NEW YORK (
) -- Strong earnings from
didn't do enough to lift the technology and finance sectors.
Energy was last week's leader thanks to a slide in gasoline inventories during an overall bullish week.
The S&P 500 Index
climbed 1.5% for the week.
Bank of America
sank the market Friday and knocked the
below 10,000 for most of the day. The Dow fought back in the last hour of trading and finished less than five points away from the five-digit level.
iPath Crude Oil ETN
PowerShares DB Energy
iShares Dow Jones U.S. Oil Equipment
First Trust ISE-Revere Natural Gas
A large decline in gasoline inventory on Thursday, instead of the increase expected by the analysts, led to a pop in crude oil prices and the stocks of refiners such as
Refinery utilization is down and should lead to a few more weeks of draw-downs.
Natural gas equities rode the equity bull this week, as natural gas prices fell and
United States Natural Gas
earned a spot on my list of the weekly losers.
Market Vectors Steel
was up 10% this week at one point, thanks to a positive earnings outlook. At 6.35% of SLX, the move delivered more than a 0.5% increase in shares of SLX.
increased slightly more than PKX, and its 5.85% allocation meant it delivered a similar boost to returns.
PowerShares DB Agriculture
+5.1% Short covering lifted the grains this week. DBA is down from over $28 a share in June to the $26 and change on Friday, but the gains were tempered on Friday as the rally lost steam.
United States Natural Gas (UNG) -0.2%
A rally on Friday helped recover most of the losses made earlier in the week, but natural gas prices were down for the week and UNG sank with them. Rig counts declined as well, to 721, way off last year's figure of more than 1,500, but up from the numbers seen this summer. A lack of demand meant the extra supply filled storage and that has kept a lid on prices and may keep prices low throughout the winter.
Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej, widely seen as the source of stability in the country even though the monarch's power has been diminished, was rumored to be seriously ill this week. Investors panicked and sold Thai shares.
As the titular head of government in the constitutional monarchy, even military governments have acknowledged the king's role as head of state. The fear is what happens when the king is gone and replaced by his son. Should he fail to impress, the country could suffer from instability much greater than we've seen in recent years.
Attesting to the popularity of the king, hundreds of thousands of Thais have traveled to the hospital to wish him a speedy recovery. According to one report, the transition to a new monarch could shut down the nation for a period of time and last, "ceremonially" for almost three years.
Silver prices rebounded a bit on Friday, but the damage was done on Thursday as SLV sank 2.8%. Silver traded in sympathy with gold, which fell sharply on an otherwise bullish Thursday for equities and commodities, while the U.S. dollar traded sideways.
-- Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.
At the time of publication, Dion did not have any positions in the equities mentioned.
Don Dion is president and founder of
, a fee-based investment advisory firm to affluent individuals, families and nonprofit organizations, where he is responsible for setting investment policy, creating custom portfolios and overseeing the performance of client accounts. Founded in 1996 and based in Williamstown, Mass., Dion Money Management manages assets for clients in 49 states and 11 countries. Dion is a licensed attorney in Massachusetts and Maine and has more than 25 years' experience working in the financial markets, having founded and run two publicly traded companies before establishing Dion Money Management.
Dion also is publisher of the Fidelity Independent Adviser family of newsletters, which provides to a broad range of investors his commentary on the financial markets, with a specific emphasis on mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. With more than 100,000 subscribers in the U.S. and 29 other countries, Fidelity Independent Adviser publishes six monthly newsletters and three weekly newsletters. Its flagship publication, Fidelity Independent Adviser, has been published monthly for 11 years and reaches 40,000 subscribers.