Financial News 12/25/11 – 12/31/11


-Some economist project inflation will rise only 1.2% in 2012. The Fed projects a rate below 2%. 12/27

-Home prices in 20 of the largest metro areas fell 3.4% in October compared to the previous year. 12/28

-U.S retail sales are expected to rise 3.8% over November and December over the same time period a year ago outperforming expectations. 12/29

-Pending home sales rose for the second month in a row in November and are at their highest level since April 2010, positive news that the housing sector might be turning a corner. 12/30 -Online sales had a terrific holiday season, up 15% from last year. 12/30

-Jobless claims filed rose slightly in the past week, but the 4 week average reached the lowest point since June 2008, a positive sign that the job market is steadily improving. 12/30


-Sears announced it will close 120 stores and record up to $2.4 billion in charges after a 5.2% fall in holiday sales. 12/28

-GE Capital has agreed to acquire Metlife’s U.S. retail deposit business. GE will receive $7.5 billion in deposits and Metlife’s online banking. 12/28


-Precious metal prices dropped precipitously falling with the Euro as the currency reached a 14 month low. Silver fell to its lowest level since January and gold is down to levels seen in July. Oil fell by 2% as well. 12/29

-World equity markets fell after fresh concerns over the strength of the euro zone appeared. The Dow fell 1.1%, the S&P fell 1.3% and Europe was down 0.7%. Investors piled into bonds as the 10 year treasury yield dropped below 2% again to 1.91%. 12/29

-The euro continues to fall against the dollar hitting a 15 month low. 12/30

-US equity markets gained back much of the previous day’s losses with positive news on unemployment and housing. The Dow rose 1.1%, the S&P gained 1.1% and moved back into positive territory for the year, Europe was up 0.9% and Asia was up in morning trading. Meanwhile, gold fell for the 6th straight day falling 1.5% to $1,539.90 a troy ounce. However, it is still up 8.4% for the year. 12/30

-Spain announced it will fall short of its deficit reduction target and said it will add spending cuts and add tax increases. 12/31

-Natural gas prices in the U.S. have fallen to their lowest level in over 2 years. 12/31

-A volatile year came to a close on a down note with markets mostly down on the last trading day of the year. While the U.S. finished up for the year European and Asian markets were down. The Dow rose 5.5% for the year, the S&P 500 ended flat for the year, and Europe was down 11.34%. With the large amount of volatility seen over the year, U.S Treasurys benefited. The yield on the 10 year Treasury finished down 1.421 percentage points at 1.878%. Gold finished the year up 10.18%. After rising over much of the first 2/3s of the year the Euro finished down 3.22% compared to the dollar. 12/31

There is no guarantee that any investment strategy, including those described here, will be successful. Any investment or investment strategy can lose money. Past performance does not guarantee or predict future results. You should not assume that any discussion or information contained herein serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Raffa Wealth Management, LLC. This information was gathered from reliable sources, but we cannot guarantee accuracy. Indexes do not reflect the fees associated with actual investments and such fees would reduce the performance illustrated. Source: FMG Suite, LLC.
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