Market review: week ending Oct. 31
Stocks performed very well for the week. The S&P 500 ended around 2.5 percent higher, the Nasdaq gained over 3 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a gain of nearly 3.5 percent. The gains were led by a jump in technology stocks.
A strengthening U.S. economy contributed to positive investor attitudes going into the week. GDP data showed an increase of 3.5 percent.
This was stronger than expected, a result of increased capital expenditures and consumer spending behavior, an increase in exports, a decrease in imports and an increase in consumer spending. In addition, U.S. jobless claims rose but remain at a 14-year low.
The Federal Reserve announced plans to halt their policy of quantitative easing but do so in a way that maintains a good investment environment.
It is believed that interest rates will be hiked someime in mid-2015, an indication that the economy is improving gradually and is fairly stable. The Fed has further expressed confidence in the U.S. labor market.
The Conference Board, a nonprofit business membership and research group organization, released a report that consumer confidence has risen to its highest level in the last seven years. This is very good news for investors as the holiday season approaches and contributed to market gains.
Fear of deflation or recession in the Eurozone subsided, a result of new economic data from the region was generally positive and demonstrated a reverse of the downward slide that has been characteristic of recent months.