friday to close at 9.80. Flight had increased during each of the previous four days.
Corporate profits continued this week, with a flood of S & P 500 companies reporting. At Friday's close, 55% of S & P 500 companies reported real results for the third quarter, according to FactSet. Of these, 76% reported surprise positive profits and 67% said that revenues exceeded expectations.
For the third quarter, the S & P 500 index is heading for a combined earnings growth rate of 4.7%. Six sectors reported earnings growth for the quarter as energy advanced the most.
Oil prices at six-month highs
The energy markets had a significant week, with crude oil recording six-month highs on supply. According to various sources, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), led by the Arab countries, is willing to extend production cuts beyond March 2018. The cartel is in the process of forming a consensus around the extension of the production freeze in an ongoing effort to rebalance the market.
Brent crude for the December settlement added 1.9% Friday and 4.7% for the week to close at $ 60.44 a barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange in London. It was the first Brent settlement north of $ 60 since 2015.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures (WTI) added 4.7% this week to finish at $ 53.90 a barrel.
Rally of the dollar reaches its three-month high
The US dollar rose 1.3% over a five-day period to close at over three months. The dollar index (DXY), a broad spread of the greenback versus a basket of six currencies, closed at 94.92
The bulls were encouraged by a preliminary report on GDP showing that the economy grew by 3% a year in the third quarter. The economy has now risen to at least 3% in consecutive quarters for the first time since 2014.
The greenback jumped against the Canadian dollar this week after a cautious Bank of Canada bank maintained monetary policy on hold. The USD / CAD exchange rate hit a high of 1.2913 on Friday before stabilizing around 100 pips.
Meanwhile, the EUR / USD plunged to its lowest level for three months after the European Central Bank (ECB) announced that it was willing to grant an extension to its US dollar program. Purchase of existing bonds. The EUR / USD is set at 1.1604 on Friday, after falling 1.4% for the week.
Earlier this week, an alternative version of bitcoin came into being as a result of the increasingly common "hard fork" process. Bitcoin Gold (BTG) climbed up to $ 680 following the difficult range that occurred Tuesday. However, prices would plunge later at a fraction of that level as sellers take control of the market. At the last audit, BTG was down more than 6% to $ 119
Bitcoin prices stagnated Friday and fell by nearly 5% over the week. The largest cryptocurrency in the world by market capitalization was last seen around $ 5,756, according to Bitstamp.
Ethereum prices jumped Tuesday to $ 310 before giving back most of its gains over the next 24 hours. Ether continues to trade in familiar territory below $ 300.
Several important market events are scheduled next week, culminating in a Friday report on the US nonfarm wage bill. Preliminary data from the CPI outside Germany and the euro zone will also make headlines early in the week.
In terms of monetary policy, the Bank of England (BOE) will release its next interest rate verdict on Thursday. The Bank of England is expected to raise interest rates by 25 basis points to 0.5% in response to soaring inflation.
Image offered by Shutterstock