Facebook Breaks $30, U.S. Investigates Shell’s Arctic Accident: Weekly Market Recap

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to the top market moving headlines of the week:

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Monday

The S&P 500 gave up its five-year high on Monday as the markets simmered down after a tremendous first week of the New Year.

At the close: DJIA: -0.38%, S&P 500: -0.31%, Nasdaq: -0.09%.

For the past five trading days: DJIA: +2.14%, S&P 500: +2.50%, Nasdaq: +2.63%.

On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) climbed 0.14 percent to $93.22 per barrel. Precious metals were mixed, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) falling 0.07 percent to $1,647.70 per ounce, and Silver (NYSE:SLV) climbing 0.75 percent to $30.17 per ounce about 20 minutes after the bell.

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to Monday’s top stock stories:Injured Piggy Bank WIth Crutches

Ten major U.S. banks, including JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), and Citigroup (NYSE:C), will pay a combined $8.5 billion to settle a case with the Office of the Comptroller and the Federal Reserve over improper foreclosure practices during the financial crisis that could have led to thousands of homes being unfairly seized and sold… (Read more.)

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Shares of Disney (NYSE:DIS) closed down 2.3 percent. News that the entertainment empire is undergoing an internal cost-cutting review could be affecting the stock price, as people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters that one the the results of the review could be layoffs, and speculation indicates the company has some difficult obstacles to overcome… (Read more.)

Shares of SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY) closed up 10.9 percent on a string of “Buy” and “Outperform” ratings issued by top banks. The solar-installation firm expects to install 60 percent more megawatts worth of panels in 2013 than it did in 2012.

Will Housing Prices Move Higher in 2013? Fannie Mae’s December National Housing Survey showed that consumer confidence in the housing sector increased last month as Americans continued to expect home prices to grow. The survey’s results were marked by positive attitudes toward home price, rental price, and mortgage rate expectations, and participants’ belief that housing indicators will improve this year could contribute to a boost in home purchase activity in the coming months, according to the mortgage association… (Read more.)

Tuesday

The markets closed down on Wall Street for the second day in a row on Tuesday. Investors seem to be reconsidering last week’s bullish plays in light of lingering economic and political concerns heading into earnings season.

At the close: DJIA: -0.41%, S&P 500: -0.32%, NASDAQ: -0.23%.

On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) climbed 0.10 percent to $93.28 per barrel. Precious metals were also up, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) climbing 0.77 percent to $1,659,00 per ounce, and Silver (NYSE:SLV) climbing 1.06 percent to $30.40 per ounce about 15 minutes after the bell. U.S. 10-year yields fell to 1.864 percent.

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to Tuesday’s top stock stories:Man Measuring Money

Aluminum giant Alcoa (NYSE:AA) released its fourth-quarter financial results after the bell, kicking off the January earnings season. Income of $0.21 per share came in ahead of expectations of $0.06 per share. Revenue of $5.9 billion also came in ahead of expectations of about $5.6 billion. Shares were flat at the end of the regular session and were trading up in the after market.

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American International Group (NYSE:AIG) has once again found itself between a rock and a hard place. The New York Times reports that the insurance company is thinking about joining a $25 billion lawsuit filed by former CEO Maurice Greenberg, who accuses the government of constructing an illegal and inequitable bailout… (Read more.)

GameStop (NYSE:GME), the world’s largest video-game retailer, is delivering a lump of coal to investors for the holiday season. The company reported holiday sales results for the nine-week period ending December 29, 2012. Total global sales came in at $2.88 billion, representing a 4.6 percent decrease from the same period in 2011. Total comparable store sales also fell 4.4 percent, with U.S. and international comps declining 3.5 percent and 6.4 percent, respectively… (Read more.)

