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Morningstar Indexes: Weekly Market Report

Week ending March 10: Markets decline despite falling oil prices.

Morningstar Indexes, 03/13/2006

Falling oil prices and a positive jobs report late last week were not enough to stem the tide of losses experienced by the markets. Meanwhile, there were concerns about the flow of foreign capital into the United States after the Dubai Ports World decision to divest its U.S. holdings amid growing political pressure. The Morningstar US Market Index fell 0.69% for the week ending March 10.

The Morningstar Large Core Index was the only green spot on the Morningstar Market Barometer in a sea of red, gaining 0.64%. Procter & Gamble PG rose 4.3% amid strong initial sales figures for the Fusion, a new five-blade razor introduced by the recently acquired Gillette. Sprint Nextel S gained 4.9% after the company issued a positive statement on future sales growth and a cost reduction plan.

The Morningstar US Growth Index lost 1.85%, led by dismal performance of tech stocks. After reaching a record high in January, Google GOOG continued to slide, losing 10.8% last week. The decline followed a communications fumble when the firm inadvertently posted internal sales projections on its Web site. It was also a rough week for chip manufacturers. Texas Instruments TXN lost 4.7% after failing to increase its first quarter projections, and Advanced Micro Devices AMD dropped 7.3% in reaction to news of the newest chip from rival Intel INTC. Continuing with the theme, Apple Computer AAPL took a hit on the news of a mobile PC intiative by Microsoft MSFT aimed at the iPod market. Apple stock was down 6.7% for the week.

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