Market volatility continued its decline and major headlines remained fairly muted for the week as traders had an extended holiday weekend coming off of President’s Day. The Federal Reserve released the minutes from its January policy meeting this week with less than expected market impact and the semiannual monetary policy report signals the central bank is not concerned with the recent market selloff. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is to testify on the report to Congress next week where market participants will be watching for signs of increased tightening plans. The Florida school shooting last week continues to make headlines on the subject of increased gun control laws.
On the heels of light trading due to the market holiday on Monday, U.S. stocks edged higher at the end of the week capping a two week gain of roughly 4.9% for large cap equities; thanks in part to the strong gain the week prior. Overseas markets mostly rose although the international developed country index did end a hair lower and emerging markets continue their dominance on a weaker dollar and global synchronized growth. Interest rates remain on a broad upward path for the year but hardly budged during the week, keeping publicly traded real estate and utility stocks from falling deeper into the 2018 YTD crater.
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