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Bob Carey
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  US Stocks Week Ended October 14, 2011
Posted Under: Weekly Market Commentary
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The S&P 500 ended the week up 6%, the index's largest weekly percentage gain since 2009, as investors became more sanguine.  Market advances were driven by news that French and German leaders will announce a comprehensive plan to shore up Euro zone banks by the end of this month. Global markets responded favorably to the announced rescue of French-Belgian bank Dexia, a lender heavily exposed to troubled Greek sovereign debt.  In addition, Dexia is a major buyer of US municipal government debt. Also contributing to the week's gains were strong data emanating from retail sales which jumped 1.1% in September, its largest increase in seven months. Internationally, China's trade data showed signs of weakening as exports and the country's trade surplus decreased.  This week marked the start of earnings season with aluminum maker, Alcoa reporting weak earnings.  The company attributed the quarter-over-quarter decline to a slump in aluminum prices and an increase in costs.  Pepsico had a strong quarter reporting EPS of $1.31 compared to a consensus of $1.30.  The company also reported strong revenue gains of 13% while reaffirming management's revenue and earnings outlook. Headaches spread globally for Blackberry users and Research In Motion executives alike, as outages plagued handsets. Throughout the week, the company struggled to fix outages, further damaging the company's reputation for reliability. Research in Motion shares are down 58% year-to-date. Conversely, Blackberry rival, Apple reported record pre-orders exceeding 1M for its new phone, the iPhone 4s. JP Morgan shares fell 4.82% after the company reported a decrease in profit driven by anemic investment banking and trading results while providing a cautious outlook for 2012. Next week, the market will look to several key earnings announcement for direction. IBM, Apple, Johnson & Johnson, Morgan Stanley, Microsoft, and Southwest will all be reporting earnings and hopefully providing greater insight into the health of the global economy.
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2011 @ 8:18 AM • Post Link Share: 
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These posts were prepared by First Trust Advisors L.P., and reflect the current opinion of the authors. They are based upon sources and data believed to be accurate and reliable. Opinions and forward looking statements expressed are subject to change without notice. This information does not constitute a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security.
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