The markets continued their upward march this week, adding to the already substantial gains for 2012. Greece was no help, as a debt agreement that would unlock the next round of bailout funding and let the country sidestep a messy default proved elusive. The economic news in the U.S. was a bit more optimistic, as multiple manufacturing surveys surprised economists on the upside, while unemployment claims continued to fall. In addition, minutes from the Federal Reserve's most recent rate-setting meeting stoked expectations of further bond buying by the central bank.
By the time the week closed, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
Top 3 Performing Sectors
Russell 3000 Sector
Weekly Price Change
Month-to-Date Price Change
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Weekly price change is Feb. 10-Feb. 17. Monthly price change is Jan. 31-Feb. 17.
Payday lender Advance America
Demand Media, the parent of eHow, Livestrong.com, and Trails.com, joined Advance America among the top performers, with a 26% jump of its own after a strong quarterly report. For the final quarter of the year, the online-content company managed 15% year-over-year revenue growth and adjusted earnings-per-share growth of 33%. The adjusted per-share profit of $0.08 that it showed investors was well above the $0.01 that Wall Street was looking for. The good news didn't end there, as the company also forecasted continued growth for 2012, with adjusted EPS seen finishing between $0.30 and $0.32.
Top 3 Performing Russell 3000 Companies
Weekly Price Change
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Weekly price change is Feb. 10-Feb. 17. Includes only companies with a market cap of $250 million or higher.
Also among the week's top performers were Frontier Communications
On Friday, Fusion-io delivered a press release reiterating its policy "not to comment on market activity or rumors." Why was that necessary? Because the stock shot up as much as 19% on rumors that chip giant Intel
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