S&P 500 Experiences Worst Week of Year (Bloomberg)
As of early Friday afternoon, stocks are heading lower, extending what was already the S&P 500′s worst week of 2013 so far. “It does feel like the U.S. economy is gaining a bit of momentum,” said William Hobbs, head of equity strategy at Barclays Plc’s wealth-management unit. “Investors have been trying to decide whether good news is bad news. There must be a lot of institutional money sitting on some very fat profits year-to-date, and a lot of them may feel it is prudent to trim. What might freak the markets out now is the pace of tapering.”
Dollar Rallies against Euro, Yen (Reuters)
A report showing lower levels of optimism among U.S. consumers caused investors to take refuge in the dollar, sending the U.S. currency higher against the rival euro and yen and gain ground on losses inflicted earlier in the week. “Without the U.S. consumer behind growth, the U.S. will struggle to have a stronger economy,” said Michael Woolfolk, global market strategist at BNY Mellon in New York. “It’s risk off.”
Recently released data demonstrated that the euro zone’s trade surplus increased in June, compared to both a year ago and to May. Declining imports were a main factor in the rise. In other news, the euro zone’s inflation remained stable in July, staying below the European Central Bank’s target of close to two percent.