Stock Market Report Period November 7-11, 2011
Over the last few weeks the stock market has been having quite a roller coaster ride. Activities have been pinned pretty much on the economic and political uncertainty in Europe. The situation in Greece and Italy has had a major impact on investing habits across the globe. Despite the ups and down during the past week, the stock market ended on a rise on Friday.
US Stock Market Activities for the Period
Friday saw the NY Stock Exchange having some positive gains with a few exceptions. The three main indicators, Dow Jones Industrial Average, Nasdaq and Standard & Poor (S&P) moved up by minute fractions, but any increase is a good sign no matter so small. The gains, according to CNN Money and the New York Times at close of business on Friday, November 11 were as follows:
1. Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed the day at 11,893.86 points moving up by 112 points or a mere one percent.
2. Nasdaq Composite Index didn’t fare much better inching up by .1 percent to close at 2, 625,15.
3. Standard & Poor 500 (S&P 500) ended the day with 1,239.70 points, a 0.9 percent increase.
Only two of the companies that make up the 30 components in the Dow Jones ended the week with a negative movement, namely Bank of America and American Express Company.
Commodities Market and the European Debt Crisis
As can be expected, the debt crisis in Europe is affecting other key areas of economic markers worldwide. As the crisis seems to be on the verge of settling down, crude oil prices have started to inch upwards. The New York Mercantile Exchange shows crude oil prices closing the day (11/11/11) at $98.99 per barrel, an increase of $1.21. This increase may continue if the overall outlook for economic growth begins to improve globally.
On the US front, soybeans prices rose and corn prices fell. The increase in soybeans resulted from lower than expected production resulting from adverse conditions such as drought. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, only 82.9 metric tons of soybeans will be produced; which represents roughly 8.5 percent lower than expected production figures for the period.
Livestock farmers move towards using wheat as feed has negatively impacted the price of corn. Corn prices fell to $6.39 per bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) as corn futures fell 1.1 percent for December delivery according Bloomberg News.
Job Market Report Shows Slight Improvement
Reports reveal that there were fewer requests for unemployment benefits during the week under review. The Labor Department statistics for the week of October 29 showed claims for the period fell from 406,000 the week prior to 397,000 during the first week of November. This small change may be an indication that the job market maybe be improving, albeit slowly. This has been the lowest figures for unemployment claims for over a month.
While not meeting the 95,000 new non-agricultural jobs predicted by economists polled by Reuters, there was an increase of 80,000 jobs during October. Most of the new jobs were in the education, health, leisure and hospitality sectors. This increase has not done much to improve unemployment rates, which have inched down by one percent to close at 9 percent over September. Another factor to keep in mind is that the government sector is cutting jobs while the private sector is making modest employment gains.
All eyes will be on the market when it opens on Monday, November 14, to see whether the yo-yoing status will continue or whether there will be more positive gains. Most players in the market will be keyed into the activities on the Italian front as three billion Euro five-year bonds will be auctioned.
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