Friday, February 18, 2005

Market Week in Review

S&P 500 1,201.59 -.31%

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Bottom Line: Overall, last week's market performance was mildly negative. However, losses could have easily been worse given the rise in long-term interest rates and energy prices. These concerns, combined with worsening relations with Iran and modestly hawkish comments from Fed Chairman Greenspan, pressured stocks throughout the week on light volume. Small-cap, financial and technology shares bore the brunt of the selling. The advance/decline line was slightly negative on the week and most sectors declined. Strong earnings reports, solid economic reports and optimism over legal reform likely prevented more substantial losses. As well, commodity-related stocks saw substantial buying interest as the CRB approached its highs of early December 2004. Base metal shares were particularly strong as copper reached an all-time high after a report showed US housing starts reached a 21-year high. Measures of investor anxiety were mixed on the week.

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