Stocks End Whirlwind Week Positive
August 31, 2015 — After the S&P 500 sank 5.7% the week prior, this past week’s tumultuous trading experience ended favorably higher. Triggered by an 8.5% overnight plunge on China’s Shanghai Composite, U.S. stocks plunged on Monday, with the Dow Industrials initially falling a dizzying 1,089 points, the largest intra-day drop on record, before rebounding to end the week in the positive. In fact, through Monday, the Dow suffered its worst three-day loss on record, plunging 1,477 points. Mostly positive economic data however, helped drive a rebound as Tuesday’s strong new home sales, up 5.4% in July, tempered the selling frenzy. Despite still intense volatility, investor sentiment improved as July durable goods orders rose 2% last month, topping forecasts. Thursday’s impressive upward revision in 2Q GDP growth (3.7% versus 2.3%) also drew Wall Street cheers.
Volatility again surged in the U.S. and abroad. The CBOE VIX volatility index surged 45% on Monday (rising from 28.03 to 40.74), before actually declining two points week-over-week. Benchmark 10-year Treasury note yields had traded to a low of 2% on Monday before rebounding to register an 18 basis point gain on the week, ending Friday at 2.182%. WTI oil prices tumbled as low as $38.24 per barrel before gaining 11.8% for the week.
For the week, the Dow Industrials rose 1.17%; the S&P 500 gained 0.95%; and the NASDAQ Composite rallied 2.62%. Sector performance was mixed with six of the ten S&P 500 sectors posting gains. Energy (+3.66%), Technology (+3.11%) and Consumer Discretionary (+1.72%) gained the most, while Utilities (-4.21%) and Financials (-0.49%) lagged the most.