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Weekly Market Wrap: 5/28/10
Friday, May 28, 5:25 PM ET

Spain receives another downgrade. China denies it is reviewing euro-based investments. Gold and oil prices surge higher for the week.

Hi. I’m SAYOKO MURASE. Welcome to the “Weekly Market Wrap” for Friday, May 28, 2010.

Major U.S. markets closed mixed for the week. The S&P 500 closed about even and the Nasdaq Composite Index edged higher for the week. The Dow Industrials were also about even.

Crude oil prices were higher for the week, largely on news the Obama Administration will halt drilling on 33 deep-water projects in the Gulf of Mexico. Oil was trading around $74 a barrel on Friday afternoon.

Gold jumped for the week rising above the key $1,200 an ounce level. The price of gold was trading at $1214 an ounce on Friday afternoon.

U.S. stocks got hit on Friday after Fitch, a bond rating agency, downgraded Spain’s bonds to AA+ from triple A. Standard & Poors ratings service cut Spain’s ratings to AA last month. Fitch said Spain’s government debt is likely to reach 78 percent of national income by 2013, compared with less than 40 percent in 2007.

On Thursday, President Obama said he will stop drilling on 33 deep-water projects currently under way in the Gulf of Mexico. He also canceled lease sales in the Gulf and Virginia and put on hold projects in offshore Alaska.

On the economic front, existing home sales rose from an annualized rate of 5.35 million in March to a 5.77 million rate for April. Economists were expecting an annualized sales rate of 5.6 million home.

The Case-Shiller home price index data for March was released on Tuesday, dropping 0.5 percent month over month. The index was up 0.6 percent in February.

On Wednesday, new home sales data for April came in at an annualized rate of 504,000, beating the consensus estimate. Economists were expecting a 425,000 annual rate for the month.

On Thursday, gross domestic product for the first quarter of 2010 was revised downward by the Department of Commerce from 3.5 percent to 3.0 percent.

On Friday, consumer spending came in flat at a 0 percent gain, much weaker than expected after six straight months of increases.

On the earnings front, Bank of Montreal (NYSE:BMO) posted earnings $1.28 per share. The consensus estimate for the company was $1.16.

Royal Bank of Canada (NYSE:RY) reported earnings per share of 90 cents, missing analyst estimates of $1.05 per share.

Toronto Dominion Bank (NYSE:TD) posted profits of $1.36 with analysts forecasting $1.42 per share.

Also on Thursday, discount retailer Costco (NASDAQ:COST) posted 68 cents per share in profits. Analysts were expecting earnings of 66 cents.

This is the “Weekly Market Wrap” for Friday, May 28. Please join us on Tuesday for the “Week Ahead Market Report.”


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