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Wall Street Recoups 2009 Losses, Looks to Week Ahead

15 June 2009 - News - Editor

Following a day of ebb and flow on Wall Street, stock closed mixed on Friday with the Dow Jones industrial Average wiping out this year’s losses, ending the week at 8,799.41, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite fell to 1,858.80 and the Standard & Poor’s 500, a broad-market based index, crept up to close at 946.19. Trading volumes were sparse as the week drew to a close, which many view to be typical of summer trading and no cause for concern. Stock market investors appeared to be unaffected by the consumer sentiment index compiled by the University of Michigan, which showed a gain in June to be somewhat below market expectations, indicating that consumer optimism with regard to improved economic data has been dampened by concerns over inflation and the possible impact of higher interest rates.

It is anticipated that the majority of the economic reports expected in the upcoming week will show a slight improvement, but analysts are quick to caution against taking this as a sign that the US economy is firmly on the road to recovery. Coming up on Monday is the measure of manufacturing in the New York area, known as the Empire State index. According to a survey conducted with by Briefing.com, the Empire State index is likely to have worsened from the negative 4.6 reading in May, to a negative 5.1 in June. Also on Monday, President Obama will address the American Medical Association in Chicago, highlighting reform of the US health care system. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) will release its estimates on the controversial health bill proposed by Senator Edward Kennedy.

Indications are that the US housing market is shifting closer to stabilizing, and building permits and housing starts for May, which will be released by the Census Bureau on Tuesday, will confirm whether this trend is continuing. The Producer Price Index (PPI), measuring wholesale inflation, and the reports on industrial production and capacity utilization as compiled by the Federal Reserve, will both be available on Tuesday.

Wednesday will see the release of May’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) which analysts anticipate will have fallen to 0.9 percent, following a decline of 0.7 percent in April. The core CPI index, excluding food and energy prices, is expected to have risen 0.1 percent. The courier company, FedEx will be releasing its quarterly results on Wednesday morning. This well established Fortune 500 company is seen as an informal measure of the health of the economy and it is expected that FedEx shares will have earned 52 cents per share as compared to a year ago when earnings were $1,45 per share.

The Labor Department’s weekly jobless claims report, indicating the number of new claims being filed by unemployed Americans, is expected to be around 610,000 as compared to the previous week’s 601,000. The bankruptcy hearing for General Motors will take place in New York on Thursday. Also on Thursday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will be outlining the Obama Administration’s plans for the restructuring of the US financial regulatory system before the House Financial Services Committee. As the week draws to a close, state-by-state unemployment statistics will be released on Friday morning.

 


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