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 mostly higher on Friday after the September nonfarm payrolls report came in better than predicted hopefully easing some recession fears. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 75 points to 11,198. The S&P 500 Index inched up a fraction to 1,165. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 9 points to 2,496. The techs are in the lead with plenty of upgrades. Google, Atmel, AMD, and Texas Instruments were all upgraded. The chips for the most part are trading higher. IBM looks good trading just under its' all time high after Morgan Stanley made them a tactical long term buy. The rest of the market is vacillating around the unchanged level. The financials are the weakest sector, surprise, surprise. The European banks are getting hit after Moody's upgraded 12 UK banks. Royal Bank of Scotland is down 5%. Our banks are weak. Goldman Sachs is down nearly 2%. MasterCard and Visa were upgraded, but both are trading lower. In the retail space GameStop, Activision, and Electronic Arts were upgraded, but only GameStop is higher. All the airlines are higher after Sterne Agee upgraded the sector. Through the first hour the Dow crept higher rising 100 points. The broader market looks quiet, yet only three Dow components Bank of America, JP Morgan, and Travelers are trading lower. The Nasdaq crept back into the green up 5 points. The commodities are weak except for Freeport McMoran. The auto stocks like Ford and GM are performing well. Through the morning the rally fizzled led by weakness in the financials. During the lunch hour the averages sold off after Finch downgraded the debt of Italy and Spain. The downgrade put added pressure on the financials. Through the afternoon the averages remained solidly in the red. In the Dow, Intel and IBM remain in the green while with the defensive stocks like Merck, J&J, Verizon, PG, and Pfizer. In the last hour the Dow accelerated its gains to by 90 points only to sell off into the close. The financials finished near the lows. Not a good sign. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 20 points to 11,103. It rose 1.7% for the week, its second straight weekly advance. The S&P 500 ended down 9 points to 1,155, led by a 3.7% drop in financials. It rose 2.1% for the week. The Nasdaq Composite fell 27 points, or 1.1%, to 2,479. For the week, the Nasdaq advanced 2.7%.
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