MarketWatch: Weekly Roundup: Top 10 stories Feb. 21 - 25


Weekly Roundup
FEBRUARY 25, 2011

MarketWatch Top 10 stories Feb. 21 - 25

By MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — U.S. stocks closed the week lower despite a strong Friday recovery

The e Dow lost 2.1%, its worst weekly percentage drop since November and worst point drop since August. The S&P 500 fell 1.7% for the week. The Nasdaq Composite lost 1.9% for the week. Read MarketWatch's U.S.stock market coverage

Conversely, Treasury prices rose this week pushing long-term yields down, after a reduced reading of U.S. economic growth released Friday gave investors another reason to buy U.S. government bonds. Read MarketWatch Treasury market report

For the week, yields on 10-year notes, which move inversely to prices, have fallen by their greatest magnitude since May as a violent uprising in Libya, and a jump in oil prices, prompted investors to seek the relative safe haven of U.S. bonds.

Gold rose 1.5% on the week, and oil in the U.S. Gold rose 1.5% on the week. See Marketwatch gold report. See MarketWatch oil report

Also, please be sure to watch our Week Ahead Videos for Asia, Europe and the U.S. - Greg Morcroft, assistant managing editor

Europe Week ahead: Bayer, HSBC and Carrefour:

 Asia Week Ahead: India's Budget, RBA

U.S. week ahead: Jobs, Fed and payrolls

Outside The Box: How to trade the oil panic

The biggest mistake that many investors make is to try to play underlying commodity moves with commodity producers — they are not one and the same thing. In the situation with oil, there is plenty of crude on the market right now in the United States, but a potential closure of the Suez Canal and further escalation of the situation in Libya would likely cause supply disruptions. Read MarketWatch commentary on investing in oil during the mideast crisis

NBA's Blake Griffin and Subway: A slam dunk

Viewers of last weekend's National Basketball Association events saw Blake Griffin play in the Rookie Game and the All-Star game. The forward for the Los Angeles Clippers also won the Slam Dunk Contest, and appeared on his own in a television advertisement for the very first time.Riding along with his rising profile is Subway Restaurants, which rolled out its first Griffin-only commercial during the weekend — part of a wider media campaign featuring the athlete that totaled $3 million, according to reports. Read MarketWatch's SportsWatch column

Apple shareholders don't address Jobs's health

Apple Inc. (AAPL) faced shareholders Wednesday without the presence of its iconic CEO Steve Jobs, who remains on health leave from the company amid rumors that his long-running battle with cancer has resumed. At the meeting, no shareholders addressed the issue directly, beyond wishing Jobs well. But the question of what is in store for the company should he leave his post hung over the meeting, in part because of a shareholder-sponsored resolution that sought greater clarity of the company's planning for CEO succession. That measure failed, according to preliminary figures from Apple. Read MarketWatch coverage of Apple shareholders' meeting

Paul B. Farrell: Market Crash 2011: It will hit by Christmas

Politicians lie. Bankers lie. Yes, they're liars. But they're not bad, it's in their genes, inherited. Their brains are wired that way, warn scientists. Like addicts, they can't help themselves. They want to sell stuff, get rich. We want to believe they're telling us the truth. Silly, huh? Both trapped in this eternal "dance of death" controlled by programs hidden deep in our brains, telling us what to do, telling us to ignore facts to the contrary — till it's too late, till a new crisis crushes all of us. Psychology offers us a powerful lesson: Our collective brain is destined to trigger a crash before Christmas 2011. Why? We're gullible, keep searching for a truth-teller in a world of liars. And they're so clever, we let them manipulate us into acting against our best interests. Read Paul Farrell on MarketWatch

Vital Signs: Drug plans stick some patients with steep costs

Several years ago, Melanie Rowen got a diagnosis that plunged her into debt and thrust her into the heart of the debate over how the U.S. distributes and pays for health care. Rowen, 33, an attorney for a San Francisco nonprofit group, found out she had multiple sclerosis in 2007 and immediately started a drug regimen to try to prevent M.S. attacks that could rob her of long-term neurological function. But the price of her medication has been higher than she imagined. Since her diagnosis, she's paid at least $25,000, or between $650 and $880 a month, for drugs that promise to cut the number of disabling M.S. attacks she has to suffer. Read MarketWatch's Vital Signs column

The Cody Word Blog: Winners and losers in the tablet wars

Tablets, tablets, tablets. My goodness does everybody love to talk and read about tablets. And why not? A sector of tech that hardly existed in the marketplace a year ago is now projected to move tens of millions of units this year and probably a hundred million or more somewhere in the next few years. That's why investors love to talk tablets. And tablets are only about a tenth of the size of the smartphone market, which is growing just about as fast as tablets, from a much bigger base. Read Cody Willard comments on investing gin the tablet sector

Economic Report: U.S. cuts 4th-quarter growth view to 2.8%

The U.S. economy grew at 2.8% pace in the final three months of 2010 — slower than the government initially projected — based on new data showing that consumers and state and local governments spent less than first estimated. Last month, the Commerce Department said gross domestic product climbed at a 3.2% annual rate in the fourth quarter. The revised report takes into account data not initially available in the first reading. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected revised GDP to remain at 3.2%. Read MarketWatch's economic coverage

Consumer Confidential: Are you better off because of the CARD Act?

It's been a year since the much-ballyhooed credit-card laws were put in place and you're hardly better or worse off because of it. Complaints that the new laws under the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act led to unreasonable spikes in interest rates and left segments of the population unable to get credit are largely unfounded, according to studies about the CARD act's impact. Instead, those effects are more likely just the result of tough economic times. Read Consumer Confidential column on MarketWatch

Mark Hulbert: The impact of CEO deaths

When it comes to investing in Apple, the 800-pound gorilla in the room is what would happen if and when Steve Jobs passes. While no one can know in advance how Apple's stock would react, chances are good that it will drop by less than many currently fear. And if Apple's stock price nevertheless does react by plunging, that may very well represent a good buying opportunity. Those at least are the conclusions I drew from reviewing academic research into the impact of CEO deaths at other companies. This isn't to say that the death of a CEO is a good thing. Far from it.


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