Major Markets End the Week Down over 4%
For the week ending Friday, February 08, 2008 all major US Indexes ended down over 4% driven by weak economic data, a contractionary ISM Services number - the worst since 2001, Fed Speak, and the ECB holding rates steady.
-The Senate approved the $168M Stimulus Package to aid the economy.
-Global Insight's February U.S. Executive Summary states that we are now "over the edge" and that the U.S. economy has entered a mild recession for the first half of the year.
**Global Insight forecasts GDP declines of 0.4% in Q1 and a decline of 0.5% in Q2.
**Global Insight forecasts GDP growth of 3.4% in Q3 and growth of 2.7% in Q4 when "monetary and fiscal stimulus kick in."
-Volatility continued as the Dow fell 370.03 points to close at 12265.13 on Tuesday, its biggest point drop since January 17th. The Dow, S&P and NASDAQ all fell close to 3% on the ISM Services data.
-On Wednesday, 2/6/08, the Nasdaq Composite entered bear market territory, off more than 20% from its closing peak of 2859.12 hit on Oct. 31, 2007.
-All S&P Sectors ended the week in negative territory led by Financials with a loss of -8.59%. Consumer Staples brought in the strongest performance with a loss of only -2.14%
-The dollar rallied this week and is on track for its biggest gains since June, 2006 as the U.S. slowdown is expected to drag on other economies.
*The dollar gained 2% against the euro this week after dim comments from President Trichet of the ECB, which voted to keep the ECB rate unchanged at 4.0%, still wary of Eurozone inflation.
**The Bank of England lowered rates by a 1/2 point to 5.25%.
-The US Dollar Index (.DXY) moved off 2-month lows and is up 1.60% on the week
*The Dollar Index measures the performance of the Dollar against a basked of 6 currencies (EUR, JPY, GBP, CAD, CHF, SEK)
-Commodities were on fire: The RJ CRB Index hit a record high and is up almost 24% over the last 12 months (The CRB measures a basket of 19 commodity futures, including crude)
*Oil for March delivery is up 3.16% for the week closing at $91.77 per barrel, off -7.88% from its record close of $99.62 per barrel hit on January 2nd.
*Platinum for April delivery set new record intraday high of $1,892.8 on Friday, and is up 6.37% for the week closing at 1884.0
*Spring Red Wheat used for bread and pasta hit new highs for the third straight day up 10% for the week, and all wheat contracts hit highs
*Rough Rice hit a new record high of $15.775 before closing at $15.65, up 12.87% in 2008
The Dow ended down -561.06 or -4.40% for the week
-Friday, the Dow closed at 12,182.13 down -64.87 or -0.53%
-The Dow is Negative YTD down -8.16%
-The Dow is off by -1,982.40 or -14.00% from the market peak on October 9th of 14,164.53
The NASDAQ ended down -108.51 or -4.50% for the week
-Friday, the NASDAQ Composite closed at 2,304.85 up 11.82 or 0.52%
-The NASDAQ is Negative YTD down -13.10%
-The NASDAQ is off by -554.27 or -19.39% from the market peak on October 31 of 2,859.12
The S&P 500 ended down -64.13 or -4.60% for the week,
-Friday the S&P 500 closed at 1,331.29 down -5.62 or -0.42%
-The S&P is Negative YTD down -9.33%
-The S&P is off by -233.86 or -14.94% from the market peak on October 9th of 1,565.15