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 opened mildly lower as investors continue to digest the big gains from last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped fractionally to 12,197. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index declined 2 points to 1,308. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 6 points to 2,724. Most sectors are trading a little lower. A couple of blow ups on the earnings front. Education company, Apollo Group is down 7% following lower guidance. Homebuilder, Lennar Group is down 3% even though they reported a profit. Progressive Software is down 3% following in line earnings. The tech sector is mixed this morning. Apple is lower which is never a good sign for the Nasdaq. Qualcomm is one of the few chip stocks higher jumping 3% on an upgrade. Amazon is up 3% after acquiring a cloud service company. IBM, Research in Motion, and Google look good. The commodities opened lower, but rebounded. AK Steel is jumping 4% after hedge fund manager SAC Capital increased their stake in the firm. The rest of the steels and iron ore stocks are higher. Alcoa, Chesapeake Energy, CF Industries, and Molycorp are all higher on upgrades. The financials are lower struggling as a sector once again. XL Capital is up 2% on an upgrade, but Travelers is lower on a downgrade. In the retail space Van Heusen is up 6% after beating estimates. Home Depot is up 3% after reaffirming estimates and raising debt for a share buyback plan. After the first hour the Dow rose 30 points while the Nasdaq rallied 12 points. Through the morning the averages kept moving higher with the Dow rising 60 points and the Nasdaq climbing 20 points. Resilient market. In the afternoon the averages kept improving into the last hour with the Dow jumping 80 points led by commodity plays. Rare earth metal play, Molycorp is up 7% today and up 40% from the mid-March lows. Goldman Sachs looks good, but the rest of the financials aren't budging. In the tech space Google, IBM, and Research in Motion look good, but Apple can't seem to get going. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 81 points at 12,279. Home Depot led gains in the Dow, rising 2.9%. The S&P 500 gained 9 points to 1,319, led by more than 1% rallies in energy and telecom sectors. The Nasdaq Composite gained 26 points to 2,756.
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