Equities Back in Style for 2013! Wall Street Posts Weekly Gain

Market Summary

Wall Street posted its third advance in four weeks following its third consecutive day of gains Friday. Following the worst year of negative net flows dating back to 1992 for equities, the week saw the fourth greatest inflows. At the end of the day, investors chase returns, and equities have made a strong case to rebalance back to the traditional 60-40 portfolio allocation. What a boost for the market if we saw a reversion back to risky assets and the elimination of the loss-aversion that has plagued investor sentiment since 2008. In Friday trading, equities rose into the close following a mild, choppy session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 17.21 points, or 0.1%, to end at 13,488.43, with Wells Fargo Corp. (WFC) quarterly earnings weighing on financials. Earnings for the financial sector will be in focus in the coming week as Bank of America Corp. (BAC), Goldman Sachs Co. (GS), Morgan Stanley (MS) and JP Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) report. The Market benchmark S&P 500 was virtually unchanged, rising 0.07 points to close at 1472.12, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite index rose 3.88 points, or 0.1%, to 3,125.63. On the week, the blue chips gained 0.4%, the S&P matched that number, while technology led the way as the Nasdaq gained 0.8%.

February crude oil fell 26 cents, or 0.3%, to settle at $93.56 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The front month contract gained 91 cents on the week. Gold lost $17.40, or 1%, to settle at $1,660.60 an ounce. Despite the loss, the precious metal gained 0.7% on the week.

Economic Rundown

Not too much was going on the economic front Friday, as the U.S. trade balance in November widened sharply even as exports gained. The trade deficit expanded to $48.7 billion from $42.1 billion in October. The market consensus forecast a trade gap of $41.1 billion. Exports rebounded 1.0 percent, following a 3.5 percent drop in October. Imports rebounded 3.8 percent in November, following a 2.1 percent decline the prior month.

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