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Global Market Wrap-Up - November 23, 2012

Friday, November 23, 2012
Mark Hanna
U.S. stocks rallied sharply on extremely light volume Friday in a holiday shortened session; the S&P 500 gained 1.3% and the NASDAQ 1.4%.   For the week the S&P 500 gained 3.6% and the NASDAQ 4% - indexes regained about half the losses of the previous two months.  There was no major driver for the day, although U.S. markets were closed Thursday and hence were not able to react to a decent purchasing managers index figure out of China released Wednesday night.  Other than that, it was the normal hope that the U.S. consumer was back since hordes of shoppers hit the malls.

Oil rose 77 cents to $88.15 a barrel.  Gold climbed $23.20 to $1,751.40 an ounce while silver gained $0.77 to $34.12.   The dollar was hit hard as the euro had one of its best days in months.

British shares gained 0.5% while both France and Germany rallied 0.9%.  Europe also released weak purchasing managers date during the U.S. holiday.
  • The Markit Eurozone PMI Composite Output Index was little-changed in November according to the flash estimate, up fractionally from 45.7 in October to 45.8. October’s reading had been the lowest since June 2009 and, for the fourth quarter of 2012 so far, PMI data suggest the strongest contraction of output since the second quarter of 2009.
  • The Ifo Institute's business confidence index for Germany rose to 101.4 in November from 100 in October, exceeding expectations of a decline to 99.5.
Japan rose 1.6% while China added 0.6%.
  • HSBC's  flash purchasing managers index for November came out at 50.4, compared with a final reading for October of 49.5, indicating an expansion for the first time in 13 months.