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Money Watch Weekly Wrap

Stocks were lower on the week on fears of a global slowdown due to rising energy prices. Still, the damage was contained, especially considering the worst earthquake on record in Japan. (For more on the earthquake, see "Japan Earthquake: Economic and Market Impact").

  • DJIA: 12,044, down 1% on week, up 4% YTD
  • S&P 500: 1304, down 1.3% on week, up 3.7% YTD
  • NASDAQ: 2715, down 2.5% on week, up 2.4% YTD (Biggest weekly drop since week ended 8/13/10)
  • April Crude Oil: $101.16, down 3.1% on week
  • April Gold: $1421, down 0.5% (snaps a five week winning streak)
Total bank failures for 2011 = 25 (2 new bank failures over weekend)

FACTOIDS OF THE WEEK:

  • Commodities finally had a down week - in addition to crude oil's 3.1% slide, wheat was down 13%, corn was off 8.8% and oats lost 8%
  • 11.1 million residential properties with a mortgage were in negative equity at the end of Q4 (23.1% of properties with a mortgage)
  • Nonfinancial corporations' cash and other liquid assets = $1.9T at the end of 2010, a whopping 7 percent of all their assets, the highest level since 1963
  • NFIB Small business owner optimism index hit best level since Dec, 2007
IN THE WEEK AHEAD: The Fed convenes a policy meeting, where it is expected that there will be no change to short-term interest rates or it's asset purchase program, known as "Quantitative Easing". However, investors will focus on the language of the FOMC statement regarding the exit strategy from QE2. Reports on inflation are expected to show an uptick, due to rising energy costs.

Mon 3/14:

Tues 3/15:
8:30 Empire State Manufacturing

8:30 Import and Export Prices

10:00 Housing Market Index

2:15 FOMC Meeting Announcement

Weds 3/16:
8:30 Housing Starts

8:30 PPI

The House Financial Services Committee holds a hearing on job creation

Thurs 3/17:
8:30 CPI

8:30 Weekly Claims

9:15 Industrial Production

10:00 Leading Indicators

Philadelphia Fed Survey

Fri 3/18:
Quadruple Witching, when contracts for stock index futures, stock index options, stock options and single stock futures all expire

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