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 lower Thursday after a report showed first-time applicants for jobless benefits climbed last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 29 points to 11,385. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index declined 3 points to 1,194. The Nasdaq Composite Index dipped a point to 2,547. The initial weakness did not last as money rotated into tech stocks. Research in Motion, Cisco Systems, and Juniper Networks are all higher on positive analyst comments. Microsoft is modestly higher as one analyst speculated that the software giant could hike their dividend. The chips are higher once again. One of the few techs lower is Corning on cautious comments on the quarter. The commodity space is also performing well in particular the fertilizers. Agrium is trading up 1.6%. The oils look good. Exxon Mobil is higher on an upgrade with a $90 price target. Hess is up 2% after announcing a small acquisition. The one sector that can't seem to get going is the financials. Rumors of Goldman Sachs splitting up are not helping that stock. Through the first hour the averages rebounded into the green only to sell off again. Through the morning the averages rebounded once again with the Dow jumping 50 points only to fall back into the red by the lunch hour. We're in a yo-yo effect awaiting the President's speech tonight. In the afternoon the Fed Chairman, Ben Bernanke spoke providing no new clues to any monetary initiatives. The major averages didn't like this, pushing to new lows for the day. The Dow fell 90 points while the Nasdaq dropped 16 points. A select number of techs and defensive stocks within the Dow remain in the green. In the last hour the averages pushed lower as investors seem to have no confidence in the President's speech tonight. The only silver lining was volume was low. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 119 points at 11,295. The S&P 500 lost 12 points, or 1.1%, to 1,185. The Nasdaq Composite eased 19 points to 2,529.
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