Friday, December 28, 2012
Christmas week and the week between Christmas and New Year's is generally positive for markets, but in the U.S. politicians have created their normal environment of pollution and stocks have reacted in kind. U.S. stocks finished off a bad week with more stinging losses; the S&P 500 dropped 1.1% and the NASDAQ 0.8%. Stocks in the U.S. have fallen 5 sessions in a row. Much of Friday's losses came in the final hour of the day as a last minute meeting between President Obama and leaders of Congress created no new offers which disappointed markets expecting some movement. For the week the S&P 500 fell 1.9% and the NASDAQ 2.0%.
- The National Association of Realtors said on Friday its Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed last month, increased 1.7% to 106.4 - the highest level since April 2010 when the home-buyer tax credit expired.
- The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago business barometer rose to 51.6 in December from 50.4 in November. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the regional economy. It was the second straight month of growth and was driven by a rebound in new orders.
Oil fell 0.1% to $90.80 a barrel. Gold fell 0.5% to $1655.90 an ounce while silver dropped 0.9% to $29.98.
British stocks fell 0.5%, German stocks fell 0.6% and French shares dropped 1.5%. German markets will be closed Monday and finished off their best year since 2003.
In Japan, which will be closed on Monday, the Nikkei ended the year up 23%. This was its best performance since 2005. Friday it was up 0.7%, while China's Shanghai index added 1.24%.