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Financial News: Week in Review

03 08 2016

Financial News: Week in Review
Following are markets and economic highlights for the week ended March 4, 2016.

Financial news - Week in Review - US Economy

Markets on the Move

Following a rocky start to 2016, the Dow topped 17,000 for the first time in almost two months and all major market indices ended today's session with their third straight week of stock gains. According to TheStreet.com, the rising market was attributed to strong February payroll numbers, in which the US economy added some 242,000 jobs versus an estimate of 190,000, and a 4.4% uptick in the price of oil.

Bank Stocks Bet on Rate Hike

Stocks of major banks climbed slowly upwards, noted TheStreet.com, optimistic of a near term Fed rate hike. Pundits don't see the Fed hiking the rate at the next meeting, given the volatility of global markets and a slowdown in China. The Fed next meets March 15 and 16.

Russia Facing Downgrade

MarketWatch reports that Moody's Investors Service today placed Russia's rating on review for a possible downgrade. The reason: an extended decline in oil prices. Oil and gas account for nearly 60% of Russia's exports, according to the ratings agency. Along with Russia, Moody's also placed Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and United Arab Emirates on review for downgrade.

Dollar's Dilemma

According to The Wall Street Journal, the Wall Street Journal Dollar Index, which measures the dollar against a 16-currency basket, was recently down 0.4% at 88.86, amid losses against the euro and Australian dollar. The euro was recently up 0.4% at $1.1003, while the Australian dollar rose 1.1% to $0.743 amid a rally in commodities prices. The dollar also weakened against some emerging-market currencies.

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