Six of my nine picks are in the black.
The last (and abbreviated) trading week of 2015 saw all but two of the indices closing lower. A December turnaround in the German market saw that country’s DAX index overtake Japan’s Nikkei 225 to emerge the top performer of 2015 with a strong return of +9.56%.
With the exception of Japan, investors enjoyed a Santa rally this week as six of the seven indices I track posted strong gains comfortably in excess of 1.5%. London’s FTSE 100 was the week’s top performer followed by Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40.
Investors fled stocks last week as each of the indices we track fell sharply. London’s FTSE 100 was last week’s worst performer with a decline of nearly 4.6% followed by the Canadian S&P/TSX composite which plunged nearly 4.3%. Falling crude prices and the increasing likelihood of a Fed rate hike were the likely reason for the market carnage.
Strong U.S. employment numbers coupled with what many considered to be an inadequate course of action by the ECB last week saw most market fall sharply. The markets hardest hit were Germany’s DAX (nearly 5%) and France’s CAC 40 (down more than 430 bps). North American indices closed the week surprisingly flat given news released this past week. Japan’s Nikkei 225 continues to lead on a YTD basis with a gain of 11.77%. With an upcoming FED rate rise later this month all but certain, we can expect some further profit taking in the near term.
The week leading up to American Thanksgiving saw both the DOW and S&P 500 close more or less flat over the previous week, while Canada’s S&P/TSX composite fell a modest 50 bps. The European indexes all closed higher, with Germany’s DAX occupying the week’s overall top spot thanks to a gain of 1.56%. France’s CAC 40 continues to lead the pack on a YTD basis with its return of +15.39%.