Of the major markets, all but the MSCI Emerging Market index continued their trek higher last week. The week opened with modest gains as participants processed the impact of the prior weekend’s US-led missile strike on Syria. Condemnations of the attack came from Russian President Vladimir Putin who has been an ardent supporter of Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad. The Russian military in turn stated that the 30-year old defense system provided to Syria had successfully intercepted 71 of the103 missiles launched.
Putin later used an annual speech to state that the latest Russian missile technology was “invincible”, unable to be stricken down by current US missile defense systems.
Despite the bluster, investors got a sense that the worst of the tensions with Syria and Russia had passed for the time being. The S&P 500 climbed higher going into midweek with the intra-week high on Wednesday. The S&P then pulled back Thursday and Friday to close higher for the week, but with reduced gains.
Meanwhile, crude continued its multiweek gains as Oil reached the highest level seen in three years. In the end, energy was the top-performing group of the seven S&P sectors that finished with weekly gains.