Day Traders Diary


The much anticipated December monthly unemployment number was released and it wasn't pretty. The U.S. lost 524,000 jobs in December and 2.6 million for all of 2008, the worse year since 1945. Unemployment jumped to 7.2%, the highest level since 1993. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 10 points to 8,731. The S&P 500 fell 3 points to 906. The Nasdaq Composite fell 9 points to 1,607. After the open the averages pushed lower. Unfortunately, the economy and job losses will only get worse. Very few stocks are in the green. Plenty of downgrades in the retail space including J. Crew, Sears, Mens Wearhouse, and Abercrombie & Fitch. Coach is down 13% after lowering guidance last night. Aeropostale was upgraded, however the stock is lower. Best Buy is down 3% after narrowing guidance. The financials are modestly lower except for Goldman and Morgan Stanley. A few tech stocks are higher including Reseearch in Motion, Yahoo, and Palm. Palm is up 44% after releasing a version of their new smart phone. The
commodities are lower. Nothing really looks good. After the first hour, the Dow fell over 100 points. The Nasdaq declined 34 points. A homebuilder, Lennar is down 20% on rumors the company is cooking the books. No good news today. Through the morning and into the afternoon, the averages remained in the red. A few times they tried to rally, unsuccessfully. In the last hour we heard rumors Citigroup and Morgan Stanley may eventually merge their brokerage divisions. Morgan's stock is up a little. Citigroup is also making news that Robert Rubin is leaving the firm. That stock is down 6%. Into the close, more selling. Here we go again. The Dow Jones Industrial finished down 143 points, or 1.6%, at 8,599, leaving the blue-chip index down 4.8% for the week. The S&P 500 declined 19 points, or 2.1%, to stand at 890, translating into a weekly loss of 4.5%. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 45 points, or 2.8%, leaving the technology-laden index down 3.7% on the week. All comments contained herein are for informational purposes only, and should not be considered as a solicitation to buy or sell any security. The firm does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information or make any warranties regarding results from it's usage.