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 higher Wednesday as investors took a tentative stance ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee's policy statement later in the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 27 points to 11,435. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index climbed 3 points to 1,205. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 22 points to 2,612. Once again the rally is being led by the techs. Oracle and Adobe are trading up over 3% following better than expected earnings. The other big cap techs look good including Apple, Google, IBM, and Intel. Autodesk is higher on an upgrade. Microsoft raised their dividend last night by 20%, yet the stock is trading lower. Outside the tech space, things don't look so good. The commodities are getting clobbered. Cliffs Natural Resources is down 5%. Freeport McMoran is down 4% as well due to a strike at one of their mines and lower recent copper prices. The coal stocks are taking it on the chin. Alpha Natural Resources and Walter Energy are both lower by over 6% due to lowered guidance today. Arch Coal and Patriot Coal are lower in sympathy. The transportation stocks are also getting hit as less coal means less railroad business for Union Pacific and Norfolk Southern. Not a good sign. Only the oils in the commodity space seem to be holding up. Through the first hour the rally fizzled once again. The Dow fell into the red while the Nasdaq held on to modest gains. Now all we got it the Fed comments out later this afternoon to help save the markets. Through the morning the Dow remained in the red while the Nasdaq held on to modest gains. One stock showing some life is HP, trading up 6% on rumors the CEO will get fired. During the lunch hour the banks took a hit thanks to Moody's downgrading the debt of Bank of America, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo. Can the news get any worse? The techs are the only sector holding up. In the middle of the afternoon the Fed announced their new initiative to lower long term rates with operation twist. The averages initially sold off, then rebounded, then sold off once again. A few techs are in the green and that's about it. In the last hour the selling accelerated. Here we go again. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 283 points, or 2.5%, at 11,124. The S&P 500 fell 35 points, or 2.9%, to 1,166. The Nasdaq Composite lost 52 points, or 2.01%, to 2,538.
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