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With the Democratic National Convention starting yesterday, the conversation over which candidate will be better for the economy will heat up. Here are some stats on the Dow and presidential elections. With the exception of FDR's takeover for Herbert Hoover, it looks like "Change" seems to be less favorable to the markets than continuity when a Republican is in office. The best year for the Dow, on the other hand, occurred under a Democrat's administration.
For the week ending Friday, August 22, 2008, the U.S. major Indices fell for the week on the unknown future of mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, downbeat home construction July data, and soaring producer prices. The NASDAQ Composite performed the worst for the week, declining 1.54%, its steepest decline since Independence Day week. However, Friday was a positive day for the markets helped by a welcome speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and a pull back in the price of crude. The Dow had three days of triple-digit point gains & losses, netting to finish almost flat for the week.
The market rallies on Friday with the Dow, NASDAQ and S&P all up 1% or more, on light volume, but Friday's gains are not enough to boost the market's weekly performance out of negative territory. Energy stocks dominate.
Earlier this week, we wrote about the highest yielding stocks on the Dow. The S&P 500 also has some nice yielding stocks. If you are worried about the financials being able to continue to pay thier big dividends (with Freddie Mac's big slide, its yield is now over 20%!), there are nearly 40 stocks on the S&P that are currently yielding 5% or more. Here's a breakdown.
It's hard to say whether Wall Street's fear of itself or rising oil prices will be more of an impediment for stocks this week. Both of those trends were apparent Tuesday and could continue to hang over the market Wednesday.
Inflation and housing data and retailers' earnings could contribute to Wall Street's early direction Tuesday. But the stock market will continue to fret over the financial sector and worry through every move in the oil markets.
Do you believe that financials, pharma and telecom can maintain through an economic downturn? If so, you might want to take a look at the Dow Industrials where some of the largest companies in the world are currently offering investors notably large dividend yields.
The market ends the week mixed as oil retreats and the dollar continues to strengthen. The NASDAQ and tech lead the way for stocks, up almost 1.6% for the week, followed by the S&P roughly flat, and the Dow lower for the week by almost a percent.
For the week ending Friday, August 15, 2008, U.S. major Indices finished mixed, after the markets digested negative results including a surge in CPI, a decline in retail sales, and continued expansion in unemployment claims. The Nasdaq Composite prevailed amongst the major U.S. indices, as it edged up 1.59% for the week, marking its fifth week of gains. Nasdaq gains were led by bullish comments on Amazon (AMZN) which gained 7.3% for the week. The likelihood of the eurozone moving toward recession allowed for a stronger dollar against the euro, continued pressure on oil, and a positive impact on U.S. stocks as a potential safe haven.
It's hard to see Friday's markets as anything but volatile after this past week's wild swings. But if there are no out of the ordinary events, traders say the stock market just might quiet down late in the session as investors head off for one of the final weekends of the summer.
Stocks will be on inflation watch Thursday. Volatile trading in oil and commodities promises to spill into the stock market again. On Wednesday, energy and other commodities rose, reversing a selling trend and worrying investors, who have been hoping for a reprieve from inflation.
Stocks should continue to take most of their cues from oil and the dollar Wednesday, but July retail sales data could also be key.
Stocks are likely to follow the dollar, commodities trade again Tuesday, with little economic news to drive direction early.
All major U.S. Indices ended the week in positive territory, led by a 4.46% gain in the NASDAQ Composite Index. Commodity prices continued to fall broadly across the board, with oil prices tumbling $9.90 this week.
For the week ending Friday, August 8, 2008, the U.S. markets ended the week on a positive note, cheered by a retreat in commodity prices, a Fed’s decision to keep rates steady at 2%, better-than-expected results in pending home sales, and a stronger dollar.
The markets end the week roughly flat as an increase in oil prices and the highest unemployment rate since March 2004 weighed on stocks, but Financials rallied.
For the week ending Friday, August 1, 2008, the markets finished relatively flat after a turbulent week that saw 4 straight days of triple-digit moves on the Dow. An early rally was dampened by weak economic data including weaker-than-expected GDP numbers and a rise in the unemployment rate.
The jobs data is the make or break number for markets Friday. The monthly data, reported at 8:30 a.m., is expected to show a decline of 75,000 non-farm payrolls and an unemployment rate of 5.5%.
On a down day for the markets and with the exception of the S&P 500, the month of July finished with the major US indices showing modest gains.
Oil inventory data could be as much a factor for stocks as energy markets Wednesday, if the seesaw trade between the two markets continues.