August 20th, 2010
08:58 PM ET

Dow and S&P post second week of losses

  • A look at highlights from the day's business news:

    Dow, S&P down for second straight week

    Stocks ended mostly lower Friday as investors continued to react to the week's downbeat economic reports that have raised concern about a double-dip recession.

    The Dow Jones industrial average lost 58 points, or 0.6 percent, to close at
    10,213 and the S&P 500 fell 4 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 1,072, according to early tallies. It was the second straight week of losses for the two indexes.

    Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite gained less than a point to 2,180, up slightly overall for the week.

    "When the area of great concern in the marketplace [jobs] gets a dismal
    report and the bright spot in the economy [manufacturing] gets whacked into oblivion, fear came back into the marketplace," Phil Flynn, a senior market analyst with PFG Best, said in a note to investors. "Some call it the risk aversion trade but I say that's a polite way of saying people are scared."

    Treasury yields end rough week higher

    Treasury yields rebounded Friday after hovering near yearly lows in earlier trading, as stocks trimmed losses.

    The yield on the benchmark 10-year note rose to 2.62 percent from 2.57 percent late Thursday. But this was down from 2.68 percent, where the yield closed last Friday.

    The yield on the 30-year bond edged up to 3.66 percent from 3.65 percent, while the
    yield on the 2-year note ticked up to 0.50 percent from 0.49 percent. The 5-year note yielded 1.46 percent, up from 1.40 percent on Thursday.

    Despite Friday's turnaround, which came as stocks ended lower but pared some losses, Treasury yields have been stuck at yearly lows nearly every day this week.

    As worries about an economic slowdown persist and stocks tumble, investors have been shying away from riskier assets and flocking
    to the safety of the bond market.

    'Historically bad week' for oil

    It's been a dismal week for the economy all around, with an abundance of gloomy data pummeling recovery hopes. The oil market felt the brunt of the blows.

    Crude prices struggled to hold above $75 a barrel this week, after
    reports showed jobless claims shot up to 500,000 last week.

    Additionally, a glut of oil supplies topped the highest figures on record.
    "This really is a historically bad week for the oil market," said Phil
    Flynn, a senior market analyst with PFG Best.

    Prices had briefly broken the $80 mark earlier this month, but they began falling last week and fell further this week. Prices settled at $73.46 a barrel Friday.

    Earlier in the week, the Energy Information Administration said supplies rose to 1.13 billion barrels last week.

    "There's no other way to cut it: We have too much oil in this country,"
    Flynn said. "[The oversupply is] a terrible sign for prices, at a time when
    investors are already shaky."
    In fact, the inventory report may have pushed prices even lower, "if the
    market weren't already oversupplied across the globe," Flynn said.

    – reporters Blake Ellis, Julianne Pepitone and Annalyn Censky contributed to this report.

  • Post by:
    Filed under: Economy • Jobs
    soundoff (One Response)

      The stock markets fall is due to the the fact that we continue to move the wrong direction. We are facing hyper inflation and many top traders are calling it quits due to performance such as Stanley Dunkenmiller. Option trading has been quite challenging with the bipolar markets. The US must stop the printing presses and start dealing with the issues or this market will continue to be a problem and the retail investor or trader will no longer take part.

      August 21, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |