Giovanny Moreano is a Quantitative Analyst at CNBC.
For the week ending Friday, September 2, 2008, the major U.S. Indices finished up for a week marked with the demise of more financial stocks, sluggish Retail Sales data, a steeper than expected decline in Pending Home Sales, and a looming hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. Volatility continues to dominate the markets as the Dow posted a 2 day consecutive up/down point move of 569 points on Monday and Tuesday (up 289 and then down 280), its largest 2-day up/down point swing since June 6. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) which measures market uncertainty reached an intraday high of 26.67 on Friday.
For the week ending Friday, September 5, 2008, the U.S. markets ended in negative territory for the week after weak employment data and declines in auto and retail sales pointed to weaker consumer spending and a greater economic slowdown. The unemployment rate jumped to a 5-year high, soaring to 6.1%. On Thursday, the three major Indices fell back into bear market territory by dropping 20% from their market peaks set last fall. Both the Dow & Nasdaq Composite had their worst daily closes since July 26, with drops of more than 340 points for the Dow and 75 points for the Nasdaq.
For the week and month ending Friday, August 29, 2008, the major U.S. Indices ended slightly lower for the week but up for the month. The markets had a volatile week, sinking first on housing price drops and an up-tick in oil prices, then rallying on better-than-expected GDP numbers, and finally falling to end the week on worse-than-expected personal income and spending data. The Dow hit a 200+ point rally on Thursday, its largest one day gain since 8/8. The NASDAQ led the indices to the downside this week, down nearly 2%. For the August close, the Dow, Nasdaq and S&P all finished up 1.5% or more, marking the best monthly gain since April for the Dow & S&P, and best month for the Nasdaq since May.
So far this year, the Russell 2000 index of small-cap companies continues to outperform the Dow, and the S&P 500. While most of these companies average only a $1 billion dollar market capitalization, some of their returns are proving resilient to an economic slowdown.
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.
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.
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.
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.
April is the best month to be in blue chips, if history is a guide.
Investors are celebrating the second strongest bull run since World War II.
Demand for small-cap stocks is increasing relative to established large-cap names.
With stocks up, short interest reached the highest level in 20 months, but some investors see the trend as a bullish sign.