Bank of America Trims the Fat: As if the first $300 billion of mortgages that Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) sold the service rights to wasn’t enough, the bank is said to be trying to sell servicing rights to another $100 billion of mortgages. CEO Brian Moynihan said that the bank is working to streamline and reduce long-term expenses. Selling off the servicing rights to the massive amount of mortgages that Bank of America owns will help the company move away from mortgage servicing, which is just the kind of streamlining Moynihan wants… (Read more.)

Although the fiscal cliff soap opera was pushed aside for a New York minute, the debt ceiling issue in Washington still has plenty of airtime. The U.S. started the new year by hitting its record debt ceiling of $16.394 trillion. In the final days of 2012, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner sent a letter to Congress warning of the inevitable event and said the Treasury Department will take “extraordinary measures” to provide approximately $200 billion in headroom. The tricks were first estimated to give the bobble-heads in Washington about two months of wiggle room, but new calculations show less time on the clock… (Read more.)

Wednesday

The U.S. equity markets closed up Wednesday on Wall Street, breaking a two-day losing streak. Earnings season has arrived, and investors are turning up their collars against economic headwinds and political gamesmanship in Washington to focus on fundamentals. So far, they apparently like what they see.

At the close: DJIA: +0.46%, S&P 500: +0.27%, NASDAQ: +0.45%.

On the commodities front, WTI Oil (NYSE:USO) was effectively flat at $93.16 per barrel. Brent dropped about 0.27 percent to $111.64 per barrel. Precious metals were down, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) falling 0.28 percent to $1,657.50 per ounce, and Silver (NYSE:SLV) falling 0.36 percent to $30.36 per ounce. Yields on the 10-year T-bill fell 1 basis point to 1.859 percent.

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to Wednesday’s top stock stories:bomb-war-battle-explosion

Spectrum has become an asset so valuable that it is now seen as an equivalent to gold, oil, and water, stated Dish Network’s (NASDAQ:DISH) Chief Executive Officer Joe Clayton at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Tuesday. Just as those commodities have sparked battles throughout human history, the finite supply of spectrum has prompted a confrontation between pay-TV provider Dish Network and wireless communications provider Sprint (NYSE:S) over the spectrum holdings of Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR)… (Read more.)

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Since Royal Dutch Shell’s (NYSE:RDSA)(NYSE:RDSB) offshore Alaska drilling rig, the Kulluk, ran aground 300 miles southwest of Anchorage on the night of December 31, environmentalists, lawmakers, and shareholders alike have questioned the wisdom of Arctic energy programs. While Shell successfully rescued the stricken rig without any oil spills or leaks, the escalating concerns have prompted the U.S Interior Department to assess the challenges of oil and gas exploration in Alaska’s Arctic waters… (Read more.)

Boeing’s (NYSE:BA) 787 Dreamliner has made headlines all week after one caught fire at Logan Airport in Boston on Monday night. Investors put tremendous selling pressure on the stock on Monday and Tuesday, pulling it down 2.01 percent and 2.63 percent, respectively. On Wednesday, investors who think that the market failed to check its emotions at the door, jumped on the dip, and bid the price back up over 3 percent… (Read more.)

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) climbed over 4 percent in heavy intraday trading on Wednesday, breaking $30 per share for the first time since July 2012. Investors are bidding the stock up ahead of a January 15 event announced late Tuesday that has so far been shrouded in secrecy, but which some are expecting to be a significant product announcement… (Read more.)

Jeff Gundlach, bond legend and founder of DoubleLine Capital, held his first conference call and presentation of the year last night. The event revealed his outlook on the global economy and various issues for 2013. We’ve assembled a Cheat Sheet to Gundlach’s “Year of the Snake” presentation… (Read more.)

Thursday

The markets closed up on Wall Street for the second day in a row. An initial jobless claims report that showed a 1 percent increase in new claims to 371,000 was apparently not enough to curb market optimism.

At the close: DJIA: +0.60%, S&P 500: +0.76%, NASDAQ: +0.51%.

