The S&P 500 index fell 1.6% last week amid mounting tensions between Russia and Ukraine and the potential effects of expected tightening in US monetary policy.
Last week’s decline came as tensions continued to escalate between Russia and Ukraine as well as between Russia and Western allies. Thursday, Russia said it had expelled the No. 2 diplomat at the US Embassy in Moscow.
Meanwhile, investors continue to worry about how the US economy will handle rate increases that are expected soon from the Federal Reserve’s policy-setting committee amid rising inflation.
All but one sector fell last week. The energy sector had the largest percentage drop, down 3.7%, followed by a 2.5% slide in communication services and a 2.3% decline in financials. The lone sector in the black was consumer staples, up 1.1%.
The energy sector’s drop came as crude-oil futures fell on the week amid a report that said Iran, Russia, China, Britain, France, Germany, the EU, and the US are reviewing a draft text of a deal to renew the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that limited Iran nuclear ambitions. This is likely to return Iran supplies to the global market.
On the economic data calendar, all eyes will be on January inflation data due Friday. Other data expected next week include January new home sales, the February consumer confidence index, and February readings from Markit on the manufacturing and services sectors.
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