Weekly Economic Update – Feb. 27, 2012

John J. Barrios, CFP® Presents:
WEEKLY ECONOMIC UPDATE – February 27, 2012
WEEKLY QUOTE“Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness.”

– Oliver Wendell Holmes

 

WEEKLY TIP

If you want to improve your credit score, an inactive credit card will not help (and it may even hurt). The key factors in credit score determination are recent activity and recent payment history.

 

 

WEEKLY RIDDLE

 

Name the three English-language three-letter words that begin and end with the letter E.

 

 

Last week’s riddle:
What item binds two people yet touches only one?

 

 

Last week’s answer:

A wedding ring.

OIL Approaches $110 PER BARRELAs NYMEX crude futures settled at $109.77 Friday, economists wondered how the U.S. consumer might cope if $5 gas became a reality. Spurred by supply concerns and heightened tensions over Iran’s nuclear program, crude had its best week in three months: futures gained $6.17 (5.96%) across five trading days. Retail gas prices finished last week at $3.65 per gallon, a high unseen since last June.1,2

MORE HOMES MOVING ON THE MARKET
Existing home sales were up again in January – the National Association of Realtors reported a 4.3% monthly increase. Seasonally adjusted, sales have risen 8% since August. New home sales (a smaller portion of the residential real estate market) declined 0.9% in January, but largely as an effect of the Commerce Department revising December sales figures upward. Without those revisions, the indicator would have been strongly in the plus column. Last month, the new home inventory decreased to the lowest level since January 2006.3

 

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE UP SLIGHTLY
The final Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey for February came in at 75.3 last week – a 12-month peak, and just a bit north of the 75.0 reading at the end of January. Economists polled by Briefing.com had projected a final February mark of 73.0.3,4

 

STOCKS & GOLD POST FURTHER GAINS

The Dow ended the week at 12,982.95, the NASDAQ at 2,963.78 and the S&P 500 at 1,365.74. That was the S&P’s highest close since June 5, 2008. It also represented a 102% rise from its March 2009 bottom. On the week, the S&P gained 0.33%, the DJIA 0.26% and the NASDAQ 0.41%. Gold wrapped up the week at $1,776.40 on the COMEX after advancing 2.93% in five days.2,5

 

THIS WEEK: A new NAR pending home sales index comes out Monday, along with earnings from Lowe’s, HSBC and Priceline. Tuesday, we have the February Conference Board consumer confidence poll, the December S&P/Case-Shiller home price index and data on January durable goods orders plus earnings reports from Office Depot and DreamWorks. Wednesday offers the second estimate of Q4 GDP, a new Federal Reserve Beige Book and quarterly results from Staples and Costco. Thursday is just as big as Tuesday, with the January consumer spending figures coming out along with ISM’s newest manufacturing index, the latest initial claims report, Commerce Department data on February auto sales and earnings from Wendy’s, Kroger and Big Lots. Friday, nothing major is scheduled.

 

% CHANGE

Y-T-D

1-YR CHG

5-YR AVG

10-YR AVG

DJIA

+6.26

+7.58

+0.53

+2.84

NASDAQ

+13.77

+8.25

+3.58

+6.77

S&P 500

+8.60

+4.57

-1.18

+2.31

REAL YIELD

2/24 RATE

1 YR AGO

5 YRS AGO

10 YRS AGO

10 YR TIPS

-0.29%

1.05%

2.30%

3.48%

 

Sources: money.msn.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov, treasurydirect.gov – 2/24/122,6,7,8

Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly.

These returns do not include dividends.

 

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John Barrios is registered to offer securities through First Heartland Capital, Inc. Member FINRA & SIPC, and offer advisory services through First Heartland Consultants, Inc.   Barrios Financial Services is not affiliated with First Heartland Capital, Inc. 

This material was prepared by MarketingLibrary.Net Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. Marketing Library.Net Inc. is not affiliated with any broker or brokerage firm that may be providing this information to you. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world’s largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. Market indices discussed are unmanaged. Investors cannot invest in unmanaged indices. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional.

 

Citations.

1 – blogs.wsj.com/marketbeat/2012/02/24/data-points-energy-metals-549/ [2/24/12]

2 – money.msn.com/market-news/post.aspx?post=f460d01b-ed4b-4bea-a1f8-e493ba886494 [2/24/12]

3 – www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/89e852da-5eec-11e1-a087-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1nRYUcgZK1 [2/24/12]

4 – briefing.com/Investor/Calendars/Economic/Releases/mich.htm [2/24/12]

5 – montoyaregistry.com/Financial-Market.aspx?financial-market=common-financial-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them&category=29 [2/24/12]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=2%2F24%2F11&x=0&y=0 [2/24/12]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=2%2F24%2F11&x=0&y=0 [2/24/12]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=2%2F24%2F11&x=0&y=0 [2/24/12]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=2%2F23%2F07&x=0&y=0 [2/24/12]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=2%2F23%2F07&x=0&y=0 [2/24/12]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=2%2F23%2F07&x=0&y=0 [2/24/12]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=2%2F26%2F02&x=0&y=0 [2/24/12]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=2%2F26%2F02&x=0&y=0 [2/24/12]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=2%2F26%2F02&x=0&y=0 [2/24/12]

7 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [2/24/12]

7 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [2/24/12]

8 – treasurydirect.gov/instit/annceresult/press/preanre/2002/ofm10902.pdf [1/9/02]

 

 

 

 

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