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Morningstar Indexes: Weekly Market Report

Week ending May 19:  Spike in consumer prices spooks investors.

Morningstar Indexes, 05/23/2006

Markets continued to spiral downward as an unexpected spike in the core consumer price index reignited fears of inflation. A modest rally on Friday was not enough to reverse the broad losses incurred, and the Morningstar US Market Index Index lost 2.04% during the week ending May 19.

For the second week in a row, all nine Morningstar style indexes finished with large losses, painting the Morningstar Market Barometer a deep red across board. The Morningstar Small Value Index claimed the dubious distinction of the best performer despite losing 1.44% for the week, while the Morningstar Mid Growth Index was the worst with a 3.6% loss.

The Morningstar Small Value Index got a shot in the arm from NCO Group NCOG, a business-process-outsourcing firm that jumped 36.73% after its CEO announced a buy-out offer to take the firm private. Softness in the commodity markets drove several metal producers down, including Steel Dynamics STLD (11.07%), Carpenter Technology CRS (8.64%), Century Aluminum CENX (15.69%), and Oregon Steel Mills OS (10.68%).

The weakness in commodities spilled over into the Morningstar Mid Growth Index as mining and drilling companies and their suppliers took a hit. Joy Global JOYG, a mining machinery manufacturer, plunged 19.41%. Oil and gas drilling firms Noble NE and Weatherford International WFT shed 11.21% and 4.89%, respectively. And energy producer Southwestern Energy SWN dropped 15.1%.

For a more in-depth look into market performance, view the PDF report U.S. Market Overview.

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