The Week on Wall Street
Overcoming a rocky start, stocks rallied into the close of a holiday-shortened week of trading as technology shares staged a powerful recovery and investors reacted positively to President Biden’s infrastructure spending proposal. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.24%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 picked up 1.14%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index rose 2.60%. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, slipped 0.43%.1,2,3
S&P 500 Hits 4,000
Monday opened with two banks reporting they face losses due to the default of a small U.S. hedge fund. That news, combined with rising yields, higher new cases of COVID-19, and a public warning of new virus variants, started the week off on an unsettled note.4 Despite the shaky start, upbeat economic reports helped spark a rally that was paced by gains in the technology sector. The market also reacted positively on Wednesday to the introduction of a $1.9 trillion infrastructure proposal. Stocks closed out the week with an exclamation mark, with the S&P 500 Index closing above 4,000 for the first time.5
Hedge Fund Woes
Last week’s trading opened on news that a U.S.-based investor was forced to unwind positions in multiple Chinese technology companies and American media holdings. A number of large banks saw their share prices fall early in the week, reflecting concerns about their exposure to the hedge fund losses. Meanwhile, investors grappled with whether this was a one-off event or the opening act for additional hedge fund issues. As the week wore on, it appeared the hedge-fund issues were an isolated event.4
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