Weekly Economic Update 12-31-18

A crazy week of market swings finally closed with each of the benchmark indexes listed here posting gains for the first time in three weeks. Christmas Eve (Monday) saw stocks drop precipitously heading into the holiday, surely putting a damper on festivities for some investors. The Dow fell over 19% from its peak early Wednesday, only to surge by the end of the day. By week’s end, each of the benchmarks listed here posted gains led by the Nasdaq, which climbed almost 4.0%, followed by the Russell 2000, the S&P 500, the Dow, and the Global Dow. While the bond market was generally quiet, long-term bonds saw yields reach a nine-month low as bond prices soared. Despite last week’s positive returns, it is unlikely that the indexes listed here will gain enough on New Year’s Eve to close the year ahead of last year’s ending values.

Oil prices remained relatively low last week, closing at $45.07 per barrel by late Friday, down slightly from the prior week’s closing price of $45.42 per barrel. The price of gold (COMEX) increased last week, closing at $1,283.10 by last Friday evening, up from the prior week’s price of $1,259.10. The national average retail regular gasoline price was $2.321 per gallon on December 24, 2018, $0.048 lower than the prior week’s price and $0.151 less than a year ago.