Day Traders Diary


U.S. stocks opened sharply lower on Friday, pushing the Dow Jones Industrial Average into negative territory for the week, after the Labor Department reported payrolls remained unchanged in August. "The story it's telling is August was pretty weak. The debt debate in Washington hurt business confidence, and they cut back on their hiring," said Brad Sorensen, director of market and sector analysis, at Charles Schwab .The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell a quick 234 points to 11,259. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index declined 26 points to 1,177. The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 55 points to 2,490. The news was quiet ahead of the economic data. H&R Block is down 10% following earnings. Cascade is also lower following earnings, but Finisar, an optic networking firm, is jumping 9% following earnings. However, the stock is down 50% since the March highs. At 8:30, the August payroll number produced zero job growth, a huge hit to any economic recovery in the second half of the year. The financials which were already weak took another hit. Bank of America is down 7% on news they are looking to sell their Countrywide lending unit. Good luck there. The newspapers are claiming the Fed is asking Bank of America for a contingency plan in case things get worse. That's not good. All the big banks are lower on rumors the government is looking to sue more than dozen banks. And you wonder why we can't create jobs. Through the first hour the averages improved a little bit on news from Goldman Sachs saying the Fed will try new policies at the next meeting to further support the markets. However, it's the President and Congress that really need to get their act together. Through the morning the averages remained weak, but off the lows. All the Dow components are trading lower. Volume should dry up through the rest of the day as many people leave ahead of the three day weekend. In the afternoon the averages actually pushed to new lows for the day with the Dow falling nearly 300 points before rebounding in the last hour. The Nasdaq fell 75 points only to rebound in the last hour. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the session down 253 points, or 2.2%, at 11,240. The S&P 500 Index fell 30 points, or 2.5%, to 1,173 while the Nasdaq Composite Index lost 65 points, or 2.6%, to 2,480. The weekly results for the indexes were mixed, with the Dow industrials off 0.4% and the S&P 500 Index down 0.2%, marking a second straight week of declines for both. The Nasdaq Composite, meanwhile, clung to a minor weekly gain of 0.02%.

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