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Weekly Market Wrap: December 12, 2014
The Online Investor - Fri., Dec. 12, 4:50 PM

The fiftieth trading week of 2014 comes to a close with the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and NASDAQ composite lower in early-afternoon trading on Friday.

Most actively traded stocks include Bank of America (BAC) down 0.74%, Talisman Energy (TLM) up 31.4%, Apple (AAPL) down 0.25%, and GE (GE) down 0.95%.

Hi. I'm Kristin Bianco. Welcome to the 'Weekly Market Wrap' for December 12, 2014.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite are all lower in the last five days of trading.

Crude oil futures are significantly lower so far this week, trading at $57.86 per barrel on Friday afternoon.

And Gold futures are higher so far this week, trading at $1222.11 an ounce this afternoon.

In economic news, The U.S. Census Bureau announced that October 2014 sales of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers' sales branches and offices, after adjustment for seasonal variations and trading-day differences but not for price changes, were $454.6 billion, up 0.2 percent from the revised September level and were up 4.3 percent from the October 2013 level. The September preliminary estimate was revised downward $0.6 billion or 0.1 percent.

Total inventories of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers' sales branches and offices, after adjustment for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were $542.0 billion at the end of October, up 0.4 percent from the revised September level and were up 6.8 percent from the October 2013 level.

In the week ending December 6, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 294,000, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 297,000. The 4-week moving average was 299,250, an increase of 250 from the previous week's unrevised average of 299,000.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.9 percent for the week ending November 29, an increase of 0.1 percentage point from the previous week's unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending November 29 was 2,514,000, an increase of 142,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up 10,000 from 2,362,000 to 2,372,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,385,500, an increase of 27,750 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 2,500 from 2,355,250 to 2,357,750.

The Producer Price Index for final demand fell 0.2 percent in November, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. This decrease followed a 0.2-percent rise in October and a 0.1-percent decline in September. On an unadjusted basis, the index for final demand advanced 1.4 percent for the 12 months ended in November, the smallest 12-month increase since a 1.2-percent rise in February 2014.

In November, the 0.2-percent decline in final demand prices can be traced to the index for final demand goods, which decreased 0.7 percent. In contrast, prices for final demand services advanced 0.1 percent.

Within intermediate demand, prices for processed goods declined 1.0 percent, the index for unprocessed goods fell 1.3 percent, and prices for services moved up 0.3 percent.

In corporate dividend news, CME Group (NASDAQ:CME) declared its annual variable dividend, amounting to $2.00 per share. The dividend is payable January 13, 2015, to shareholders of record on December 29, 2014.

W. P. Carey (NYSE:WPC) increased its quarterly cash dividend to $0.95 per share, which equates to an annualized rate of $3.80 per share. Payable on January 15, 2015 to stockholders of record as of December 31, 2014, this marks W. P. Carey's 55th consecutive quarterly dividend increase.

Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM) declares a regular quarterly dividend of $1.00 per common share, payable on January 9, 2015, to stockholders of record as of December 24, 2014. The ex-dividend date is December 22, 2014.

Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) voted to maintain the quarterly cash dividend of seventy cents ($0.70) per share of common stock, payable February 20, 2015, to stockholders of record at the close of business on January 20, 2015.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) declared a quarterly dividend of 40 cents per share on the outstanding shares of the common stock of JPMorgan Chase. The dividend is payable on January 31, 2015, to stockholders of record at the close of business on January 6, 2015.

And, Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) declared a quarterly dividend on its common stock of 49 cents per share. The dividend is payable on Jan. 30, 2015 to shareowners of record on Jan. 9, 2015. It relates to the first quarter of the company's 2015 fiscal year.

This is the 'Weekly Market Wrap' for Friday December 12, 2014.

Please join us on Monday for the Week Ahead Market Report.

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December 18, 2014    1:18 PM Eastern


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