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Morningstar Indexes: Weekly Market Report

Week ending Dec. 15: Investors extend year-end rally.

Morningstar Indexes, 12/18/2006

New economic data released last week lent support to the fact that inflation remains benign and economic growth is slowing to a healthy pace. This scenario emboldened investors to extend last week's rally, despite ongoing concerns about the housing market slump. The Morningstar US Market Index rose 1% for the week ending Dec. 15 and is up 16.4% for the year.

The Morningstar Large Cap Index surged ahead of the Morningstar Small Cap Index last week, bringing all the capitalization indexes roughly in line for the year. With the market's indifference to capitalization, the story shifted to style. The Morningstar US Value Index has gained 25.7% versus a meager 7.3% gain for the Morningstar US Growth Index this year. The Morningstar Market Barometer for last week paints this picture well.

A substantial 2.2% gain for the Morningstar Large Value Index lands it in the top spot for the week. A rise in oil prices after OPEC suggested supply cuts helped push energy sector stocks higher. Major oil companies ExxonMobil XOM and Chevron CVX led the rally with gains of 2.3% and 3.5%, respectively. Money center banks also contributed to the Large Value Index's strong performance. Citigroup C, Bank of America BAC, and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. JPM rose by 3.2% or more for the week.

The Morningstar Small Growth Index, which lost 0.6% last week, was the worst performer among the nine Morningstar style indexes. GPS chipmaker SiRF Technology Holdings SIRF saw its shares plummet by 16.4% after an analyst lowered his 2007 earnings estimate.

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.

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