Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
The stock market was dominated by concern that the U.S. and its allies will soon begin a military offensive against Syria. Oil jumped to more than $110 per barrel midweek and ended the week at $107.76. A conflict in Syria would have to spill over into surrounding countries to have a big impact on oil supply, but the short-term reaction by traders was to bid up oil and sell stocks. By the end of the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) was down 1.33% and the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) had fallen 1.83%.
Home Depot (NYSE:HD) was one of only two stocks that moved higher this week, gaining 0.8%. The company reported a solid earnings report late last week, and there was leftover momentum in trading early in the week. So far, rising interest rates haven't hurt Home Depot, but we're still early in the adjustment consumers are making to higher mortgage costs. That's the long-term challenge facing the housing market and home-improvement companies, but for this week, Home Depot was the biggest winner on the Dow.
Chevron (NYSE:CVX) was up 0.8% as well, jumping sharply when oil spiked. Higher oil prices seem like a big positive for oil companies, but they can actually raise costs for downstream operations. It's also unlikely that oil will remain high, because Syria isn't a huge global supplier and past conflicts in Iraq and Libya haven't resulted in sustained high prices. I don't think this week was a big reason to change your investment thesis on oil or Chevron.
Fool contributor Travis Hoium has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Chevron and Home Depot. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.