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Morningstar Indexes: Weekly Market Report

Week ending March 3: Retail sales soften as energy concerns continue.

Morningstar Indexes, 03/06/2006

Partly blamed on cooler temperatures and a Northeast blizzard, February retail sales softened, ande continued concerns about the security of foreign energy supplies and deliveries drove utilities down by more than 1%. The bright spot came from hardware bellwether stocks Cisco Systems CSCO and Hewlett-Packard HPQ, who led the sector up by nearly 2%, despite modest declines from top components Intel INTC, IBM IBM, and Apple AAPL. Overall, the Morningstar US Market Index barely slipped into the red, losing 0.03% for the week, but still up by 4.1% for the year.

A quick look at the Market Barometer tells the story for the week as growth stocks took command and value retreated. The Morningstar US Growth Index packed on a hefty 0.55% for the week, while the Morningstar US Value Index shaved off 0.44%. The aforementioned Cisco Systems moved up 6% after completing its $6.9 billion
acquisition of Scientific-Atlanta. Small-cap firm Valeant Pharmaceuticals VRX rose 12.6% after announcing an increase in 2005 revenue.

In the value camp, the U.S. automotive industry experienced another major setback, as auto parts supplier Dana DCNAQ plunged 56.3% after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. While the settlement of class action lawsuit concerning overtime wages by financial services firm Morgan Stanley prompted UBS and Merrill Lynch to do the same with others likely to follow suit.

The best and worst performing style indexes for the week come from the bottom of the Morningstar style box. The Morningstar Small Growth Index led with a 0.91% gain and Small Value pulled up the rear with 0.71% loss.

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

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