Despite the spread of unrest in the Middle East and Libya and the continued after-effects Japan must deal with from the recent natural disasters, stocks posted gains for a third straight day on Friday with the Dow rising more than 3% for the week, the S&P gaining 2.7%, and NASDAQ surging 3.7%. On Thursday it was announced that NATO had reached a “political agreement” to command the no-fly zone over Libya and was considering taking on overall responsibility, although a senior U.S. official confirmed late Thursday that NATO would be taking over all operations.
Although stocks rose for the second day in a row on Friday as news of a cease-fire in Libya eased traders’ concerns about developments in the Middle East, the ongoing turmoil in Japan led to U.S. markets falling for the week.
U.S. markets fell for the week with the Dow and S&P falling more than 1% and the NASDAQ falling almost 2.5%, as investors remained concerned over the impact of the natural disasters that devastated Japan and the ongoing civil war in Libya and planned anti-government protests in Saudi Arabia.
U.S. markets fell sharply Friday as the continued unrest in Libya and news of protests planned in Saudi Arabia pushed gas prices above $104 a barrel, negating much of the rally seen Thursday that was a result of the anticipated jobs report, which stated the economy added 192,000 jobs in February and the unemployment rate fell to 8.9%.
These are tumultuous times for contractors, defined by the necessity for companies to adapt to tightening federal budgets, continued contract and procurement delays, escalating oversight and OCI concerns, and insourcing initiatives – all within a backdrop of clear priority areas for federal funding and M&A transactions (e.g., intelligence, cybersecurity, healthcare, C4ISR, energy).
Stocks experienced their worst week since November as the Dow fell 2.1%, the S&P 500 1.7%, and NASDAQ 1.9. Events in Libya dominated the news as mass protests and demonstrations broke out across the country against Muammar al-Gaddafi’s government, which has been in place for over 40 years, since Gaddafi’s rise to power in 1969 through a military coup.