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 started higher on Wednesday, lifting the Dow Jones Industrial Average back into positive territory for the year. The Dow industrials climbed 65 points to 11,625. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 7 points to 1,220. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 15 points to 2,591. Better than expected employment data out this morning is lending support to the markets. On the earnings front, the retail sector continues to perform well. Genesco, Fresh Market, and Jos. A Bank are all up 9% or better thanks to strong earnings. What slow down? Dicks is up 2% on an upgrade. The commodities also look good. Mining company, Joy Global is up 6% after beating estimates. The fertilizers, copper, and iron ore stocks all look good which coincidently is exactly what Joy Global extracts. Crude oil refiner, Tesoro is jumping 5% on an upgrade. Within the first half an hour the averages received another jolt in the arm thanks to better than expected manufacturing data. The Dow jumped 90 points while the Nasdaq rallied 23 points. A select number of stocks are not participating in the rally including IBM and Apple. The rare earth stocks are also trading lower. Through the morning the averages remained strong, but off the highs. AT&T pulled back on news the Department of Justice will block the pending merger with T-Mobil. The CEO was on CNBC this morning promoting the merger. So much for that. Heading into the lunch hour the averages gave up more of their gains. A number of commodities have fallen into the red along with several techs. Entering the last hour, the averages had given up all their gains led by weakness in the commodity and tech space. In the last hour the averages were able to put in a rally to finish out the month. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 53 points at 11,613, but lost 4.4% for the month. The S&P 500 gained 5 points to 1,218, but lost 5.7% for the month. The Nasdaq Composite added 3 points to 2,579, off 6.4% for the month.
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