This week the market continued to trade in a very narrow range with the SPX opening the week at 2109.83 and closing lower on Friday at 2104.5, down 5.33 or 0.25% for the week. Data released on Friday showed that economic growth had slowed more sharply than originally thought in the fourth quarter of 2014. However, the S&P 500 posted its best monthly performance since October 2011 with the SPX rallying on Wednesday to an all-time intraday high of 2119.59. In addition to the SPX, other major indices, including the $DJI and RUT, rallied into new uncharted territory during the week. Sentiment was boosted Wednesday by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen who made it clear that there will not be any interest rate hikes for a while.
Crude oil ended the week down 2.4% at $49.52 and dipped below $48 earlier in the week. The spread between Brent and WTI has grown to $12, the widest it has been since January 2014. This price differential is, in part, due to the fact that U.S. oil output is continuing to grow despite the weaker prices pushing crude stockpiles to all-time highs.