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.
The see saw market is back. The averages open sharply lower following an ADP report indicating a deterioration in the labor market for December. To make things worse, the Congressional Budget Office is now predicting a budget deficit of $1.2 trillion next year. Yikes. Investors now seem nervous ahead of Fridays government unemployment data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened down 155 points to 8,855. Alcoa is down 6% after announcing major cost cuts. The S&P 500 fell 17 points to 917, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 33 points to 1,619. Very few stocks look good. The financials are lower following a negative analyst call from Meredith Whitney at Oppenheimer. Even the regional banks are getting hit. Bank of America is raising $2.8 billion from selling a stake in a Chinese bank. Most of the techs are lower. Intel has been acting great, but not today. The stock dropped 4% after lowering sales forecasts. Apple and Micron were upgraded, however, both are lower. Time Warner and Supervalu indicated they will report fourth quarter losses. Time Warner is down 6%. There are a few bright spots in the market. Monsanto and Family Dollar both reported solid quarterly earnings. Monsanto is the diamond so far up 14%. AK Steel and Unitedhealth Group were both upgraded. Both stocks are higher. And that's about it for the good news. After the first half an hour the averages remained weak near the lows of the day. Through the morning, and into the afternoon, things got worse not better. Stocks that had performed well are weak today. The price of oil is having its worse day in seven years, down 12% as inventories rise. The economic news isn't getting any better. Entering the last hour the Dow was down 250 points. It didn't take long, but the Dow and S&P 500 are now negative for the year. The Nasdaq declined 50 points. Not good. Very little improvement in the last hour. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 245 points, or 2.7%, at 8,769. The S&P 500 declined 28 points, or 3%, to 906. The Nasdaq composite dropped 53 points, or 3.2%, to close at 1,599.
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