Financial News for the Week Ending January 12th

All the news you need to stay informed about what’s currently driving the market – courtesy of Raffa Wealth Management, LLC.

US stocks continued to rise over the week over optimism about earnings season with the S&P 500 hitting a five year high.  The index as well as the Dow rose 0.4% for the week.  Internationally Japan rose 1.1% on announced stimulus measures rising to its highest level since before the earthquake in February 2011.  Europe was down slightly falling 0.3%.

The Euro zone unemployment rate rose to 11.8% in November.  However, retail sales rose for the first time since the summer and consumer confidence edged up in December.  

Japan approved a $116 billion stimulus package. 

Inflation in China accelerated in December rising to an annual rate of 2.5%.

Bank of America agreed to pay $11.6 billion to settle with Fannie Mae regarding questionable underwriting of mortgages.  Also, Bank of America along with nine other large banks agreed to an $8.5 billion settlement over alleged foreclosure abuses.

The NHL and its players union reached an agreement to end the lockout. The league will attempt to play an approximate 50 game schedule.

Wall Street analysts expect 4th quarter earnings to rise 2.8% over the 4th quarter of 2011. 

Kicking off earnings season Alcoa posted a profit and increased expectations about aluminum demand for the year.

Wells Fargo’s earnings rose by 24% and beat estimates, but signs of slowing lending growth worried investors.





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