Weekly Comment on Puerto Rico Stocks (1/28/2016)
Buoyed by higher oil prices, Wall Street finished a very volatile week last Friday with a 2% upswing that marked its first positive five-day period of 2016. Investors’ optimism was pumped even higher on news U.S. home resales rebounded strongly in December from a 19-month low and prices surged—hinting the stateside housing market recovery remained intact despite signs of a slowdown in economic growth in recent months. The National Association of Realtors said last Friday that existing home sales jumped a record 14.7% to an annual rate of 5.46 million units, after falling with the introduction of new mortgage-disclosure rules, which caused delays in the closing of contracts in November. Crude prices, recently under pressure from a global glut, recovered 9% as harsh winter weather from a big cold snap boosted demand for heating oil. All 10 major Standard & Poor’s (S&P) sectors closed higher and in positive territory, led by a 3.5% jump in the S&P energy sector. For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 105.29, or 0.65%, to 16,093.37. The S&P 500 rose 26.6, or 1.39%, to 1,906.89, while the Nasdaq climbed 102.76, or 2.24%, to 4,591.18.
Despite last Friday’s stock market rally, the Government Development Bank’s Puerto Rico Stock Index (PRSI) fell for the third week in a row, with three of its five components in the red, dragged down by the island’s fiscal woes. For the week, the PRSI lost 37.73, or 2.53%, to close at 1,452.89. Topping last week’s list of gainers was Triple-S Management Corp., which rose 77 cents, or 3.57%, to close at $22.36. It was followed by Evertec Inc., which inched up 9 cents, or 0.62%, to close at $14.65. Last week’s top nongainer was First BanCorp, which erased 26 cents, or 10.16%, to close at $2.30. It was followed by OFG Bancorp, which edged down 51 cents, or 8.49%, to close at $5.50. Shares of Popular Inc. fell 73 cents, or 3.02%, to close at $23.41.