Last week, investors returned from the Fourth of July with a new consensus: we're nervous about a double-dip, but odds are that the economy will slow, not collapse. On the back of that shift, U.S. stocks had their biggest weekly point and percent gain in nearly a year, since week that ended July 17, 2009.
DJIA: 10,198, up 5.3% on week; down 2.2% YTD
S&P 500: 1077, up 5.4% on week; down 3.3% YTD
NASDAQ: 2196, up 5% on week; down 3.2% YTD
August Crude Oil: $76.09, up 5.5% on week (biggest weekly percentage gain since week ending May 28)
Asian and European markets are mixed this morning, while U.S. stock futures are down, indicating that markets could snap a four-day winning streak.
Total bank failures for 2010 rose to 90 after four new failures over the weekend.
Factoids of the week:
- The rich really aren't different. More than one in seven homeowners with loans in excess of $1 million are seriously delinquent, according to The New York Times/CoreLogic
- The NBER finds that working hard can make you unhealthy - DUH!
In the Week ahead:
Q2 earnings season kicks off this week, with profits expected to rise 27 percent from a year ago. Investors will be paying close attention to companies' abilities to generate more growth and comments about projections for the second-half of the year.
On the economic calendar, inflation readings (PPI and CPI) are likely to show that prices remain muted, while overall retail sales are expected to drop slightly from May--without autos, sales should be flat.
The financial reform bill could actually come to the Senate floor as soon as this week, when the Senate returns from a one-week recess. Democrats and White House officials likely need the support of at least two Republicans to secure the 60 votes necessary to block a potential filibuster. The House has passed the bill, and Senate approval is necessary for it to become law.