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Money Watch: Weekly Wrap

It was another losing week for stocks, as events in Japan dominated financial markets. The first part of the week saw the S&P 500 go negative on the year, off 6.4 percent from its Feb. 18 peak. Upside action on Thursday and Friday brought the index back into the black. (For more on what the week meant for investors, see "Stocks Slide: Good News For Your 401(k)" and "Japan Earthquake: 5 Investor Lessons").

  • DJIA: 11,858, down 1.5% on week, up 2.4% YTD (Worst two-weeks since August)
  • S&P 500: 1279, down 1.9% on week, up 1.7% YTD (Down 3.1% in two weeks)
  • NASDAQ: 2643, down 2.65% on week, down 0.35% YTD (Biggest weekly drop since week ended 8/13/10)
  • April Crude Oil: $101.07, down .09% on week
  • April Gold: $1416.10, down 0.4% on week
Total bank failures for 2011 = 25 (0 new bank failures over weekend)

FACTOIDS OF THE WEEK: Japan edition

  • Japan is the 3rd largest economy in the world, accounting for 9 percent of global GDP
  • Japanese stocks are down 12 percent since the earthquake
  • In the weeks following the 1995 Kobe earthquake of 1995, Japanese stocks fell by 25 percent. By year-end stocks had recouped all of the losses.
  • The region affected accounts for only 4 percent of the country's gross domestic product
  • Japan supplies 30 percent of global semiconductor production and 15 percent of its computers and LCD TVs
IN THE WEEK AHEAD: Reports on existing and new home sales are not expected to show much progress, despite the fact that house prices are at new post-bubble lows and still falling. Additional pressure could come from a likely increase in foreclosure activity-currently, there are 11.1 million residential properties with negative equity and about 4.3 million mortgage loans are delinquent or in the foreclosure process. Final GDP for the fourth quarter is expected to rise to 3.1 percent from the previously-reported 2.8 percent.

Mon 3/21: Markets closed in Japan for holiday
10:00 Existing Home Sales

Tues 3/22:
10:00 FHFA House Price Index

Weds 3/23:
10:00 New Home Sales

Thurs 3/24:
8:30 Weekly Claims

8:30 Durable Goods

Fri 3/25:
8:30 Q4 Final GDP (previously reported as 2.8 percent, expected to increase to 3.1 percent)

9:55 Consumer Sentiment

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