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23 Aug 2021
2 min read

US Stocks End the Week in Decline, Futures Modestly Higher

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Key Takeaways

  • Stocks in the US climb on Friday but finish the week mildly lower
  • Futures float in the green, bitcoin eclipses $50,000, hits a three-month high

US Stocks End the Week in Decline

Stocks on Wall Street ended the week mildly lower despite a strong push to the upside on Friday. Investors digested a flurry of economic data and events that weighed on the market sentiment and mostly clouded the economic outlook.

After record highs on Monday for both blue-chip indexes, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P500, stocks tumbled midweek amid renewed uncertainty over a rise in Covid-19 cases and an economic slowdown in China.

Investors’ risk appetite was further decreased when on Wednesday the Federal Reserve said in its meeting minutes it should begin scaling back its ultra-loose policies by the end of the year. The sustained rise in stocks for over a year is largely credited to the consistent monetary support from the US central bank.

Near the end of the week, stocks traded mostly higher but not enough to pare earlier losses. Shares of real-economy companies were among the biggest decliners for the week. Steep losses in banks, energy producers, industrial and material companies, weighed on the Dow Jones, pushing the index lower by 1.1% on the week.

The broader S&P500 declined 0.6% during the week, while the Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.7%.

Bitcoin Climbs on Sunday as Recovery Continues

On Friday, however, all three major benchmarks surged higher, driven by bargain hunting and buy-the-dip mentality. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 225.96 points, or 0.65%, to finish the day at 35,120.08. The S&P500 gained 35.87 points, or 0.81%, to 4,441.67. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite increased by 172.87, or 1.19%, to 14,714.66.

Despite last week’s moderate slump, futures in pre-market activity on Monday point to the upside. Futures contracts tied to the 30-stock Dow Jones were higher by about 140 points. S&P500 futures were up about 14 points. Nasdaq futures rose roughly 50 points ahead of the opening bell today.

In Europe, major stock markets on Friday ended in positive territory but still slipped into the red for the week. The pan-continental Stoxx 600 added 0.3% on Friday but registered its worst weekly decline since February.

European bourses kickstarted the week moderately higher as investors were once again hopeful the economic expansion will continue.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin climbed above $50,000 late on Sunday. After three months of staying pinned below the $50,000 threshold, the original cryptocurrency is now hovering near $50,300, up nearly 5% on the day. The ongoing recovery in the cryptocurrency market has so far erased about 30% of bitcoin’s fall from its all-time high of $64,800 on April 14.

The revival that began about five weeks ago has been sustained by increased certainty that, as with every previous crypto market crash, bitcoin and its peers will regain their upside momentum. Since July 21, bitcoin has appreciated by 70%, or almost $21,000, to boast a current market cap of roughly $950bn.

The sharp rise in the entire crypto market has brought its valuation above the $2tn market capitalization milestone. The surge has also put longer-term bitcoin price predictions of $100,000 or more back in fashion.

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