Six up (one up big), and two down. That, in a nutshell, is the story from the eight world indexes on my weekly watch list. Japan's Nikkei 225 surged 5.08% last week, and that comes on top of its 3.51% gain the week before. The S&P 500 and FTSE 100 were in distant second and third place with 2.29% and 2.15% gains, respectively. You know it's a good week when the two middle-of-the-pack indexes, France's CAC 40 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng, posted strong gains in the upper one percent range. China's Shanghai and India's SENSEX were the two losers, down 0.83% and 1.13% respectively.
The Shanghai remains the only index on the watch list in bear territory -- the traditional designation for a 20% decline from an interim high. See the table inset (lower right) in the chart below. The index is down over 36% from its interim high of August 2009. At the other end of the inset, the S&P 500 closed the week just shy of its all-time high set on Thursday.
Here is a table highlighting the 2013 year-to-date gains, sorted in that order, along with the 2013 interim highs for the eight indexes. The sustained advance of the Japan's Nikkei puts it solidly in the top spot, approaching three times the gain of the second place S&P 500. While the Nikkei is the top performer, its three Asia-Pacific neighbors, Hong Kong's Hang Seng, China's Shanghai Composite and India's SENSEX have performed the worst in 2013, all with YTD losses.
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