Value Expectations submits: The Russell 2000 index, the most common benchmark for small-cap stocks, ended a strong week last week gaining 3% and ending at its highest level in 3 ½ years. Year to date, the small cap index has gained over 7%, just above the YTD returns on Dow Jones Industrial Average [(DIA) 6%] and S&P500 [(SPY) 5%].
The Dow Jones industrial average closed 204 points higher Monday, finishing at its highest level in more than a year. The surge came on the news that the G20 nations would continue to stimulate their economies.» E-Mail This » Add to Del.icio.us
Richard Suttmeier submits: US stocks tacked on some decent gains during the four days before Christmas Eve. The Dow Jones Industrial Average tacked on 81 points to 11,573 with the NASDAQ up 23 points to 2666, now down only 6.8% from its October 2007 highs. The US Treasury bond yield rose to 4.47, which is a drag on equity valuations. Comex gold drifted higher to $1380.7, while Nymex crude oil surged to $91.55 giving the gift of $3.00 per gallon regular gasoline.
The Fed reported on Friday that Industrial Production declined by 0.1% in January on a seasonally adjusted basis, after rising in December by 0.4 percent. The consensus estimate was for an increase of 0.2%, so it was a miss. The actual, not seasonally adjusted number rose by 0.6% month to month and was up 2.4% year to year, the same as in December. The growth rate slowed in 2012 versus the first 2 years after the economy bottomed, but it has been stable for the past year.