On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) climbed 0.78 percent to $93.83 per barrel. Precious metals were also up, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) climbing 1.08 percent to $1,673.20 per ounce, and Silver (NYSE:SLV) climbing 1.82 percent to $30.80 per ounce about 10 minutes after the bell. The yield on the U.S. 10-year T-Bill climbed 0.041 points to 1.896 percent.

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to Thursday’s top stock stories:nokia-lumia510-phone

Nokia (NYSE:NOK) closed up 18.6 percent after it released fourth-quarter 2012 and first-quarter 2013 outlooks. The company reported that not only are sales beating expectations, but operating costs are lower than predicted, and the company could see positive margins in the near future… (Read more.)

Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF) closed down about 4.5 percent after releasing results for the holiday period that were below expectations. The company is expecting EPS for the year to come in slightly below analyst expectations.

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Not to be outdone, Molycorp (NYSE:MCP) tanked over 22 percent after reporting that, even though its manufacturing complex in Mountain Pass is expected to ramp up to its full run rate soon, it is expecting weak revenue in 2013. Phase two of the Mountain Pass project, which could double production, won’t begin until market conditions improve.

Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) will announce its fourth-quarter earnings before the bell on Friday. Analysts are expecting profit of $0.89 per share, a 21.9 percent gain over the same period last year. The stock closed up nearly 2 percent on Thursday in anticipation… (Read more.)

Echoing an anti-trust case in the United States that was recently concluded without a bang, the European Union’s Commissioner for Competition, Joaquín Almunia, has mandated that Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) change its business practices in the region or face anti-trust charges for giving preferential treatment to its own services in search results… (Read more.)

A new national poll finds that Congress has a favorability rating in the single digits. Between the state of the economy and the fiscal cliff talks being dragged into the new year, it is not too surprising to learn that the majority of Americans disapprove of the group. However, how do politicians stack up against other things in life? (Read more.)

Friday

The markets fought for meager gains on Friday, and the S&P managed to go nowhere. Market participants digested some unsettling economic news, such as the growth of the U.S. trade deficit, and a higher-than-expected increase in inflation in China, which could curb government spending.

At the close: DJIA: +0.13%, S&P 500: 0.00%, NASDAQ: +0.12%.

On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) dropped 0.14 percent to $93.69 per barrel. Precious metals were also down, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) falling 0.92 percent to $1,662,50 per ounce, and Silver (NYSE:SLV) falling 1.51 percent to $30.45 per ounce. The yield for the 10-year T-bill fell 0.033 points to 1.862 percent.

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to Friday’s top stock stories:Wells Fargo

By setting aside less money to cover bad loans, Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) was able to break profit records in the most recent quarter. Coupled with an increase in revenue from mortgage fees, the change boosted profit 24 percent in the three months ended in December. However, shares closed down on Friday as the bank reported that it made fewer mortgage loans in the third quarter and net interest margin declined… (Read more.)

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Boeing’s (NYSE:BA) 787 Dreamliner has had five mishaps in as many days. What started as bearish grumblings about so-called “teething pains” has turned into a full-blown review from the Federal Aviation Administration. Shares ended the regular session down 2.5 percent. (Read more.)

No monetary penalty is expected, but JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) will likely be issued a cease-and-desist order for compliance weakness by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve. While official action may come as soon as Friday, the status of the inquiry could change and the order could be postponed a week… (Read more.)

If the price movement of a stock is proxy for buzz, then investors are expecting Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) to report one hell of a fourth quarter. The world’s largest social network will release its year-end results on January 31, but there’s no patience in Friday’s fast-paced tech market and — as has always been the case with Facebook — speculation is moving the stock ahead of its earnings and a “mystery” event next week… (Read more.)

The recent price movement of gold has been frustrating for some people. The yellow precious metal logged its twelfth consecutive annual gain in dollar terms and climbed higher against every major fiat currency in 2012. However, gold has been stuck in consolidation mode and finished the year with its worst quarter in four years. Furthermore, some market participants are claiming the bull market is over… (Read more.)