Wall Street posted a down day on Friday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling by 0.9% and the S&P 500 Index closing down 1.0%, while the Nasdaq Composite Index slumped by 1.4%. Fears that Spain may require a full bailout after one of its regions, Valencia, said it would require financial aid, weighed on global markets.
European markets also fell, with the UK’s FTSE 100 losing 1.1%, Germany’s DAX crashed 1.9% while Paris’ CAC 40 was the worst performer losing 2.1%.
The Australian dollar was slightly lower against the greenback, buying 103.6 US cents. The euro continues to fall, hitting an all-time low against the Australian dollar and a two-year low against the US dollar.
Commodities were down, with spot gold falling to US$1,581.22 an ounce, while oil (Brent crude) also closed down, losing 0.9% to trade at US$106.83 a barrel.
Weak start likely
The ASX SPI futures have closed down 21 points, suggesting the S&P / ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) is set for a negative start in early trading.
Looking to the week ahead, on Wednesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics will release consumer price index data for the second quarter, with analysts expecting a rise or around 0.3% from the previous quarter.
Woolworths Limited (ASX: WOW) should report full year sales today, while Wesfarmers Limited (ASX: WES) is also expected to release its annual sales results this week. Analysts are expecting Coles to have outperformed Woolworths for the twelfth consecutive quarter, according to a report in today’s Australian Financial Review.
Resources stocks could take a hit today, as a Deloitte Access Economics report suggested that the mining boom will be over in just two years, thanks to falling commodity prices.
So much for the eurozone’s summit four weeks ago, which was expected to finally reassure markets that Europe was taking positive action. For Foolish investors, we’d suggest that it’s best to ignore the macro news and focus on companies with strong balance sheets, potential for future growth and if possible, decent dividends.
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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King owns shares in Woolworths. The Motley Fool‘s purpose is to help the world invest, better. Take Stock is The Motley Fool’s free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead. Click here now to request your free subscription, whilst it’s still available. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.