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Morningstar Indexes: Weekly Market Report

Week ending Nov. 24: Two high-profile equity deals boost small-, mid-cap indexes.

Morningstar Indexes, 12/11/2006

Fears of inflation eased as crude oil prices dropped and unemployment figures rose modestly last week. With signs of inflation under control and a possible slowdown in the U.S. economy, the Fed is likely to leave interest rate unchanged at this week's meeting of the Open Markets Committee. Markets reacted positively, and the Morningstar US Market Index rose 1% for the week ending Dec. 8.

The Morningstar Market Barometer was all green as the nine style indexes posted gains. The Morningstar Large Value Index posted lackluster gains--up 0.38% for the week--because of a pull back in energy sector stocks and Pfizer's precipitous drop. Small-cap stocks look certain to finish the year ahead of mid- and large-cap stocks; the Morningstar Small Cap Index adding 1.5% last week. The Morningstar Small Growth Index took the top spot with a 2% gain.

Pfizer PFE, which is one of the top holdings in the Morningstar Large Value Index, announced the discontinuation of research on Torcetrapib, a potential blockbuster drug in development that increases so called "good cholesterol." With the patent running out on its cash cow Lipitor, and no other strong prospects in the pipeline, shares of Pfizer plummeted 9.7% for the week.

Medical equipment maker Kyphon KYPH, part of the Morningstar Small Growth Index, announced the acquisition of St. Francis Medical Technologies, another medical device maker. News of the pending deal sent Kyphon's shares soaring to close the week up 32.6%

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