What a Week: Late Bloomer
Stocks rose modestly this week, but the gains seemed much more impressive considering the drubbing that opened the holiday-shortened week.
Indeed, the proverbial wheels felt like they were coming off the bus Tuesday after an announcement Monday -- when U.S. markets were closed -- by South Korea's central bank that it would seek to diversify its foreign reserve holdings.
In response, and also in reaction to oil's surge (which a weak dollar exacerbates), the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its worst point loss since May 2003 and the S&P 500 its worst in six months. Meanwhile, the dollar sustained its biggest decline since August and gold futures soared to a 2005 high.
South Korea's announcement seemed to be a fulfillment of the "sum of all fears" scenario whereby foreigners refuse to own or buy more of the dollar and dollar-denominated assets, sparking a self-replicating cycle of dollar selling by foreigners leading to tumbling financial assets, leading to more dollar selling and, ultimately, sharply higher interest rates. That, in turn, would crush the housing market, consumer spending and the economy in general.But as is often the case, the time to buy was when the situation looked worst. Mounting a very successful three-day recovery from Tuesday's widespread losses, blue-chip proxies ended the week at their highest levels of 2005. The Dow ended the week up 0.5% to 10,842.57, the S&P 500 rose 0.8% to 1211.41 and the Nasdaq gained 0.3% to 2065.38. Stocks rose modestly Wednesday after the consumer price index report quelled inflation fears -- for now -- but Thursday afternoon was key to the comeback as stocks rallied solidly after oil had a modest intraday reversal. The pattern repeated Friday as stocks gained momentum in the afternoon following an upward revision to fourth-quarter GDP and further evidence of robust housing activity, despite a slight drop in existing home sales.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV