U.S. Stock Market

Week Ended February 17, 2012

Stocks marked their sixth weekly advance out of seven and ended higher as good news on the U.S. economy offset worries about the European debt crisis and the potential for a Greek default. The Dow reached a four-year high on Thursday, following news that the weekly jobless claims had fallen to a four-year low. In the previous week, 348,000 Americans had applied for jobless benefitsthe fewest since March 2008, when the near-collapse of Bear Stearns signaled the financial crisis that was due to hit with full force the following September. Retail sales data for January were also generally encouraging, and regional manufacturing gauges indicated continuing recoveries in that sector. Congress passed an extension of a payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits during the week, easing fears that fiscal stimulus might be removed in the months ahead. Market gains may have been restrained by continuing tensions in negotiations over the next Greek bailout package, however. Following riots in Athens over the weekend, worries grew that Greek leaders would not follow through on promises to institute further austerity measures. Stocks gave back some of their gains on Wednesday, following rumors that European leaders were considering pushing back a portion of the bailout funds until after Greek elections in April. Trading was light to end the week in anticipation of the long Presidents' Day weekend.

U.S. Stocks1

Index2

Friday's Close

Week's Change

% Change
Year-to-Date

DJIA

12950.10

148.87

6.00%

S&P 500

1361.23

18.59

8.24%

NASDAQ Composite

2951.78

47.90

13.31%

S&P MidCap 400

984.85

20.45

11.98%

Russell 2000

828.46

14.90

11.84%

This chart is for illustrative purposes only and does not represent the performance of any specific security. Past performance cannot guarantee future results.

1Source of data Reuters, obtained through Yahoo! Finance Closing data as of 4 p.m. ET.

2The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Standard & Poor's 500 Stock Index of blue chip stocks, the Standard & Poor's MidCap 400 Index, and the Russell 2000 Index are unmanaged indexes representing various segments by market capitalization of the U.S. equity markets. The Nasdaq Composite is an unmanaged index representing the companies traded on the Nasdaq stock market and the National Market System.

 

 ___________

 


U.S. Bond Market

Print Email Text size Share

Review current performance analyses and weekly statistics for stock and bond markets in the U.S. and abroad, including regional and broad-based international indexes and principal currency exchange rates.

                    


U.S. Stock Market

                    
U.S. Bond Market

                    
International Market

Week Ended February 17, 2012

The U.S. economic news continued to brighten during the week. First, the number of Americans applying for first-time unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level in nearly four years; most analysts had expected the number to rise. Second, housing starts picked up, and buying a home is now the most affordable it has been in 20 years due to falling home prices and rock-bottom mortgage rates. According to a widely watched real estate index, families earning the national median income could have afforded almost 76% of all new and exiting homes on the market in December. Finally, U.S. consumer confidence rose for the fourth straight week and reached the highest level in a year, according to the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index. Unfortunately, the price to be paid for the improving economic environment is higher inflation. Aside from volatile food and energy costs, core producer prices registered their largest increase in six months in January and could trend higher if the labor market continues to gain strength. The overall consumer price index rose 0.2% in Januaryat or slightly below most economists' expectations. U.S. Treasury yields ended the week slightly higher.

U.S. Treasury Yields1

Maturity

February 17, 2012

February 10, 2012

2-Year

0.29%

0.27%

10-Year

2.01%

1.97%

30-Year

3.15%

3.12%

This table is for illustrative purposes only. Past performance cannot guarantee future results.

1Source of data: Bloomberg.com, as of 4 p.m. ET Friday, February 17, 2012.

 

___________


International Market

Week Ended February 10, 2012

International Stocks

Foreign stock markets closed lower for the week ending February 10, 2012 with the broad international measure, the MSCI EAFE Index (Europe, Australasia, and Far East), losing -0.28%.

 

Region/Country

Week's Return

% Change Year-to-Date

EAFE

-0.28%

8.08%

Europe ex-U.K.

-0.50%

9.28%

Denmark

1.84%

13.29%

France

-0.98%

8.78%

Germany

-0.60%

15.50%

Italy

0.23%

10.56%

Netherlands

-2.39%

3.83%

Spain

-0.19%

5.70%

Sweden

-0.61%

11.09%

Switzerland

-0.20%

5.56%

United Kingdom

-1.06%

6.48%

Japan

1.20%

6.08%

AC Far East ex-Japan

0.48%

12.20%

Hong Kong

1.18%

12.05%

Korea

0.46%

12.08%

Malaysia

0.57%

7.30%

Singapore

0.03%

16.25%

Taiwan

1.60%

12.74%

Thailand

2.25%

12.62%

EM Latin America

-1.25%

15.47%

Brazil

-1.79%

17.35%

Mexico

-0.67%

11.45%

Argentina

-2.49%

7.16%

EM (Emerging Markets)

-0.57%

13.88%

Hungary

-3.81%

24.51%

India

-0.29%

25.60%

Israel

-2.01%

9.50%

Russia

-2.27%

16.67%

Turkey

-2.31%

23.12%

 

International Bond Markets

International bond markets in developed countries were lower this week, with the J.P. Morgan Global Government Bond Less U.S. Index losing -0.68%.

 

Region/Country

Week's Return

% Change Year-to-Date

Developed Markets

-0.68%

1.00%

Europe

 

 

Denmark

0.32%

-0.79%

France

0.51%

2.48%

Germany

0.42%

0.98%

Italy

1.10%

10.38%

Spain

-0.97%

2.84%

Sweden

0.85%

1.21%

United Kingdom

-0.65%

-0.69%

Japan

-1.52%

-0.86%

Emerging Markets

-0.06%

2.27%

Argentina

-4.28%

6.63%

Brazil

0.52%

1.23%

Bulgaria

0.14%

2.03%

Russia

0.10%

2.64%

 

International Currency Markets

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar was stronger against the major currencies for the week.

 

Currency

Close
(February 10, 2012)

Week's Return
(U.S. $)

% Change
Year-to-Date (U.S. $)

Japanese yen

77.640

1.36%

0.90%

Euro

1.31891

-0.51%

-1.60%

British pound

1.57521

0.30%

-1.36%

1U.S. dollars per national currency unit.

Sources: Foreign stock markets and currency sections are from Rimes Technologies, using MSCI data. International bond markets are from J.P. Morgan.

Note: All returns are in U.S. dollars. All bond indices are J.P. Morgan. All stock indices are Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI).

Equity Indices

EAFE:

MSCI Europe, Australasia, and Far East Index

Europe Ex-U.K.:

MSCI Europe ex-U.K. Index

Far East Ex-Japan:

MSCI AC Far East ex-Japan Index

Latin America:

MSCI Emerging Markets Latin America Index

Emerging Markets:

MSCI Emerging Markets Index

 

Bond Indices

Developed Markets:

J.P. Morgan Global Government Bond Less U.S. Index

Emerging Markets:

J.P. Morgan Emerging Markets Bond Index Plus


All charts are for illustrative purposes only and do not represent the performance of any specific security. Past performance cannot guarantee future results.