What happened in the U.S markets in the last week?

On holiday shortened session Friday (November 28, 2014), the U.S stock markets were mixed.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed flat by increasing just 0.49 points to 17,828; the S&P 500 (SPX) decreased by 0.25%, to 2,068; the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) rose by 0.09%, to 4,792.

On weekly basis, DJIA increased by 18.18 points; S&P 500 increased by 4.06 points; Nasdaq Composite rose by 78.66 points.

On the year-to-date basis, DJIA increased by 7.55%S&P 500 rose by 11.86%, and Nasdaq Composite increased by 14.73%.

Last week, U.S. investors focused on the following economic data and developments;

  1. On Thursday, OPEC ministers announced that they were unable to agree on a set of production cuts to curb the decline in oil prices. Thus energy stocks fell sharply on Friday, while consumer companies rose.
  2. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said the European Central Bank may broaden its asset-buying program to include the purchase of government bonds. In addtion, rate cut from China and new stimulus from Japan’s Central Bank supported the markets.
  3. The U.S economy growth rate revised up to 3.9% from the first estimate 3.5% in the third quarter. The expectation was a down to 3.3%. Private inventory investment decreased less than previously estimated, and both personal consumption expenditures and nonresidential fixed investment increased more, increase in exports fell.
  4. U.S new home sales increased to 458.000 in October from previous month’s revised number 455.000. The estimate was 470.000.  In addition, pending home sales index decreased by 1.1%. The expectation was a 0.6% increase.
  5. The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index increased 0.3%  in September, up from 0.1% decrease in August.
  6. US weekly initial jobless claims rose by 21.000 to 313.000, which is higher than the estimate of 286.000. The four-week moving average rose 6.250 to 294.000.
  7. U.S consumer confidence index dropped unexpectedly to 88.7 in November from 94.1 in September
  8. U.S personal income rose by 0.2% in Octoberafter advancing 0.2% in September. The wages & salaries component gained 0.3% after increasing 0.2% the month before. Consumer spending also increased by 0.2% in October. Spending had fell by 0.2% in September.
  9. U.S durable goods orders rose by 0.4% in Ocotober. The estimate was a decrease of 0.5%. Excluding transportation, orders decreased by 0.9%.
  10. The Institute for Supply Management’s Chicago PMI slipped to 60.8 from 66.2 in October.