February By The Numbers

In February, major averages erased much of the January losses, with both the Dow and S&P up more than 2.5%; Nasdaq gained 4.2%.  Indeed, the S&P 500 Index had its best showing for the month of February since 1998:

Dow Jones Indices
Industrials . . . 10,325 . . . +2.56%
Transports . . 4135 . . . +6.14%
Utilities . . . . 367 . . . -2.87%

S&P500
+2.85% rise in the S&P 500 Index
Compare this versus:
-11.0% drop in the index in February 2009
-2.2%: index’s decline in February 2008
+7.0%: index’s rise in 1998

Nasdaq
Composite . . . 2238 . . . +4.23%
Nasdaq100 . . . 1819 . . +4.46%
Russell 2000 . . . 629 . . . +4.41%

Currencies
U.S. Dollar Index (DX) . . 80.36 . . +1.13%
Euro . . . 1.36250 . . . -1.71%
Yen . . . . 0.01125 . . . + 1.63%
British Pound . .1.52470 . . -4.72%

Commodities
Crude Oil . . 79.66 . . . +9.29%
Gold . . . . . . 1108 . . . +2.76%
Copper . . . . 7072 . . . +3.18%
Sugar . . . . . 25.03 . . . -18.31%

The Dow is up 60% from the March lows, but down 27% from the October 2007 highs.
SPX is up 66% from the March lows, but down 30% from the October 2007 highs.
Nasdaq is up 77% from the March lows, but down 22% from the October 2007 highs (and considerably more from the March 2000 highs).

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Sources: Standard & Poor’s Markets, Credits and Risk Strategies Group, Barron’s, Marketwatch, The Chart Store.

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