The struggling economy adds to the stress of going on vacation

Posted By on July 11, 2009

Exchanging a few US dollars for Eurodollars this week has me thinking about the struggling economy as I prepare for vacation. I noticed that stocks struggled again on Friday, and crude oil closed below $60 a barrel as everyone continued to worry about the economy.

Reflective of the economy,  the Dow Jones industrials closed down another 37 points to 8,147  while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 4 points to 879.  The only bright spot for the week was the  Nasdaq Composite Index, closing up 3 points to 1,756. Those trading in the summer markets arel likely to see stocks struggle and reports suggest that losses could extend into next week as a host of companies — especially big financial institutions — report second-quarter earnings.

The market has been easing back since June 12, when the Dow Jones industrials finished at 8,799 and ahead on the year for the first time since Jan. 6. The Dow has now fallen back 7.4% since that June 12 finish. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq have fallen back by similar amounts. The Dow finished the week down 1.6%. The S&P 500 dropped 1.9%, with a 2.6% decline for the Nasdaq.

Markets for the week
7/2 close 6/26 close % chg. YTD chg.
Dow industrials 8,146.52 8,280.74 -1.6% -7.2%
S&P 500 879.13 896.42 -1.9% -2.7%
Nasdaq 1,756.03 1,796.52 -2.3% 11.4%
Russell 2000 480.98 497.21 -3.3% -3.7%
Crude oil $59.89 $66.73 -10.3% 34.3%
(per barrel)
10-yr. Treasury 3.29% 3.50% -0.2% 46.6%
Gold $912.50 $931.00 -2.0% 3.2%
(per troy ounce)

Adding to Friday’s gloomy mood was the Reuters/University of Michigan survey that showed consumers’ optimism about the economy waned this month. The survey’s confidence index fell to a reading of 64.6 in July from 70.8 in June, the weakest reading since   March. Economists had expected the confidence index to fall to 70.5.


Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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