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For investors, this week was about one thing: the Federal Reserve. The central bank’s decision about interest rates was the driving force behind the week’s returns. Traders ebbed and flowed each day based on the data and their feelings about the Fed’s impending decision. In the end, the Fed finally decided to raise rates as expected. This helped to push equity prices higher by week’s end.
Also adding to the end of week optimism was stronger than expected data. Key measures of industrial and consumer health came in much higher than expected. That helped to underscore that the Fed’s decision was potentially correct in raising rates and that economy was indeed expanding again.
Not helping push things higher was the earnings data. The lull between earnings seasons meant there were virtually no stocks reporting this week. However, higher guidance figures in previous weeks also served to support the rate hike.
In the end, the week proved to be all about the Fed and it did not underdeliver.
Check out last week’s Market Wrap here.