Markets Drop This Week as Fed Fears Take a Toll

Markets were down slightly in trading this week as concerns over rising interest rates stoked ongoing Fed fears. The Dow dipped -107 points on the week, starting at 17,856 and finishing on Friday at 17,749. The S&P 500 lost -17.86 points over 5 days, and closed the week at 2,053.40. The NASDAQ was also down, dropping -55.06 points to end on Friday at 4,871.76. In overseas trading this week, Hong Kong's Hang Seng lead in losses. The exchange dropped -340 points, mainly on huge losses Tuesday and Wednesday. In contrast, Japan's Nikkei was up 284 points this week, with most of the gains coming on Thursday and Friday.

The Week's 3 Biggest Losers. has taken a look at the charts, and we've found the 3 stocks that fell the most this week. Acelrx Pharmaceuticals (ACRX) was the biggest decliner this week, falling over 50% to $4.05 per share. Postrock (PSTR), a regional energy company, fell 33% this week and closed on Friday at $2.39 per share. Sears Holdings (SHOS), owner of the once-popular store chain, also fell big on the week. Sears lost 27% this week, and saw its share prices fall to $9.12.

A Hard Week For The Energy Sector.  The price of oil had been hovering around $50, but investors were still speculating whether that was a floor or a ceiling. In trading this week oil consistently fell, dropping below $45 per barrel. This is an indication that $50 oil could well be a ceiling, at least until demand picks up again in the summer. Cheap crude will mean a continued fall in the energy sector, especially for domestic drillers, which is going to drag share prices even lower. That's going to be a hard fact to swallow for the sector, which has already seen some companies share prices fall 50% over the past few months.

The 5 Hottest Stocks Of The Week.  We have found the 5 stocks that have gained the most value this week, and you might be surprised at how affordable they can be. Once again, the week's biggest gainers were all in the health services sector. Penny stock investors need to take a close look, because there are some amazing investment opportunities in the sector right now.

Recro Pharma (REPH) lead the market in gains this week, jumping 80% to close at $5.95 per share. The stock is down from record highs of nearly $10 per share, so there is still quite a bit more room for growth. Mela Sciences Inc (MELA) gained 66% this week, and closed at $3.04 per share. Amarin Corp (AMRN) gained 60% and ended trading at $2.90 per share. Lion Biotech (LBIO) was up 45% on the week, closing at $13.12 on Friday. RTI International (RTI), a foundry and metals refiner, gained 38% on the week, and ended trading on Friday at $37.79 per share.

Currency Markets Offer A Look At The Global Recovery.  It could be argued that the fastest way to get a look at the financial health of a country is to compare the relative value of its currency with others around the world. In practice that's not entirely true, but the value of a nation's money does tell us quite a bit. Right now -- with the Euro lower than ever, the British Pound struggling, and Asian money on the rise -- the currency markets are telling us that Europe is lagging while America, Asia, Canada, and Australia are recovering. Anyone interested in the Forex market should be paying attention to these trends, because they offer the clearest look at how global monetary trends are shaped by the economies of their respective countries.

Strengthening Dollar Outstrips Demand In Commodities, Prices Fall.  Prices for pork and beef, as well as domestic staples like corn, are all down this week. The value of the US Dollar, which continues to strengthen, has driven down the price of nearly every export commodity. Prices for meat, which had been on the rise due to heavy demand, have finally started to fall. This trend, which is bad news for exporters, is a good sign for American consumers everywhere who enjoy a good steak.

Published on Mar 13, 2015
By Aaron Phillips
Aaron Phillips is a financial researcher and journalist based out of Michigan. He regularly writes the IG Daily and IG Weekly columns.

Copyrighted 2020. Content published with author's permission.

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