Posted by: Catherine | June 27, 2009

Markets Flat To Negative On Week

The markets finished the week down slightly, with the Dow having its second negative week in a row. The Dow opened the week at around 8530 and thanks to a 34.01 point drop on Friday it finished the week at 8438.39. Government data released this week showed personal spending increased 0.3 percent in May along with personal income rising 1.4 percent. However, the additional income was not spent in the marketplace as the savings rate rose to a 15 year high of 6.9 percent.

Oil prices have been moving with stock markets over the last few months and were down 1.07 on Friday, ending the week at 69.16 a barrel. That contributed to losses in energy stocks on Friday with Chevon (CVX.N) down 1.4 percent to 146.74 ending the week down 1.13 points or 1.68 percent and Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) dropping 1.2 percent to 69.05 a share putting the stock in the red for the week by 1.05 points or 1.49 percent. The Dow ended down 1.2 percent on the week after several relatively volatile sessions and is now down 4.1 percent over the past two weeks.

The Standard and Poor’s 500 Index on Friday closed flat losing just 1.36 points or 0.1 percent to finish at 918.90. The S & P was down 0.25 percent on the week. The Standard and Poors Index continued with its sideways trading and is still relatively flat on the year hovering around the 900 level for the past 6 months.

The Nasdaq managed to hang on to slight gains on Friday up 8.68 points or 0.5 percent finishing the week at 1838.22. The Nasdaq while basically flat, did manage to squeak out a 0.59 percent gain for the week overall. The tech heavy index was partially boosted by Palm (PALM) posting a narrower than expected loss and reporting strong demand for its new Palm Pre smartphone and Palm webOS. Palm shares were up 2.2 dollars a share or 15.69 percent with more than five times greater than average volume. The stocks news prompted analysts and traders to move up Palms expected return to profitablity by serveral quarters.

For next week traders will be looking at the monthly unemployment rate which is expected to rise above its May level of 9.4 percent. With the heart of earnings season still a couple weeks away and a shortened week because of the July 4th holiday, stocks should continue a relatively sideways momentum. In addition the volatility index or .VIX has been hitting its lowest levels since last September just before Lehman Brothers announced its bankruptcy, which barring any major surprises should add to the probability of a quiet trading week.

Some of the larger companies reporting earnings next week that could move the market are: H & R Block (HRB), Apollo Group (APOL), Sealy Corp (ZZ), General Mills Inc (GIS) and Constellation Brands (STZ). The economic data releases that market investors will be following next week are: Tuesday – Consumer Confidence, Chicago PMI, Wednesday – Motor Vehicle Sales, ADP Employment Report, ISM Mfg Index, Construction Spending and Pending Home Sales, Thursday – Jobless Claims.

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