Market Roundup: Domestic Conflicts Heighten Investors’ Concerns

The U.S. stock indices kicked off the week with gains on Monday as investors took advantage of recent market downswings. The S&P 500 Index posted its biggest one-day gain since April. The following day, the indices closed mixed along the flat line. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended in the green zone while the S&P 500 and NASDAQ closed fractionally in the red. Retail sales increased in July, with sales ticking up 0.6% versus expectations of a 0.4% jump. Stocks climbed Wednesday supported by a bounce-back in shares of retailers. The minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee’s July meeting were released and signaled that the unwinding of the balance sheet could occur in September. Indices closed well into the red zone on Thursday. The S&P slipped with Technology shares leading the decline, while the Dow lagged on a drop in retailers. On another note, the Department of Labor showed new jobless claims fell by 12,000 to 232,000, versus an expected drop to 240,000, from a reading of 244,000 in the previous week. The markets closed in the red zone on Friday as stocks traded lower amid “D.C. drama,” as President Trump dissolved two advisory forums comprised of top U.S. CEOs. Looking elsewhere, consumer confidence is up this month, as the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey’s preliminary reading for August showed confidence jumped 4.2 points to 97.6.