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Market week: Christmas bears
3/22/2019 1:02:55 AM
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By Fund Library News Wire  | Friday, December 21, 2018


By Mike Keerma

The bears were out in the markets this past week. Unfortunately, they weren’t the cuddly Christmas kind. The major stock market indices posted steep weekly losses, as stocks sold off on heavy volume, exacerbated by the simultaneous expiration of stock futures and options on Friday, referred to as a “quadruple witching hour.” Traders were also beset by fears that the U.S. Senate would not rubber-stamp a funding package approved by Congress, which could set the stage for a partial government shutdown. Rising interest rates (the U.S. Federal Reserve raised its policy rate by 25 basis points last week, to a range between 2.25% and 2.5%) and signs of slowing global growth added to the Scrooge-like sentiment. That drove the Nasdaq Composite Index to an 8.3% loss on the week, and pushed it into bear market territory, down 21.9% from its high on Aug. 31. The S&P 500 Composite fell 7.0% on the week, while Toronto’s S&P/TSX Composite Index retreated 4.5%, cushioned somewhat by a 3.6% gain in the price of crude oil on the week.


Dec. 21, 2018, close



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The foregoing is for general information purposes only and is the opinion of the writer. No guarantee of investment performance is made or implied. It is not intended to provide specific personalized advice including, without limitation, investment, financial, legal, accounting or tax advice.

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