December 30, 2013 – January 3rd, 2013
Welcome to Financial Buzz Market Weekly, here at the New York Stock Exchange, bringing you a review of this week’s stock market.
Happy New Year to all of you, I hope your portfolio has done at least as well as the market this past year. On Tuesday, the Dow Industrials finished up +26.5% for the year at 16,576, reaching new highs 52 times. The S&P 500 advanced +29.6% for the year, and the Nasdaq rose +38.2%.
Gold finished down -28%, the largest yearly loss since 1981, due to the continued lack of inflationary pressure. However, despite its fantastic finish, the S&P 500 ended the first day of the new year lower , the first time this has happened since 2008.
Pending home sales only gained .2% in November, weaker than expected, however the first positive gain after five straight months of declines. The Case-Shiller home price index came in with a year-over-year increase of 13.6%, prompting the co-founder of the index, Robert Shiller, to warn he sees the beginning of another housing bubble. The Conference Board said its index of consumer confidence rose to 78.1 in December, up from 72 in November. One big component of consumer confidence, the “jobs hard to get” category, strongly improved as the job market continues to improve. The weekly jobless claims report came in at 339,000 down slightly, however, the four-week moving average rose 8,500 to 357,250.
Now let’s take a look at some stocks.
Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX) climbed to a new 52-week high when they announced the company has struck a deal with Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A) to buy a unit of Phillips 66, the Phillips Specialty Products division. Berkshire plans on using Phillips 66 shares that it acquired back in 2008 to complete the purchase. In other words, Berkshire is buying a part of Philips 66 with shares of Phillips 66. The deal is valued at approximately $1.4 billion.
Apple, Inc.(NASDAQ: AAPL) is down nearly 3% over the week as they informed stockholders not to approve a buyback plan from billionaire investor, Carl Ichan.
Hertz Global Holding Inc. (NYSE: HTZ) announced earlier this week that due to unusual and substantial activity in its stock, the board of directors adopted a 1-year shareholder rights plan, otherwise known as a poison pill, to help ensure existing shareholders’ rights.
WPCS International Incorporated (NASDAQ: WPCS) introduced late last week the first Bitcoin trading platform, BTX Trader, LLC. Along with the platform’s beta release, WPCS also made numerous company development announcements regarding increased revenue from subsidiaries, lower overhead costs, and recruiting a president for BTX Trader. WPCS is up over 75% since the platform’s release.
Finally, Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) traded at a new 52-week high and closed 3.4% higher after analysts at Citigroup upgraded Bank of America stock from neutral to buy and raised their price target from $16 to $19.