A further decline in oil prices along with a number of earnings disappointments sent the averages down once again. The Dow notched its longest losing streak in four years falling for a seventh straight day on Friday and is negative for the year. A relatively strong jobs number sent market watchers leaning to a September rate hike vs. later in the year, and the market swooned. Investors remain preoccupied with the Fed, which still appears undecided on timing at this point as concerns persist. Some worries are rooted globally, where growth is continuing to slow in China (manufacturing is at a two-year low there) and their stock market tumble sent other exchanges lower. The outlook is getting worse in Greece as well, with its innumerable problems likely affecting parts of Europe, and credit problems in Puerto Rico are of no help. Also a concern are tumbling commodity prices, which may be reaching a capitulation point and selective opportunities can provide some support for energy and mining equities as dividends remain strong for the better quality plays. July was the worst month in almost six years for domestic stock indices, and there’s been little sign of recovery since then. For the week, the Dow Industrials gave up 1.8% and the S&P 500 was lower by 1.25% and 2.5% below where it was in May. The S&P has fallen five out of the past seven weeks. The NASDAQ declined over 1.6% this week and smaller cap stocks took it on the chin, with the Russell 2000 surrendering nearly 32 points or 2.6%. Utilities were the only market sector to see green, but only by about one-half of one percent on average. Energy stocks were the worst performer, as oil fell $3.25/bbl. – more than 7% – and the average equity was down over 3% for the week. The price action across the blog’s portfolios and the broader market has been mostly sideways over the past few months, continuing a trend that we’ve seen throughout the year. With multiples high and volatility up, the road to a higher market will not be smooth.
Here is the answer to last week’s trivia question: Financial weekly Barron’s is published by? Hearst; McGraw-Hill; Dow Jones & Co.; or The Washington Post? Answer: The paper has been published by Dow Jones & Co. since 1921. The weekly newspaper is named after Clarence W. Barron, one of the most influential figures in the history of Dow Jones, and considered the founder of modern financial journalism. Dow Jones also publishes The Wall Street Journal and is owned by News Corp.
Today’s Trivia Question: MGM, and its legendary roaring lion logo, was formed in April 1924, by theater magnate Marcus Loew, who orchestrated the merger of Metro Pictures Corp., Goldwyn Pictures and Louis B. Mayer Productions to form Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Privately held MGM owns which other legendary studio brand? Universal Studios; Warner Brothers Pictures; Columbia Pictures; or United Artists?