As concerns over the coronavirus (also referred to as COVID-19) continue to dominate news headlines, cause volatility in the marketplace, and test investor confidence in securities markets, one thing remains unchanged - Leigh Baldwin & Co. and its commitment to assist clients through turbulent times. Along with the securities markets, we remain open and available to clients, ready to assist with any needs, questions, or concerns as they arise.
U.S. stocks on Friday opened higher to extend gains into a fourth straight day after the government said the U.S. economy grew more rapidly than some thought at the end of last year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 36 points to 12,206. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 2 points to 1,311. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 8 points to 2,744. On the earnings front we have the haves and the have nots. On the downside we have Research in Motion lower by 10% on disappointing guidance. Darden Restaurant is down 2% following earnings as well. Best Buy continues to make new lows following disappointing earnings yesterday. On the plus side, Accenture is jumping 6% following earnings. Oracle is up 3% after easily beating estimates. The disappointing news for Research in Motion is a plus for Apple which is trading 2%. IBM also looks good in the tech sector thanks to an upgrade. Akamai, Altera, and SAP are higher on upgrades. The financials are quiet for a second straight day. Morgan Stanley is lower by a percent on a downgrade. Goldman Sachs is also lower in sympathy. Aetna is up 2% on an upgrade. The insurance stocks look good. The commodities remain the hot sector. Fertilizers, copper, oils, iron ore, and steel stocks all look good. In the retail space, IMAX is jumping 5% on an upgrade. Priceline, Harley Davidson, Las Vegas Sands are all higher on upgrades. Through the first hour the averages pushed higher with the Dow jumping 70 points. The Nasdaq rose 22 points. The correction seems to be ephemeral. Through the morning the averages remained strong. The financials have rebounded except for Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. In the afternoon the averages remained strong until the last hour when we saw some profit-taking into the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 50 points at 12,220. The S&P 500 Index closed up 4 points at 1,313, with all 10 of its tracked sectors posting gains, led by the energy and technology groups. The Nasdaq Composite rose 6 points to 2,743. For the week, the Dow rose 3.05%. The S&P 500 advanced 2.7%, and the Nasdaq rose 3.8% from Friday of last week.
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