Dow and S&P Continued Higher

Financial News for the Week Ending February 2nd

The Dow and S&P continued to push higher on positive economic news. The Dow rose 1.1% and above the 14,000 mark on Friday closing at 14,010, its highest point since October 2007. The S&P 500 rose 1% on Friday and is just 3.3% from its all time high. For the week, the Dow gained 0.8% and the S&P 500 rose 0.7%. It’s the fifth straight week of gains for the indices. Internationally, Japan has seen 12 straight weeks of gains and the stock market is at its highest level since April of 2010. China’s stock market hit an 8-month high and London’s stock market hit its highest point since May 2008. For January, U.S. stock markets had their best month since October of 2011 with the Dow gaining 5.8% and S&P rising 5%. Europe rose 2.7% for the month and Japan gained 7.2%. As optimism about growth grows, Treasury’s have fallen. The yield on the 10-year Treasury has risen to 2.017%. Article

With improving confidence in the market, $78 billion was added to stock mutual funds and ETFs in January, the most since 2000.

The January unemployment report had 157,000 jobs added and the unemployment rate rising to 7.9%. The readings for November and December were revised up as well. The report shows the economy continues to grow at a steady, but slow pace.

In the first look at 4th quarter GDP, the reading fell well below economists’ estimates indicating a contraction of 0.1%. Economist had expected a gain of 1.1%. It was the first time GDP shrank in over three years. However, the drop was driven by a large cut to defense spending by the government and a decline in business inventories, while consumer spending and business investment showed improvement.

Approximately a third of S&P 500 firms have reported quarterly earnings and of those about two thirds have beaten analyst estimates. Yahoo, Amazon, Chrysler, Facebook, Exxon and Chevron were among the companies posting positive results.

Toyota moved back to being the world’s largest automaker by car sales in 2012.

RIM released new lines of BlackBerry phones, however they won’t be available until March. The firm also is changing its name to BlackBerry.

The Justice Department filed suit to block the $20 billion merger of brewers AB InBev maker of Budweiser and Groupo Modelo maker of Corona saying the combined firm would reduce completion in the industry.

Reposted from the Raffa Wealth Management Blog.

All the news you need to stay informed about what’s currently driving the market – courtesy of Raffa Wealth Management, LLC.

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