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Weekend Scan: U.S. stocks post weekly gains; UoM consumer sentiment hits 12-month low

By NexChange
Capital Markets

Happy Saturday everyone. While you were sleeping, U.S. stocks posted their best week in months with the S&P 500 climbing 2.1% for the week, the Dow surging 2% - its best week since March – while the Nasdaq spiked 3% to notch is best showing since July. Oil however continued its downward trend largely thanks to price forecast cuts from Goldman Sachs and the EIA. WTI crude lost 3.1% this week, while Brent slipped 3%. Also ending the week on a bad note was gold, with December gold losing 1.6% for the week. This is the third consecutive weekly decline for the yellow metal, which lost 1.1% and 2.2% in the preceding two weeks respectively. Here’s what else you need to know:

America remembers 9/11. Friday marks the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the U.S., in which more than 3,000 people were killed when terrorists commandeered three commercial airliners and crashed them. President Obama marked the tragedy with a town hall meeting in Fort Mead, Md. Other ceremonies took place in Washington, D.C., New York, and Pennsylvania.

U.S. consumer sentiment falls to new low. The University of Michigan’s preliminary consumer sentiment index came in at 85.7 early this month – its lowest level in a year – and down from a 91.9 showing from the month before. Market volatility seems to be the one to blame here, as sentiment towards home and vehicle purchases only suffered mild declines. Reuters

Jack Lew wants Beijing to quit fiddling with the yuan. U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew recently had a quick chat with China’s Vice Premier Wang Yang over the phone and after the usual pleasantries, Jack kindly asked China to “refrain from competitive devaluation and to move in an orderly way towards a more market determined exchange rate system, specifically signaling an intent to allow market pressures to drive the RMB up as well as down, and to increase the transparency of its exchange rate policies.” U.S. Treasury Department

Greece snap elections may delay aid. After handing the stage to China the past few months, Greece is back the headlines once again as Standard & Poor’s warns that the nation’s snap elections could delay the next tranche of ESM funds. They did however, reaffirm their CCC+ rating and stable outlook for the region, so it wasn’t all bad. Financial Times (paywall)

18 fintech companies raised $210 million this past week. FundBox, CommonBond, Orchard Platform, and Chain all raised more than $30 million. Year to date fintech companies have raised $12.4 billion. Finovate

Rick Perry drops out of presidential race. Former Texas governor Perry is the first of the Republicans to drop out of their party’s very crowded presidential race. Perry, who also ran in 2012, has struggled all summer against more dominant candidates.Politico 

Crane kills 65 people at Mecca. A crane collapsed on the Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, killing at least 65 people and injuring more than 150 more. Mecca is preparing for the annual Hajj pilgrimage when hundreds of thousands visit the Saudi city. The site has been undergoing construction to accommodate more worshipers.

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