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Correlation between the returns for the stocks

Problem:

Below is recent monthly stock return data for Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Microsoft (MSFT). Using a spreadsheet and its functions, compute the average, variance, standard deviation, and correlation between the returns for these stocks. What does the correlation between the returns imply for a portfolio containing both stocks?

MONTH XOM RETURN MSFT RETURN

November -4.6% 10.4%

October 0.1% 13.6%

September -1.9% -10.3%

August -3.3% -13.8%

July -4.4% - 9.3%

June -1.6% 5.5%

May 0.7% 2.1%

April 9.4% 23.9%

March -0.1% -7.3%

February -3.2% -3.4%

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