After the last few weeks of dour data, dour earning’s guidance and dour Federal Reserve expectations, the markets perked up this week. Even the terrorist attacks in France over the weekend didn’t seem to have an effect and broad market indexes managed to show gains this week.
Driving those gains were bullish unemployment numbers, slight upticks in inflation and Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting minutes that basically gave the green light to a rate lift-off. The Federal Reserve’s continued push-and-pull with regards to raising rates has been a major problem for the markets and has contributed to recent volatility.
As for stocks themselves, this week was all about consumer discretionary and staples earnings—and it seems that the worries about the health of the U.S. consumer may be off. Several bellwethers reported slightly better than expected numbers and gave cautious, but still positive, guidance figures.