Welcome to CrushTheStreet.com’s Weekly Market Wrapup!
Let’s begin in the U.S. equities sector, which muddled through a mixed performance ahead of Friday’s jobs report, with both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones off slightly from the prior session, while the NASDAQ managed to climb into positive territory, up three-tenths of a percent.
Despite a relatively strong start to the week, market sentiment gradually declined as tensions continued to escalate in eastern Ukraine, where the interim president a loss of control over the embattled region from pro-Russian separatists. Adding to the volatile cocktail was Vladimir Putin’s remarks that he would make life for Western oil companies conducting operations in Russia “very uncomfortable,” according to a recent report from CNBC.
The uncertainty of this geopolitical cinder box pressured the commodities market, in particular gasoline futures and crude oil. Gold and silver bullion took a moderate hit as well, with both metals down an average of nearly six-tenths of a percent. Palladium managed to buck the bearish trend in the commodities sector, which saw an intra-day high of $821 dollars. On the digital front, bitcoin enjoyed a quiet but bullish performance over the last few days, eventually settling around $450 at last count.
Donald Sterling’s Recordings
Making headlines throughout this week was L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s shocking expose when private recordings of his racially ignorant rants were revealed to the public. In an unprecedented move, newly elected NBA commissioner Adam Silver condemned Sterling for life, banning him from any participation in the league while indicating that efforts will be made to forcibly remove Sterling from ownership of the Clippers.
While the mainstream media has framed this discussion as a social issue, we see this as a subtle attack on free enterprise. Ignorant or hateful speech, no matter how repugnant, is protected under the First Amendment so long as it is not an incitement towards violence or lawlessness. It also cannot be used as grounds for forcible eviction of a property or asset acquired legally and the NBA proceeding in this matter brings up a very slippery slope : what moral grounds should be considered “eviction worthy?”
No rational person will support Donald Sterling’s grossly offensive statements : that’s a given. However, all Americans must support his right to make those statements. Instead of the NBA acting the part of Big Brother in attempting to take away his team, the free market should determine the consequences for Sterling. Sponsorship revenue would decline, as would ticket sales. Most people would deliberately avoid his association, and the combined social and financial pressure would create the desired effect.
Unfortunately, the NBA, like the government, wants to force an issue that is best left for the constituents to solve.
And that will do it for this edition. Thanks for watching, and we’ll see you next week!