Here are the most important things that happened in the week ended June 9:
WHERE STOCKS LANDED
Wall Street gave up the week's gains on Friday, June 9, as a tech rally that has buoyed markets in recent weeks snapped. The Nasdaq dropped 1.8% on Friday, its largest decline since a drop of more than 2% on May 17. Markets broadly sold off on that date as White House controversies came to a head. Apple (AAPL - Get Report) dropped 3.8% to $148.98, Amazon (AMZN - Get Report) fell 3.1% to $978.31 and the red-hot Nvidia (NVDA - Get Report) lost 6.5% to $149.60.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq declined nearly 1.6% over the past five sessions, its worst weekly decline since the week ended Dec. 2.
The S&P 500 ended with weekly losses of 0.30%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose during the week by 0.31%.
Former FBI Director James Comey's gave public testimony to the Senate in a damning retelling of his various discussions with President Donald Trump.
In comments to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, June 8, Comey said, "I take the president at his word I was fired because of the Russia investigation." When asked, Comey said he had "no doubt" that Russian government officials had attempted to interfere in the 2016 election. He also called Trump a liar and said the version of events the White House had pushed in the wake of his surprise firing were an effort to defame him.
"The administration then chose to defame me and more importantly the FBI, by saying the organization was poorly led," Comey said, referring to the White House's story that the FBI had been unhappy with his role as director. "Those were lies, plain and simple."
However, Comey refrained from calling Trump's request to drop the investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn an attempt to obstruct justice. He said it was not "for me to say" what Trump's intent was, though he did find the request "very disturbing."
Comey detailed his numerous meetings with Trump since January in his pre-released opening statement on Wednesday afternoon, June 7, before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Comey said he had not told Trump that he would cease investigations into Flynn despite Trump's request. Comey also said that Trump had said, "I need loyalty. I expect loyalty." Comey based his testimony on his recollections and a series of memos composed after several meetings. Trump fired Comey in May while the FBI was investigating the Trump transition team's ties to Russia.
"The Comey testimony provides ammunition for both parties, but the so-called 'smoking gun' is absent," said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial. "For the next 12-18 months investors will factor in headline leaks from political insiders and try to interpret any signals from the Mueller investigation. However, what investors want above all else, is to have the president's agenda translated into action, viable action."
Trump's outside counsel on Thursday responded to Comey's testimony by criticizing his leak of internal memos. Marc Kasowitz said in a statement that Comey had "admitted" to sharing his memo with a friend who then leaked to the press. Kasowitz also said that Trump did not pressure Comey.
Trump also responded on Twitter:
Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication...and WOW, Comey is a leaker!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2017
Massive news developments in recent days could have led to increased market volatility. However, that did not happen. James "Rev Shark" Deporre breaks down the discrepancy over on our premium site for investors, Real Money. Get his insights with a free trial subscription.
The U.K. had more of an uncertain future after its election on June 8 denied sitting Prime Minister Theresa May a clear victory. The shock general election in the U.K. failed to earn a majority for the ruling Conservative Party, headed by Prime Minister Theresa May. The election delivered no majority for any party, though the Conservatives did remain the largest with the greatest number of seats.
However, in comments following the election, May announced that her Conservative Party will form a government with the Democratic Unionist Party. May said she had the legitimacy to form a government as her party won the most seats, 318, in Thursday's snap election, but failed to reach the 326 seats needed for a majority. Combined with Northern Ireland's DUP 10 seats, it brings the Conservatives over the top to form a government.
"Clearly the political way forward is difficult, but from a market perspective it's an ambiguous result," said Mark Burgess, chief investment officer EMEA and global head of equities at Columbia Threadneedle Investments. "What we do know is that markets hate uncertainty and there will be volatility."
May provided no insight into whether there will be a formal coalition between the Conservatives and the DUP or if they will operate a "confidence and supply arrangement, whereby the DUP would support a minority government on vital matters in return for some of their policies being enacted.
The lack of a decisive victory for the Conservatives also called into question how the U.K. will negotiate its exit from the European Union. May, one of the major forces behind the initial negotiations, had called for the election to shore up the party's position ahead of Brexit negotiations.
