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Weekly Market Wrap: May 22, 2015
The Online Investor - 19 hours, 22 minutes ago

The twentieth full trading week of 2015 comes to a close with the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and NASDAQ composite all relatively flat on the day in late afternoon trading.

Most actively traded stocks include Apple (AAPL) up 1.08%, Bank of America (BAC) higher by 0.36%, Oncothyreon (ONTY) up 19.52%, and HP (HPQ) higher by 3.25%.

The S&P 500 and NASDAQ were higher in the last five days of trading, while the Dow was relatively flat.

Crude oil futures are down this week, trading at $59.71 per barrel on Friday afternoon.

And Gold futures are also down this week, trading at $1205.89 an ounce this afternoon.

In economic news, privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,143,000. This is 10.1 percent above the revised March rate of 1,038,000 and is 6.4 percent above the April 2014 estimate of 1,074,000. Single-family authorizations in April were at a rate of 666,000; this is 3.7 percent above the revised March figure of 642,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 444,000 in April.

Privately-owned housing starts in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,135,000. This is 20.2 percent above the revised March estimate of 944,000 and is 9.2 percent above the April 2014 rate of 1,039,000. Single-family housing starts in April were at a rate of 733,000; this is 16.7 percent above the revised March figure of 628,000. The April rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 389,000.

In the week ending May 16, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 274,000, an increase of 10,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 264,000. The 4-week moving average was 266,250, a decrease of 5,500 from the previous week's unrevised average of 271,750. This is the lowest level for this average since April 15, 2000 when it was 266,250.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers increased 0.1 percent in April on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Over the last 12 months, the all items index declined 0.2 percent before seasonal adjustment.

In corporate dividend news, Viacom (NASDAQ:VIA) has approved a 21% increase in its quarterly dividend to $0.40 per share of Class A and B common stock from $0.33 per share. The increase will take effect beginning with Viacom's next quarterly dividend, payable on July 1, 2015 to stockholders of record at the close of business on June 15, 2015.

CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL) declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.54 per share, a portion of which will be payable out of capital surplus, on June 16, 2015, to shareholders of record on June 2, 2015.

Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) declared a quarterly dividend of $0.80 per share on Northrop Grumman common stock, a 14 percent increase from the prior quarterly dividend of $0.70 per share. This is the 12th consecutive annual increase in Northrop Grumman's common stock dividend. The dividend is payable June 17, 2015, to shareholders of record as of the close of business June 1, 2015.

Altria declared a regular quarterly dividend of $0.52 per share, payable on July 10, 2015, to shareholders of record as of June 15, 2015. The ex-dividend date is June 11, 2015.

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) declared a quarterly dividend of 44 cents per share on the outstanding shares of the common stock of JPMorgan Chase. The dividend is payable on July 31, 2015, to stockholders of record at the close of business on July 6, 2015.

The Allstate Corporation declared a quarterly dividend of 30 cents on each outstanding share of the corporation's common stock, payable in cash on July 1, 2015, to stockholders of record at the close of business on May 29, 2015.

This is the 'Weekly Market Wrap' for Friday May 22, 2015.

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

5/22/2015 Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. > Firestone Financial
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May 23, 2015    10:53 AM Eastern


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