MarketWatch's top stories of the week
Benchmark U.S. indexes rallied broadly on Friday. The Standard & Poor's 500 (SPX) rose 1.7% to 1,065, with observers noting that the 1,040 level had provided support earlier in the session; its weekly loss was sliced to 0.7%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) vaulted 165 points, or 1.7%, to end the week at 10,151, down 0.6% over that span. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP) gained 1.7% in Friday action to trim the week's retreat to 1.2%.
Meanwhile, in the bond market, Treasury prices dropped Friday, pushing long-term yields to their steepest one-day rise since June, after Bernanke, at a central-banking summit in Jackson Hole, Wyo., said that the Fed had set no triggers for further monetary-policy easing and that he sees continued economic growth.
Bonds also came under pressure when the Commerce Department revised lower its estimate of U.S. economic growth for the second quarter -- but not to the degree that many economists had been bracing for.
Yields on 10-year notes (UST10Y) rose 17 basis points to 2.65%. On Wednesday, the benchmark's yields fell as low as 2.42%, their lowest level since January 2009.
As you get ready for next week's market action, please take a look at out our weekly previews for the Asian, European and U.S. markets:
Asia's Week Ahead: Chinese manufacturing and more.
Europe's Week Ahead: Carrefour and Vivendi ready to report.
U.S. Week Ahead: Consumer snapshots.
-- Greg Morcroft , assistant managing editor
Intel (INTC) cut its sales forecast, citing a weaker-than-expected personal-computer market in what appears to be an affirmation of rising fears of a tech slowdown. See full story on Intel's warning.
The bidding war for 3Par (PAR) intensified as the weekend neared. With both Hewlett-Packard (HPQ)and Dell raising their takeover offers, the latest bid valued the small data-storage company at $2 billion. Investors in 3Par cheered the news, driving the stock up nearly 22% to $31.71 -- more than 4% above the highest bid price, signaling a hope for more offers. Read all about the 3Par bidding war.
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke said Friday that the central bank would not sit idly and let the U.S. economy sink into a period of deflation. "The Federal Open Market Committee will strongly resist deviations from price stability in the downward direction," Bernanke said in a speech opening the Fed's annual summer policy retreat. See related First Take analysis of the Bernanke speech. The Fed would be "vigilant and proactive" if inflation cools by a significant amount, he said, though he downplayed concern that the economy would fall back into recession. See full story on Bernanke's Jackson Hole speech
A majority of investment advisers say that a double-dip recession is unlikely and that the stock market will improve over the next six months -- but their clients are more worried, according to a survey of money managers released Wednesday by Schwab. Almost 60% of advisers said it's unlikely the U.S. economy will head back into recession in the next six months -- 28% said it's likely to happen -- and 63% said the S&P 500 will rise in that time, according to the July poll. Read about the divergence of managers' and clients' market views.
How in the world can Americans feel secure when the value of their single biggest asset is dropping? Americans have already lost more than $6 trillion, on paper, on the value of their homes. Millions have lost something more tangible: the roof over their heads. Now, four years after the housing bubble began to explode, it looks like home owners may have to accept further losses before it's all over. Read MarketWatch First Take about impact of this week's record poor housing data.
For investment banks, August is the sleepiest month, sending deal makers to the beach. But not this year. There have been $217.9 billion in mergers and acquisitions this month. That makes this the fourth-busiest August ever, not far behind the dot-com go-go years of 1999 and 2000 and the credit-boom year of 2006, when leveraged buyouts reigned. Last August, there was less than $130 billion worth of deals, according to Thomson Reuters. "I wish I could have gone on vacation," said Gene Ramirez, a managing director with the technology investment banking group at Morgan Joseph LLC. "I was supposed to." See the full story about M&A activity in August.
The percentage of homes in the foreclosure process fell in the second quarter, the first drop since 2006 and the largest quarter-to-quarter drop since 2005, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Thursday. Still, the quarterly delinquency report showed that short-term delinquencies are on the rise -- a foreboding number that could signal more foreclosures in the future. Read more about the condition of U.S. residential real estate.
Setting the stage for a new round of battles between corporate leaders and shareholders, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved controversial regulations giving institutional investors significantly more power in corporate-director elections and behind-the-scenes negotiations with top executives starting in 2011. Read more on MarketWatch about new SEC rules
Google's effort to expand the use of its Internet calling service by enabling easy access through email accounts is likely to increase its status as a competitive threat to an already-wary telecommunications industry. Read about Google's foray into Web phone calls.
Two years after losing the race for the presidency, John McCain got a taste of victory, while his running mate for the 2008 presidential election, Sarah Palin, backed a tea-party favorite in a surprising victory. The Arizonan McCain handily won the GOP nomination for a fifth term for the U.S. Senate. But the real surprise came when Palin's choice for a Senate seat in Alaska, Joe Miller, appeared to have unseated incumbent Lisa Murkowski, giving the upstart tea-party movement a measure of momentum going into the general election. Read more about Tuesday's primary-election results.