"Political uncertainty has increased," Barclays analysts wrote in a note. "The British negotiators will head to Brussels without a clear agenda as consensus within Parliament regarding the type of Brexit remains elusive. In the absence of a clear mandate, Brexit remains as 'hung' as ever."
The European Central Bank opted to leave rates unchanged on Thursday, June 8, as expected. The central bank said that it expects interest rates to "remain at present levels for an extended period of time, and well past the horizon" of its asset purchase program. That language was altered to remove a previous reference to rates remaining at present "or lower levels for an extended period of time."
Eurozone growth projections were also increased. The ECB anticipates GDP growth of 1.9% in 2017, up 10 basis points from forecasts set in March. For 2018 and 2019, eurozone GDP is expected to increase by 1.8% and 1.7%, respectively. In a press conference Thursday, ECB President Mario Draghi said that the central bank had seen an uptick in economic activity since last meeting in April, though monetary accommodation was still required.
"Inflation is persistently low and this will mean that the ECB will only remove accommodation at a glacial pace," Aberdeen Asset Management senior investment manager Patrick O'Donnell. "For the time being, the doves on the governing council are clearly in control. We probably won't see anything significant from the ECB until September, by which time they'll know more about this conundrum of low inflation."
Crude oil prices ended with weekly losses for their third week in a row, falling almost 4%. Commodities have been under pressure this week on domestic and global oversupply worries.
A surprise increase in domestic crude stockpiles hurt prices on Wednesday, June 7. Inventories rose by 3.3 million barrels in the past week, the Energy Information Administration said, surprising analysts looking for a decrease of 3.5 million barrels. Gasoline and distillates stockpiles both increased.
Adding to risks, on Tuesday June 6, the EIA reduced its price forecast for oil next year. The energy watchdog now anticipates West Texas Intermediate to average $53.61 a barrel over 2018, 2.7% than its former target, though 2017 price forecasts were increased by 0.2% to $50.78. The EIA also nudged its 2018 U.S. production targets higher.
Earlier in the week, four countries -- Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt -- cut diplomatic ties with Qatar over its alleged ties to terrorism. The Maldives, one of Libya's three rival governments, and Yemen later joined in on the decision. Kuwait is looking to mediate tensions between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
The effect on a recently extended production cut agreement among Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is not yet known. OPEC recently agreed to extend their output cut agreement by nine months to address a global supply imbalance.
In deal news this week, John Malone's Liberty Media-controlled SiriusXM (SIRI - Get Report) announced that it is making a $480 million investment in Pandora (P) . As part of the agreement a subsidiary of SiriusXM will acquire an aggregate of $480 million in newly issued Series A convertible preferred stock of Pandora. SiriusXM bought $172.5 million of Series A preferred stock after the execution of the deal and has agreed to buy the remaining Series A stock after the deal closes.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) agreed to sell iNova Pharmaceuticals for $930 million in an all-cash deal. iNova will be purchased by a company jointly owned by funds managed by private-equity firms Pacific Equity Partners and the Carlyle Group. The deal is expected to close in the second half of the year.
Nordstrom (JWN - Get Report) announced that the Nordstrom family has formed a group to explore the possibility of a "going private transaction." The company's board of directors has formed a "special committee" comprised of independent directors to act on behalf of the company. The special committee has retained Centerview Partners to serve as its financial adviser and Sidley Austin to serve as its legal counsel.
Eight people died and 50 more were injured in a terrorist attack near the busy London Bridge Station in the center of the British capital late Saturday, Metropolitan Police have confirmed. Police said three men drove a white transit van at high speed toward London Bridge just after 10 p.m. local time, deliberately targeting pedestrians before continuing to the busy restaurant and pub district of Borough Market, which was packed with revelers enjoying the unusually warm summer Saturday evening.
"Enough is enough," U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said in a statement. "There is far too much tolerance of extremism in our country ... we cannot and must not pretend that things can continue as they are." May said the general election would take place as scheduled on June 8, though campaigning was suspended for the day.
President Trump reacted to the terror attack by criticizing London Mayor Sadiq Khan and railing against "political correctness." In a series of tweets, Trump said, "We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!" The White House had previously asked for Trump's twice-blocked travel "ban" to be reviewed by the Supreme Court.
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