Sunday, January 22, 2012

World Stock Prices

The award for best-performing stock market last week goes to…Greece! That’s despite all the drama coming out of Athens. The Greek market rose 9.8% last week and is up 4.1% ytd. That’s after coming in dead last during 2011 with a loss of 51.9%. It’s been a come-from-behind year so far for lots of other losers of 2011. Most notably, China is up 6.8% ytd after falling 23.4% last year. Among the major MSCI indexes, Emerging Markets is up 6.0% after falling 16.6%. Europe is up 4.0% ytd following last year’s decline of 12.2%.

The World Stock Price Index (MSCI ACWI) is up 4.4% ytd after declining 7.6% last year. Last week, it rose back above its 200-day moving average. The US accounts for 45.7% of the index. Last year, the US was among the few safe havens for global stock market investors. So far this year it is a laggard behind many of 2011’s underperformers.

Still the S&P 500 is up 4.6% ytd. It’s actually on the verge of a bull market now that it is up 19.7% to 1315.38 from last year’s low of 1099.23 on October 3. Back then, it seemed to be on the verge of a bear market given that it had dropped 19.4% from last year’s peak of 1363.61 on April 29. It’s now only 3.5% below that peak.

Now get this: The S&P 500 Industrials Composite rose to a new high last week for the bull market, which started in early March 2009. This index excludes the following three sectors: Financials, Transportation, and Utilities. The S&P 500 Transportation Index is only 3.8% below its record high hit on July 7, 2011. All 10 of the S&P 500 sectors rose above their 200-day moving averages last week. (More for subscribers.)

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