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Morningstar Indexes: Weekly Market Report

Week ending Oct. 27: Stocks held in check by jump oil prices, weak housing market.

Morningstar Indexes, 10/30/2006

A jump in oil prices and continued weakness in the housing market held stocks in check amid a raft of strong third-quarter earnings reports and another interest rate pause by the Federal Reserve. The Morningstar US Market Index rose 0.7% for the week ending Oct. 27. Morningstar's broad market index, representing 97% of the market capitalization of U.S. firms, is up nearly 12% for the year.

Reflecting the plethora of strong earnings reports, the Morningstar Market Barometer was all green as all nine Morningstar style indexes finished ahead for the week. The Morningstar Mid Growth Index gained 1.3% and was the top performer for the week, while the Morningstar Large Growth Index was the laggard, only managing to tack on 0.3%.

The Morningstar Mid Growth Index got a boost from a number of its components, which reported strong quarterly results and an upbeat outlook for the rest of the year. Biotech drug maker Vertex Pharmaceuticals VRTX took the top spot with a 19% jump, after its positive trial results for a hepatitis C drug treatment.

The theme of earnings reports driving the market also played out in the Morningstar Large Growth Index. Halliburton HAL, Google GOOG, Schlumberger SLB, and Comcast CMCSK all moved higher after releasing their third-quarter results, but security software developer Symantec SYMC saw its stock drop 10.1% after a disappointing earnings report.

For a more in-depth look into market performance, view the PDF report U.S. Market Overview. Daily updates of index returns are available here.

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