Weekly Market Update 6-25-2012

Markets had a lackluster week as investors shrugged off two pieces of relatively positive news: that Greeks voted a pro-bailout party into office, and that the Fed took additional action to stimulate the economy. Despite a couple of strong trading sessions, markets lost ground for the week; the S&P closed down 0.58%, while the Dow lost 0.99%, and the Nasdaq gained 0.68%.
On a positive note, a few reports released last week indicate the economy could pick up steam again. April housing starts were revised upwards to 744,000, and building permits climbed from 723,000 in April to 780,000 in May, beating economists’ expectations and hopefully indicating the housing sector is improving.1 Also noteworthy, the Conference Board’s index of leading indicators, a measure of future economic activity, rose to its highest level in four years last month, signaling that the economy should keep growing at a modest pace this year.2

The biggest news last week was that the Federal Reserve will take additional measures to boost the

Weekly Market Update 6-18-2012

Highlighting just how fickle equity markets can be, key indices managed to notch gains last week in spite of precarious conditions in Europe ahead of Greek elections and disappointing economic data. For the week, the S&P advanced 1.3%, the Dow 1.7%, and the Nasdaq 0.5%.

The week started on a sour note as investors faced Spain’s request for $125B to shore up its banks, followed by a raft of mostly disappointing economic data: unemployment claims were up, retail sales were down, and inflation rose in May. Investors shrugged off the lackluster data and markets rose on hopes that the Fed will agree to additional quantitative easing when it meets next week – though this assumption is premature.1 Fed Chairman Bernanke’s comments in a speech last week divided the talking heads right down the middle. While there are some who believe the Fed will take action due to the disappointing economic data we’ve been seeing, there are others who believe the bad data isn’t sufficient to force the Fed’s hand.

Weekly Market Update 6-11-2012

After the sustained selloff in previous trading sessions, the markets rallied Friday to claim a strong gain for the week. The S&P and Dow both booked a 0.8% gain, while the Nasdaq rose 1.0%.1 With the choppy market performance and gloomy economic sentiment we’ve seen in the past weeks, we wanted to spend some time discussing recent trends and what they might mean for the future…

Weekly Market Update 6-4-2012

Gloomy economic data disturbed markets last week and set off alarm bells that the U.S. economy may be following Europe and Asia into a slowdown. Friday’s grim jobs report showed that the economy added just 69,000 new jobs in May, far below consensus estimates, and the unemployment rate rose to 8.2% from April’s 8.1%. Equity markets tumbled on the news, and the Dow showed its worst performance of the year, dropping 2.70%, while the S&P and Nasdaq lost 3.07% and 3.17%, respectively.1 The Dow Jones Industrial Average has now slipped into negative territory for the first time in 2012, exactly one month after closing at a multi-year high.2 Meanwhile, the S&P 500 is still up 1.6% year-to-date, and the Nasdaq Composite is up 5.5%…

Weekly Market Update 6-1-2012

Markets started off last week with a bang and managed to hold their gains long enough to snap a three week losing streak. The S&P gained 1.74%, the Dow rose 0.69%, and the Nasdaq notched up 2.11%. Most of the action was driven by bargain-hunting traders striving to snap up deals in advance of potential rallies. Perhaps most impressive about the week’s performance is that it came in the face of continued gloom from Europe.1 The few economic reports released last week were generally lukewarm, with unemployment flat, and home sales slightly up.2

Weekly Market Update 5-21-2012

Characterized by ongoing fears about Europe and a messy Facebook IPO, last week was another rough one for the markets. The S&P fell 4.3% in five straight trading sessions, its steepest weekly decline this year, and the Dow lost 3.52%, while the Nasdaq closed down a whopping 5.28% for the week.1