Investors were cautious for much of the month, likely waiting to see what President Trump would do during his first few weeks in office. After a slow close to December, equities picked up the pace during the early part of January as each of the indexes listed here closed the first full week of the month posting gains of nearly 1.0% or more. The market moved very little for much of the month until January 25, when stocks surged. The Dow reached the magic 20000 for the first time while both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq reached all-time highs. The stock market rally proved to be short-lived, however, as investors pulled back from stocks and moved to gold and long-term bonds. Nevertheless, each of the indexes listed here posted month-over-month gains, led by the Nasdaq, which closed the first month of 2017 over 4.0% ahead of its 2016 year-end value.
Despite OPEC’s agreement to cut production, oil prices have remained in the low $50s per barrel for the month, reaching a high of $54.87 early in January and a low of $51.70 a few days later. But by the close of trading on January 31, the price of crude oil (WTI) was $52.80 per barrel. The national average retail regular gasoline price was $2.296 per gallon on January 30, up from the December 26 selling price of $2.254. The price of gold climbed at the end of January, closing at $1,212.50 on the last day of the month, up from its December 30 price of $1,154.30.
|Market/Index||2016 Close||Prior Month||As of January 31||Month Change||YTD Change|
|Fed. Funds rate target||0.50%-0.75%||0.50%-0.75%||0.50%-0.75%||0 bps||0 bps|
|10-year Treasuries||2.44%||2.44%||2.45%||1 bps||1 bps|
Equities data reflect price changes, not total return.
The stock market climbed following the presidential election. January saw the Dow reach 20000 for the first time in its history. The FOMC meets during the first week of February, and while indications are that interest rates will be increased throughout the year, it is unlikely that the Fed will raise the federal funds rate at this meeting.
Data sources: Economic: Based on data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (unemployment, inflation); U.S. Department of Commerce (GDP, corporate profits, retail sales, housing); S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Index (home prices); Institute for Supply Management (manufacturing/services). Performance: Based on data reported in WSJ Market Data Center (indexes); U.S. Treasury (Treasury yields); U.S. Energy Information Administration/Bloomberg.com Market Data (oil spot price, WTI Cushing, OK); http://www.goldprice.org (spot gold/silver); Oanda/FX Street (currency exchange rates). News items are based on reports from multiple commonly available international news sources (i.e. wire services) and are independently verified when necessary with secondary sources such as government agencies, corporate press releases, or trade organizations. All information is based on sources deemed reliable, but no warranty or guarantee is made as to its accuracy or completeness. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed herein constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities, and should not be relied on as financial advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. All investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal, and there can be no guarantee that any investing strategy will be successful.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is a price-weighted index composed of 30 widely traded blue-chip U.S. common stocks. The S&P 500 is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-value weighted index of all common stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The Russell 2000 is a market-cap weighted index composed of 2,000 U.S. small-cap common stocks. The Global Dow is an equally weighted index of 150 widely traded blue-chip common stocks worldwide. The U.S. Dollar Index is a geometrically weighted index of the value of the U.S. dollar relative to six foreign currencies. Market indices listed are unmanaged and are not available for direct investment
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