Week ending Jan. 5: Markets get off to shaky start in 2007.
A surprising increase in new jobs in December, coupled with concerns about slowing economic growth, set markets off to a shaky start in 2007. Furthermore, plunging oil prices--while good news for consumers and most businesses--took a heavy toll on big oil stocks. The Morningstar US Market Index closed down 0.6% for the week ending Jan. 5.
The Morningstar Large Growth Index was the lone standout among the nine Morningstar style indexes with a 0.3% gain last week. As a group, small-cap stocks took the biggest hit, with the Morningstar Small Value Index dropping 1.7%, making it the worst performer.
Technology bellwether Intel INTC sparked a modest rally among large technology stocks following an analyst's upbeat comments about the company's near-term outlook. Morningstar Large Growth Index components Google GOOG, Dell DELL, and Oracle ORCL and added 5.8%, 4.3%, and 2.9%, respectively. However, Cisco Systems CSCO made the overall biggest impact on the index, surging 4.2% after announcing an agreement to acquire privately held e-mail security firm Iron Port Systems for $830 million.
Small caps felt the impact of last week's lower commodity prices. Morningstar Small Value Index holdings Whiting Petroleum WLL and Century Aluminum CENX shed 6.6% and 11.8%, respectively. At the same time, the housing downturn continues to pull down homebuilder stocks. The latest casualty was Standard Pacific SPF, which lost 7.8% last week.
For a more in-depth look into market performance, view the PDF report U.S. Market Overview. Data for all Morningstar Indexes are available here.