“Of All the Things I’ve Lost I Miss My Mind the Most” -Ozzy Osbourne
Positive Week for Markets
Stocks around the world had a generally solid week especially after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke indicated that the scale and scope of the central bank’s monetary stimulus may remain in place for longer than many in the markets had been predicting. The Toronto stock market closed higher Friday as energy stocks advanced while oil prices hit a 16-month high and traders took in a mixed batch of U.S. earnings. The S&P/TSX composite index gained 17.7 points to 12,646.55 after closing higher for three of the past four sessions. The Canadian dollar was up 0.04 of a cent to 96.42 cents US as new data showed that inflation was well under control in June. Statistics Canada said that inflation came in at an annualized rate of 1.2%, in line with economist expectations and up from a low rate of 0.7% the previous month.
U.S. indexes were lower after Google Inc. and Microsoft both missed forecasts for earnings and revenue while General Electric beat expectations. The Dow Jones industrials lost 25.96 points to 15,522.58, the Nasdaq was down 23.21 points to 3,588.07 and the S&P 500 index slipped 0.45 of a point to 1,688.92.
Bernanke Reassures On Stimulus
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke said in testimony before congress this week that the Fed’s timetable for reducing its bond purchase is not on a “preset course”. He said the Fed could increase or decrease the amount based on how the economy performs. Markets went through weeks of volatility after Bernanke first mentioned in late May that the Fed could start tapering its bond purchases later this year. Stocks plunged at the time. Since then, the Fed has tried to soothe nerves by stressing that the Fed won’t pull back on its stimulus unless the evidence was clear that the economy and the jab market were improving. Bernanke cautioned that the Fed wants to see substantial progress in the job market before scaling back its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases.
Market Update as of July 19 2013
The TSX closed at 12685, up 223 points or 1.79% over the past week. YTD the TSX is up 1.15%.
The DOW closed at 15544, up 80 points or 0.52% over the past week.YTD the DOW is up 18.62%.
The S&P closed at 1692, up 12 points or
0.71% over the past week.YTD the S&P is up 18.65%.
The Nasdaq closed at 3588, down -12 points or -0.33% over the past week.YTD the Nasdaq is up 16.08%.
Gold closed at 1294, up 10.00 points or 0.78% over the past week.YTD gold is down -22.98%.
Oil closed at 108.34, up 2.30 points or 2.17% over the past week.YTD oil is up 17.04%.
The USD/CAD closed at 1.0368, down -0.0029 points or -0.28% over the past week.YTD the USD/CAD is up 4.98%.
Sources: advisor.ca; Bloomberg; globeadvisor; Investment Executive