The roller-coaster ride on the markets continued this week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average 2 Minute moved lower one day and higher the next during this past four-day trading week. When all was said and done, the blue-chip average was up 0.45%, or 66 points, and now rests at 14,578. The Nasdaq also has a winning week and gained 22 points, or 0.69%. But the real index winner was the S&P 500, which rose 0.79% and set a new all-time closing high on Thursday.
Even though the Dow managed to put together anther winning week, nine of the index’s 30 components ended the trading week in the red.
Before we hit the Dow losers, let’s look at the index’s big winner: UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH). Shares of the health-care provider rose by 5.05% during the short trading week, mainly because many market participants believe the previously lowered Medicare Advantage reimbursement rates will be readjusted higher. Medicare is a major revenue stream for UnitedHealth, and any reductions would hurt profits, while any increases could really boost earnings.
The big losers
The issues in Europe played a large role in what happened to U.S. stocks this past week, with financials getting hit the hardest. With all the fears and concerns about possible bank runs in Europe, it’s no wonder Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) was the worst-performing Dow component last week. Shares of JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) weren’t far behind in a week that was brutal to the banking industry.
Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) lost 3.02%, while JPMorgan fell 2.7%, making it the second worst performing Dow stock. Every single day this past week, the banks were the big losers, and for most days it was simply due to the situation in Cyprus. But on Tuesday, Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) fell more than its counterparts, possibly because of a Bloomberg report indicating that Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC)’s Merrill Lynch unit in London had lost a top employee. Derek De Vries, the head of European bank equity research for the company, is reportedly no longer with the firm, but a news conference or press release never came from B of A pertaining to the departure.
Something seems fishy here. The head of the European bank equity research team is all of a sudden no longer with the company — and at a time when the banks in Cyprus need a bailout, and as concerns linger that other European nations may need additional help as well? The fact that this move wasn’t announced almost makes it seem as if the bank if attempting to hide something.