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The Weekly Market Snapshot from Frazier Allen for the week of May 27th, 2012

By | May 27, 2012 | Email This Post Print This Post
 

Weekly Market Snapshot

Market Commentary by Scott J. Brown, Ph.D., Chief Economist

Scott J. Brown Ph.D., Chief Economist Raymond James Investment Services

The news out of Europe remained bleak. G-8 leaders committed “to take all necessary steps” to strengthen and reinvigorate their economies, but recognized that “the right measures are not the same for each of us.” A few days later, European Union leaders could not agree on a course of action. Manufacturing sentiment surveys were weak in China and the eurozone (including France and Germany).

How much bad news (about Europe) is factored in? Apparently a lot. The markets reacted only briefly and modestly to Europe’s bad news, although there was plenty of intraday volatility along the way.

The U.S. economic calendar was relatively thin, with improvement in both new and existing home sales, but disappointing figures on durable goods orders. Consumer sentiment improved (for the ninth consecutive month) to its highest level since October 2007, largely due to more favorable job and wage prospects.

Next week, the economic calendar picks up again, with a number of potentially market-moving data releases. The focus is expected to be on Friday’s employment figures. After some weather-related distortions in recent months, nonfarm payrolls are expected to have risen at a moderately strong pace in May (watch for revisions to March and April). Most of the other data reports are likely to be overshadowed by the job market data, but should be consistent with moderate economic growth in the near term. Europe will remain an important issue for U.S. investors, but worries may temporarily take a back seat to the economic data reports.

Indices

Last Last Week YTD return %
DJIA 12529.75 12442.49 2.56%
NASDAQ 2839.38 2813.69 8.99%
S&P 500 1320.68 1304.86 5.02%
MSCI EAFE 1354.40 1378.79 -4.12%
Russell 2000 766.57 754.33 3.46%

Consumer Money Rates

Last 1-year ago
Prime Rate 3.25 3.25
Fed Funds 0.17 0.10
30-year mortgage 3.82 4.59

Currencies

Last 1-year ago
Dollars per British Pound 1.587 1.618
Dollars per Euro 1.255 1.409
Japanese Yen per Dollar 79.490 82.070
Canadian Dollars per Dollar 1.028 0.978
Mexican Peso per Dollar 14.062 11.703

[470center]

Commodities

Last 1-year ago
Crude Oil 90.41 99.09
Gold 1564.28 1521.18

Bond Rates

Last 1-month ago
2-year treasury 0.29 0.33
10-year treasury 1.75 2.15
10-year municipal (TEY) 3.06 3.14

Treasury Yield Curve – 5/25/2012

Treasury Yield Curve – 5/25/2012

S&P Sector Performance (YTD) – 5/25/2012

S&P Sector Performance (YTD) – 5/25/2012

Economic Calendar

May 28th

Memorial Day Holiday (markets closed)
May 29th

S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index (March)
Consumer Confidence (May)
May 30th

ADP Payroll Estimate (May)
Pending Home Sales Index (April)
May 31st

Jobless Claims (week ending May 26th)
Real GDP (1Q12, 2nd estimate)
Chicago PM Index (May)
June 1st

Employment Report (May)
Personal Income and Spending (April)
Markit US PMI (May)
June 20th

FOMC Policy Decision
Bernanke Press Briefing

Important Disclosures

[320left]Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. There are special risks involved with global investing related to market and currency fluctuations, economic and political instability, and different financial accounting standards. The above material has been obtained from sources considered reliable, but we do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. There is no assurance that any trends mentioned will continue in the future. While interest on municipal bonds is generally exempt from federal income tax, it may be subject to the federal alternative minimum tax, state or local taxes. In addition, certain municipal bonds (such as Build America Bonds) are issued without a federal tax exemption, which subjects the related interest income to federal income tax. Investing involves risk and investors may incur a profit or a loss.

US government bonds and treasury bills are guaranteed by the US government and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and guaranteed principal value. US government bonds are issued and guaranteed as to the timely payment of principal and interest by the federal government. Treasury bills are certificates reflecting short-term (less than one year) obligations of the US government.

Commodities trading is generally considered speculative because of the significant potential for investment loss. Markets for commodities are likely to be volatile and there may be sharp price fluctuations even during periods when prices overall are rising. Specific sector investing can be subject to different and greater risks than more diversified investments.

Tax Equiv Muni yields (TEY) assume a 35% tax rate on triple-A rated, tax-exempt insured revenue bonds.

Material prepared by Raymond James for use by its financial advisors.

The information contained herein has been obtained from sources considered reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Data source: Bloomberg, as of close of business May 25th, 2012.

©2012 Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. member FINRA / SIPC.

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