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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Wall Street Week Ahead: Stock bulls eye Spain, Bernanke and jobs

DJIA goes Down for the Day but Up for the Quarter
Wall Street will open October with a busy week, highlighted by low expectations for global manufacturing data and the U.S. jobs report, but that could set the stage for positive surprises that help lift the market.
The S&P 500 finished its third positive quarter in the last four on Friday, despite suffering its largest weekly percentage decline since June. For the past three months, the S&P 500 gained 5.9 percent - its best third quarter since 2010. In contrast, the index was down 1.3 percent for the week.
The benchmark S&P 500 earlier this month reached its highest level since late 2007. Yet uncertainty remains over whether stocks can hold their gains against the headwinds of a struggling economy. That explains, in part, the retreat over the last several days.
The S&P 500 hit a high of 1,474.51 in mid-September before pulling back by a bit more than 2 percent. A run at 1,500 seems possible, but the flurry of economic and world events ahead probably will prevent a major advance in the coming week.
On Friday, the Dow fell 48.84 points, or 0.36 percent, to 13,437.13. The S.& P. 500 fell 6.48 points, or 0.45 percent, to 1,440.67, and Nasdaq fell 20.37 points, or 0.65 percent, to 3,116.23. For the third quarter, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 4.3 percent and the Nasdaq composite index 6.2 percent.
Despite Friday’s losses, the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index advanced 5.8 percent over the last three months, mainly on expectations that central banks around the world would take steps to stimulate their economies. That brought the benchmark index’s (SPX}) advance so far this year to 14.6 percent.

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