Wall Street Closes Higher in July with International Concerns

Wall Street ended July with a positive balance, despite the losses of the session on Friday. Further, all the U.S. indices moved higher in the last week of the month. The Dow closed at 17,689.86, up about 128 points from Monday. The NASDAQ ended at 5,128.28, up about 72 points from its opening price on Monday. The S&P 500 was bullish too, closing at 2103.84, up about 25 points from Monday.  Among the major European markets, Germany’s DAX was down 0.34%, France’s CAC 40 was up 0.48% and the UK’s FTSE 100 ended the week 1.85% higher.

Apart from company´s quarterly results, concerns about the economy after the latest data and conclusions of the last meeting of the Federal Reserve were added.

Interest Rates Still Low. Members of the Fed voted unanimously to keep interest rates unchanged, at a record low of 0 to 0.25% since the last the financial crisis.

Although the Fed does not give any date for increasing interest rates, the U.S. economy is offering a positive economic assessment and some analysts perceive the improvement in the labor market as a signal that in September the hike will take place.

U.S. GDP Rises. The week passed and the GDP report emerged. The data revealed that the U.S. economy was strengthened in the second quarter by 2.3% year on year from April 2014 to June 2015 due to a number of factors such as increased consumer spending on big-ticket items and a stronger housing market.

International Markets. In the rest of the world, it was not a quiet week. It started with the announcement from the National Bureau of Statistics which showed that China’s industrial profits fell 0.3% in June from a year earlier. Further, the manufacturing activity shrank and reached its lowest level in 15 months. The difficulties faced by the second largest economy in the world significantly affected the stock markets.

As if that was not enough in the international sphere, the International Monetary Fund said it cannot participate in the third bailout program in favor of Greece due to high debt levels and the lack of concrete measures by the country.

U.S. Dollar Index.  The uncertainty over the Fed's interest rate hike and negotiations between Greece, its creditors and the IMF, have had a detrimental effect on the dollar, which practically closed the week at the same level from Monday and helping the euro and commodity sector.

The Biggest Loser of the Week.  Shares of Twitter (TWTR) plunged about 13% after the social media company reported second-quarter revenue and earnings that disappointed investors, despite beating estimates.

Published on Jul 31, 2015
By Omar Venerio
Capital Markets, Derivatives and Financial Management Professor, Master in Finance and CFA candidate. I am an independent trader of stocks and options and passionate about the stock market.

Copyrighted 2020. Content published with author's permission.

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