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 higher on Friday after monthly data showed the U.S. jobless rate fell to a two-and-a-half year low. Comments from Angela Merkel reiterating Germany's strong backing for the euro is also lending support. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 91 points to 12,111. The S&P 500 added 11 points to 1,255. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 24 points to 2,650. What a week. With today's opening, the Dow is up 900 points or 8% from last Friday's close. The financials for once are in the lead. JP Morgan is up 7%, Goldman Sachs is up 6%, Citigroup is up 6%, and Bank of America is up 5%. The insurance stocks also look good. Metlife is up 3%. Allstate is up a percent on an upgrade. The techs look good as well. Google continues its' turnaround. IBM is at a new 52 week high. Novellus is up 2% thanks to a mid-quarter update. Netsuite is up 4% on an upgrade. Analog Devices is higher on an upgrade. Intel and Microsoft are lagging. Research in Motion is the dog of the day in tech land down 9% after disclosing they will have to take a charge for their poor selling Playbook tablet. The rest of the sectors are higher, but not by much. Valero is up 3% on an upgrade. Cliffs Natural Resources is higher thanks to an upgrade. In the retail space, Cracker Barrel and Lowes are higher on upgrades. Lululemon is jumping 5% recovering much of the sell off following earnings the other day. Big Lots however is lower by 9% on disappointing earnings. Through the morning the Dow rose over 100 points only to pull back a little into the lunch hour as a few components dipped into the red. The Nasdaq remains strong up 17 points. The utilities are lower as interest rates are nudging up a bit. Through the afternoon more and more stocks dropped into the red. Can't blame investors after such a big run up.In the last hour the averages gravitated back to the unchanged level. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 61 cents at 12,019 for a weekly gain of 7%. It was the best week in terms of percentage gain for the Dow since July 2009. The S&P 500 edged down 31 cents to to 1,244. It rose 7.4% during the week, the biggest weekly percentage rise since March 2009. Only the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 73 cents to close at 2,626, bringing the weekly increase to 7.6%. That is the best since October.
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