Market Update: Friday, April 21, 2017


  • Markets look to end week on high note. (10:34am ET) Stocks are trading near their flat lines early in Friday’s session, as upbeat earnings have balanced with concerns about France’s election this weekend. Yesterday saw a strong session for the bulls as the S&P 500 closed up 0.8%, led higher by a more than 1.5% gain in the financials sector. Other rate-sensitive sectors such as telecom, real estate, and utilities all closed in the red as interest rates rose. Overnight in Asia, stocks were little changed with the exception of the Nikkei which gained 1.0% after the release of the April Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which came in above expectations. European stocks are similarly unchanged as they head into the weekend; the STOXX Europe 600 is up 0.1%. Meanwhile, the yield on the 10-year Treasury is lower at 2.22%, oil ($50.48/barrel) is down slightly, and COMEX gold is flat at $1282/oz.


  • Eurozone PMIs hit 6-year high. Purchasing Manager Index (PMI) data in the Eurozone came in a 56.7 for March (a headline number above 50.0 indicates expansion), besting analysts’ expectations and reaching levels not seen since 2011. Both manufacturing and services saw improvements, with France and Germany, the group’s two largest components, driving the increases. Employment growth rates also hit levels not seen in almost a decade; a particularly important sign for the European Central Bank (ECB), which referenced job creation as a key measure of the success of its stimulus policies.
  • How does the market react to crises? With heightened geopolitical risk following U.S. military strikes in Syria and increasing tensions with North Korea and Iran, what impact could further escalations have on your clients’ portfolios? What impact, if any, does the business cycle have on investors’ reactions? Today on the LPL Research blog, we look at how the stock market has historically responded to crises for insights as to how future events could impact your investments.


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