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Markets Celebrate Russia’s Ukraine Exit

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It was only in June that we shared Putin’s dilemma. With all of the Ukrainian chaos, Putin could either help the separatists or adopt a softer tone, as was adopted following Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s election…

Now, fast forward to breaking news: Russia declared that its military exercises near Ukraine’s border are finally over. It’s been a long time coming… And in spite of recent concerns about U.S. air strikes in Iraq, the overall sentiment is still pretty high. Putin’s recent decision pushed U.S. stocks last week, finishing on a high note.

And for market updates: On the S&P 500, utilities were the best performers. They’re especially attractive to investors after the 10-year Treasury note hit a 14-month low. At this point, investors are hungry for high-dividend yields… And not just that, they’re looking for safety, too… as made evident by the dollar’s two-week low, versus the Swiss franc.

More good news, shares of both Nvidia (NVDA) and Gap (GPS) rose after strong earnings on Thursday.

McDonald’s (MCD), on the other hand, is singing to a different tune…

From the Money Market to the Food Market

A food scare forced some of the crowd favorites off of China’s menu (think Big Mac). With that being said, the franchise is warning that its sales are at risk…

“McDonald’s clearly challenged from a number of fronts. Its consumers aren’t spending money, and traffic is down. Competitively, it’s getting its lunch eaten literally and figuratively by competitors,” according to Technomic’s Vice President, David Henkes.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration modified the status of Tekmira’s (TKMR) Ebola treatment, potentially allowing it to be used on infected people.

And bringing things full circle, U.S. productivity rose at a 2.5% pace, rebounding in the second quarter… For now, there’s a lid on wage pressures, and the Federal Reserve has a little more room to keep interest rates low…

In pursuit of the truth,

Politics Research Team