Despite the sharp rise in volatility, major US stock indexes finished basically flat for the week, thanks to Friday’s global rally in response to progress on Greek bailout negotiations and a government-engineered turnaround of China’s stock market meltdown. There appears to be a ray of hope for Greece to remain in the euro zone as the various European Union regulators are working on coming to terms. And China’s market is recovering from sharp sell-offs that sent shock waves around the world markets. A four-hour outage at the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday added to the intrigue. Meanwhile, light sweet crude oil prices for August delivery tumbled more than 7% for the week to below $53/bbl. amid renewed concerns about over-supply. There was almost an even split between market sectors this past week with utilities and consumer services showing green arrows, while basic materials and energy related stocks fell sharply. On Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen gives her semi-annual testimony on monetary policy before the House Financial Services Committee and Thursday before the Senate Banking Committee. Second quarter earnings season will get into full swing and we will hear from JPMorgan Chase on Tuesday, as well as CSX Corp. and Johnson & Johnson. Later in the week earnings will be announced by Intel and oil service provider Schlumberger.
Here is the answer to last week’s trivia question: According to Forbes, the most valuable soccer team in the world is: Manchester United, Reál Madrid, Barcelona, A.C. Milan? Answer: Reál Madrid with a current value of $3.263 billion. The value puts Reál Madrid in the league with the NY Yankees and the Dallas Cowboys, each valued at $3.2 billion.
Today’s Trivia Question: In addition to GEICO, Dairy Queen, Heinz, Fruit of the Loom and about fifty other companies, Berkshire Hathaway owns which American railroad? Genesee & Wyoming, BNSF (Burlington Northern Santa Fe), Kansas City Southern or Southern Pacific?