Financial News 6/17/12 – 6/23/12

Economy

-Building permits soared in May up 20% from a year earlier and rising 7.9% from April.  It’s their highest level in more than 2 years.  Single family home starts rose 3.2% in May over April. 6/20

-The Fed announced after its most recent policy meeting that it would extend its Operation Twist program through the end of the year due to continued weakness in the economy.  The Fed buys long term bonds through the stimulus measure in an attempt to keep long term rates down and spur lending.  They reaffirmed they will keep short term interest rates low through at least 2014 and said they were prepared to do more if necessary to help the economy.  6/21

-Initial jobless claims are on the rise as the weekly number rose by 3,500 to 386,250, the highest level of the year.  6/22

-Existing home sales rose 9.6% compared to a year ago but were down 1.5% from April.  6/22

-A business activity survey of the euro zone saw increased contraction in June.  6/22

Corporate

-Oracle’s profit rose 7.5% in line with forecasts and saw revenue rise by 1%.  6/19

-Microsoft revealed the first computer it has ever made, the Surface, a tablet computer that is designed to compete against Apple’s iPad.  6/19

-FedEx’s profit dropped 1.4% in its fiscal 4th quarter and stated they expected increased global competition in other forms of delivery.  6/20

-Proctor and Gamble made another announcement that they expected earnings to miss forecasts for the current quarter.  6/21

-Moody’s dropped its credit ratings for 5 of the 6 largest U.S. banks and 12 global banks in total based on increased regulation and weakening economic growth.  6/22

Market

-Fears of Greece leaving the euro zone were quieted as the conservative party that was in favor of keeping the existing bailout deal with Europe won the runoff election.  6/18

-Spain’s borrowing costs remain in the spotlight as they hit a new high of 7.18% for the 10 year government bond; a level that is considered unsustainable. 6/19

-U.S. Stocks rose on expectations the Fed will announce additional economic stimulus measures.  The S&P 500 gained 1.0% and the Dow was up 0.7%. 6/20

-In Europe, investors continue to flock to safe haven debt as Switzerland and Denmark both issued bonds with negative yields.  6/20

-U.S. markets sank with more evidence of weakening global economic growth and had their worst day in three weeks.  The S&P 500 fell 2.2% and the Dow slumped 2.0%.  Oil dropped below $80 a barrel to finish at $78.20, its lowest level since October.  6/22

-U.S markets saw negative performance for the week, but Europe and Japan saw gains.  The Dow fell 1.0% for the week and the S&P 500 dropped 0.6%.  Japan was up 2.7% and Europe rose 1.0%.  The 10 year Treasury yield is up from the previous week to 1.671%.  6/23

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 in this newsletter 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.
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