Weekend Market Summary, Will Santa Pay Wall Street A Visit?
Wall Street saw its two week win streak come to a close on Friday, after a mixed finish wasn’t enough to recover the red for the week ending 12/16. Despite positive news on the domestic inflation front, he US took a back seat once again to Europe. Fitch Ratings affirmed France’s top Triple-A credit rating, but warned of a potential down grade for six other euro-using nations, placing Belgium, Spain, Slovenia, Italy, Ireland and Cyprus under review. Again, this shouldn’t be news to anyone. In my book, if you are holding EU sovereign debt, you are speculating. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 2.42 points, or less than 0.1%, to 11,866.39. The S&P 500 rose 3.89 points, or 0.3% to 1,219.65, with energy up the most and utilities hardest hit among its 10 industry groups. The tech heavy Nasdaq Composite added 14.32 points, or 0.6%, to 2,555.33. On the week, the blue chips lost 2.6%, the broader S&P 500 declined 2.8%, while the Nasdaq lost 3.5% from the week-ago close.
It was not a good week in commodities either, following equities lower as the greenback has shown strength. Gold rose $20.70 an ounce, or 1.3%, to $1,597.90, ending a four session losing streak as the precious metal lost 6.9% on the week. Silver climbed 40 cents, or 1.4%, to $29.67 an ounce. It fell 8% from a week ago. Crude for January delivery declined 34 cents, or 0.4%, to $93.53 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. For the week, oil fell 5.9%.
Retail prices came in very mild for the prior month, following a similar reading at the wholesale level a day prior. The consumer price index in November was unchanged after declining 0.1 percent in October. November’s number posted below market expectations for a 0.1 percent rise. Excluding food and energy, the CPI increased 0.2 percent after a 0.1 percent advance in October. Analysts projected a 0.1 percent rise. By major components, energy fell 1.6 percent after declining 2.0 percent in October. Gasoline fell 2.4 percent, following a 3.1 percent drop in October. Food price inflation increased 0.1 percent after rising 0.1 percent the prior month.
Year-on-year, overall CPI inflation decelerated to 3.4 percent in November versus 3.5 percent in October. The core was up 2.2 percent compared to 2.1 percent the prior month.