Since the election of President Trump, the markets have mostly been on a straight shot upwards. However, in recent weeks, that trajectory of stocks has been a bit bumpier. This week was another perfect example of that volatile path. The markets spent much of the week whipsawing between gains and losses. And the biggest driver was the Federal Reserve.
With the Fed’s latest missive about interest rates coming out mid-week, traders were uneasy with the direction Janet Yellen and Company would take regarding the number of increases to benchmark rates. It was widely expected that Yellen would raise, and data had been supportive of an increase at this FOMC meeting. Speaking of data, investors received a ton of it this week and, again, much it supported a cautiously bullish tone for the economy.
As for earnings, this week was light. Most of the major large-cap bellwethers had already reported, which gave investors more time to focus on data and the Fed.
In the end, volatility has once again returned to the markets.