News / Economy

    US Markets Claw Back Gains, But Expect More Choppy Trade

    Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Feb. 19, 2016.
    Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Feb. 19, 2016.

    Friday closed out the best week for the S&P 500 since November, with the index gaining 2.8 percent as crude oil and banks regained some losses.

    The rise led traders to wonder whether stocks are bouncing back from their dip at the start of the year, or whether low oil prices and weak global demand will continue to drag down the markets.

    “I think there is more volatility in these markets, and what you may see is choppy trade with 200- to 300-point swings in the Dow and 40 in the S&P 500 going forward, for at least the next few months, mostly because of the instability in oil supply and demand fundamentals,” said Peter Costa, governor with the New York Stock Exchange and president of Empire Executions. “Once that stabilizes, the market will follow.”

    WATCH: Related video report of interview with Peter Costa

    US Markets Claw Back Gains, But Continued Volatility Expectedi
    X
    Jill Malandrino
    February 22, 2016 10:19 PM
    Friday closed out the best week for the S&P 500 since November, with the index gaining 2.8%, as crude oil and banks regained some losses. The rise has led traders to wonder whether stocks are bouncing back from their dip at the start of the year, or if low oil prices and weak global demand will continue to drag down the markets. Peter Costa, Governor with the New York Stock Exchange and President of Empire Executions, told VOA the choppy trading is likely to continue.

    So far this year, the S&P 500 is down by more than 6 percent. The energy and financial sectors are down 74.5 percent and 17.6 percent, respectively, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

    “For a confirmation of a rally, we need to see the financial sector participate,” Costa said. “You have to remember that the market rallied for 6.5 years, and from a technical trading perspective, this pullback is what we needed to wash out some of the bad seeds and reinvest in the good ones.”

    Trading week ahead

    Investors are focused on consumer spending next week as heavyweights Home Depot, Macy’s, Lowe’s and Target release financial reports. In addition, the Consumer Confidence report will be released Tuesday, a key piece of data that influences the stock and bond market because spending drives nearly two-thirds of the economy.

    “Consumer discretionary [spending] will be a key sector to watch as the fourth-quarter earnings season winds down, since it is once again among the leaders, currently pegged at 11.0 percent earnings growth and second only to the telecommunications sector that is tracking at 19.9 percent,” Lindsey Bell, senior analyst at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said in a research report.

    American retailing giant Wal-Mart reported earnings below estimates and lowered its full-year sales guidance, reflecting what some see as part of the ongoing shift to online shopping and growing competition from Amazon.com, which keep shoppers at home, away from stores.

     “Amazon is certainly an ongoing pressure. The fact of the matter is e-commerce initiatives are costing money at this point for big-box retailers. Wal-Mart online sales were disappointing,” said Rob Campagnino, consumer sector strategist for SSR.

    Outside the consumer sector, traders have several key pieces of data to contend with in the week ahead. Most important is the gross domestic product report on Friday morning, which is the all-inclusive measure of economic activity. This will also be watched by the Federal Reserve as it uses key data points such as this to help determine monetary policy, the most influential factor in the marketplace.

    You May Like

    Ethiopia's Anti-terrorism Law: Security or Silencing Dissent?

    Yonatan Tesfaye was detained in December 2015 on charges under Ethiopia's Anti-Terrorism Proclamation; eleven statements from his Facebook page were used as evidence

    Egypt Orders Trial for Journalists Charged With Harboring Reporters

    Order targets journalists' union chief Yehia Qalash, Khaled al-Balshy and Gamal Abdel Rahim for allegedly spreading false news, harboring fugitive colleagues

    Nigerian Oil Production Falls as Militant Attacks Take Toll

    Country no longer Africa's petroleum king due to renewed militancy in its oil-producing region

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    New Chapter for Tunisia's Ennahdai
    X
    Lisa Schlein
    May 31, 2016 1:56 PM
    Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party says it is separating its religious and political activities in a broader bid to mark its so-called Muslim Democratic identity. The move appears to open a new chapter for a party that bounced back from the political wilderness of Tunisia’s pre-revolution days to become a key player in the North African country, and a member of the current coalition government. From Tunis, Lisa Bryant takes a look at how Tunisians are viewing its latest step.
    Video

    Video New Chapter for Tunisia's Ennahda

    Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party says it is separating its religious and political activities in a broader bid to mark its so-called Muslim Democratic identity. The move appears to open a new chapter for a party that bounced back from the political wilderness of Tunisia’s pre-revolution days to become a key player in the North African country, and a member of the current coalition government. From Tunis, Lisa Bryant takes a look at how Tunisians are viewing its latest step.
    Video

    Video New Mobile App Allows Dutch Muslims to Rate their Imams

    If a young Dutch-Moroccan app developer has his way, Muslims in the Netherlands will soon be able to rate their imams online. Mohamed Mouman says imams rarely get feedback from their followers. He believes his app can give prayer leaders a better picture of what's happening in their communities — and can also keep young people from being radicalized. Serginho Roosblad reports from Amsterdam.
    Video

    Video Moscow Condemns NATO Plans to Beef Up Defense in Eastern Europe, Baltics

    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday an upcoming "landmark summit" will enhance the alliance's defensive and deterrent presence in eastern Europe and the Baltics. He is visiting Poland ahead of the NATO Summit in Warsaw. Zlatica Hoke reports
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video F-35 Fighter Jet Draws Criticisms as Costs Mount

    America’s latest fighter plane, the F-35, has been mired in controversy. Critics cite cost, faulty design, and the attempt to use it to fill multiple roles. Even the pilot’s helmet is controversial. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Concerns Over Civilian Suffering as Iraqi Forces Surround Fallujah

    Thousands of residents are trapped inside the IS-held city ahead of a full scale Iraqi offensive aimed at retaking it.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.8965
    JPY
    USD
    111.01
    GBP
    USD
    0.6830
    CAD
    USD
    1.3026
    INR
    USD
    67.196

    Rates may not be current.