BlackRock's Weekly Investment Commentary

Stocks traded in a choppy fashion and posted modest losses last week, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 1.0% to 8,001, the S&P 500 Index declining 0.7% to 826 and the Nasdaq Composite off 0.1% to close at 1,476. Last week featured the release of the preliminary fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) report, which showed that the US economy contracted at an annualized rate of 3.8%, the largest decline since 1982. Not only were consumer spending and business investment levels down, but the report also showed an unwanted build-up in inventory levels that will need to be worked off, suggesting that the current quarter also will be quite weak. Inflation levels remained relatively flat for the quarter....

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