Day Traders Diary
U.S. stocks opened sharply lower on Friday on reports of coming downgrades of euro-zone nations by rating agency Standard & Poor's and disappointing earnings at JP Morgan. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 98 points to 12,373. The S&P 500 lost 9 points to 1,285. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 17 points to 2,706. Today is a day of profit-taking particularly within the financials. JP Morgan opened down 4% on mixed earning results. All the big banks are trading sharply lower. Bank of America is also down 4%. The homebuilders are also taking it on the chin after a nice run up to start the year. Beazer Homes is down 5% while Pulte Homes is lower by 3%. Metlife is down 5% on a downgrade. Through the first hour the averages pushed lower. The Dow fell over 100 points as every component is trading lower. The Nasdaq declined 30 points. Every sector is trading lower this morning as the buyers seem to be taking the day off. Plenty of upgrades including Google, AT&T, Novellus, Chevron, Johnson Controls, and Stanley Black & Decker yet all six stocks are lower. VMware and UPS are lower by 2% on downgrades. Eastman Kodak is down 24% on bankruptcy concerns. At the end of the first hour the averages pushed lower on rumors of a debt downgrade of France by the Standard and Poor's. Through the morning the averages lifted off the lows as a few stocks including financials improved. Visa and US Bancorp are in the green and for some reason Jefferies is jumping 7%. That's interesting. Two Dow components, Dow Chemical and Caterpillar, are now in the green. In the afternoon the averages slowly recovered on light volume. A few more stocks moved into the green. The fertilizer stocks are performing particularly well. In the last hour the averages improved to their best levels of the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 48 points at 12,422, recovering after falling 150 points. The S&P 500 fell 6 points to 1,289. The Nasdaq Composite lost 14 points to 2,710. For the week, the Dow gained 0.5%, the S&P 500 rose 0.9%, and the Nasdaq rose 1.4%.
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