Dollar Strengthens as Markets Close the Week Up
The Dow finished up this week despite a flat Wednesday and losses on Friday. All told, the market gained 3.84% over 5 days, starting the week at 17,165.26 and ending it at 17,824.29. It was a similar story for the NASDAQ, which rose 2.36% on the week and closed at 4,744.40. The S&P 500 was up 3.03% this week and finished trading at 2,055.47. Overseas markets were essentially flat, although both London's FTSE and Germany's DAX posted gains of over 1.00%. Japan's Nikkei rallied after big losses early in the week to close at 17,648.50 for a loss of just -0.15 over 5 days.
Oil Ends the Week Over $50 After spending the past 5 days dancing around $50, crude oil futures closed the week at 52.34 per barrel.
Retail Sector Posts Solid Gains The retail sector has been, without a doubt, the biggest winner of the week. Some of the biggest successes within the sector have been seasonal, with companies like Boot Barn (BOOT) up 20.61% over 5 days. Burlington Stores Inc (BURL) has also seen a spike in seasonal sales, packing on 4.81% this week as Americans look to warm up in the midst of a colder than average winter. Discount chain Big Lots (BIG) continued a pattern of growth, piling on another 3.64% this week and pushing YTD share prices up 18.89%.
Tech is Mixed, with Big Winners and Losers Tech giant Google (GOOG) finished the week essentially flat, losing -0.66% after missing Q4 earnings targets. Onlines sales site Amazon (AMZN) gained 5.57% over 5 days, thanks to surges on Monday and Thursday. Growth for Apple (AAPL) quieted slightly after a record-breaking earnings report last week, although the device maker still added a respectable 1.51%. One of the week's biggest losers, travel website Expedia (EXPE) plunged -11.51% on Friday after the company made public that it would miss earnings forecasts because of a strengthening dollar which impacts overseas profits.
Health Services and Consumer Durables Both Up Business in the health services and consumer durables sectors had a good week, with both sectors rising as the consumer economy continues to recover. Developer William Lyon Homes (WLH) lead the pack in consumer durables, with share prices up 12.16% over 5 days. In health services, Air Methods Corp. (AIRM) was up 14.78% to close the week at 47.69.
Airlines Having a Rough Year Delta (DAL), American Airlines (AAL), and Virgin America (VA), all continued to struggle despite cheap gas and a recovering consumer economy. The airlines' share prices have all plunged so far this year, with Virgin America losing -20.39% YTD, Delta down -7.48%, and American Airlines falling -10.23%. Over the course of this week, American Airlines (AAL) has dropped -1.91%, Delta (DAL) fell -3.80, and Virgin America (VA) recovered slightly, adding 2.65% over 5 days.
The US Dollar Strengthens, Gold Dips The Dollar continued to pick up steam this week, gaining 1.60% against the Canadian Dollar, 1.08% versus the British Pound, and 0.98% against the Mexican Peso. A rally by Japan's Nikkei and the improving financial outlook for the island drove the Japanese Yen up 1.43% against the US Dollar. Yields on a 10-year treasury note also rose this week, up over 0.20% to finish at 1.94%. The price of gold was down over $50 on the week, dropping to $1233.30 per troy ounce by the end of the day on Friday from midday highs of $1285.03 on Monday.