Indiana Daily Student

Wall Street prepares for another turbulent week

This week, investors might start bargain hunting, picking up stocks that have declined six in value. But the market is approaching a time when companies report they will be unable to meet their expected earnings. Investors fear rising energy costs and a weak Euro will have a negative impact on companies. \nLast week, consumer prices fell for the first time in 14 years as the consumer price index fell 0.1 percent. The CPI was a bullish sign for traders, but it was unable to calm investor fears. Worries about earnings and valuations seemed to plague the NASDAQ and Dow Jones Industrial Average all week. \nThe NASDAQ ended the week at 3865.23 closing down 78.62. During the past two weeks the index has been down nearly 10 percent. The DJIA also endured losses Friday, closing down 160.47 at 10927. Volume was very heavy because of a simultaneous expiration of futures, options on stocks and options on stock indexes.\nPetroleum concerns\nThe market also seemed to be worried about the effect of energy prices. Crude oil is now at $36 a barrel, a 10-year high. Last week, the Organization of Petroleum Countries agreed to increase oil production by 800,000 barrels a day, but energy prices are still increasing as tension between Iraq and Kuwait are threatening supply. \nThursday, Iraq accused Kuwait of stealing from its oil fields and warned it would take action, according to the Wall Street Journal's Web site. In addition, traders fear Hurricane Gordon will stop production in the Gulf of Mexico. Iraq's accusations, joined with the threat of a hurricane, have analysts predicting prices will continue to rise, economists at Goldman Sachs said.\nNotable stocks\nChase Manhattan announced Wednesday, it would acquire J.P. Morgan in a deal valued around $36 billion. The combined financial giant would have $675 billion in assets. Ford announced it would abandon its plans to purchase troubled Daewoo Motor Co. Ford also announced it would be buying back up to $5 billion of its stock.\nStock news\nDow component Exxon Mobil reached a new 52-week high, while Oracle, Nike and Adobe reported earnings which beat Wall Street estimates. Companies reporting earnings this week include Jabil Circuit, Goldman Sachs, Circuit City and FedEx Corp.\nLast week, McDonald's was one of the first companies to announce its earnings would be lower because of the devaluation of weak foreign currency compared to the U.S. dollar. The financial sector could also see some selling as the sector made strong gains because of consolidation speculation. Economic data released last week appears to show that the economy is cooling off, but if investors fear an economic slowdown, it could be a rough week on Wall Street.

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