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 markets are breathing a sigh of relief this morning as the fourth-quarter gross domestic production fell just 3.8%. A bad number, but much less than expected. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 30 points to 8,176. Honeywell is up 3% after reaffirming 2009 earnings. P&G is down 3% on a cautious outlook. The S&P 500 index gained 3 points to 848, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 12 points to 1,520. The earnings keep flooding in. The list within the tech sector includes Amazon, Rambus, Juniper, Computer Associates, Sunpower, KLA-Tencor, and Broadcom. Broadcom and Juniper are the only two trading lower. The real winner is Amazon jumping 18% on strong earnings. Not many can say that. Research in Motion is higher on an upgrade while Cisco is lower on a downgrade. The financials are quiet this morning. American Express is modestly higher following insider buying. JP Morgan is up 2% after the CEO said they don't need to sell any assets to a government run bad bank. Visa and Mastercard are higher. Visa was upgraded. Allstate is down 6% following poor earnings yesterday and a downgrade this morning. In the commodity space, Chevron and Exxon Mobil are higher following earnings. The steel stocks are lower on a Goldman Sachs downgrade. After the first half an hour the averages pushed lower. It doesn't look like a good end to the month. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages remained weak with the Dow dropping as much as 140 points before rebounding. Very few stocks are in the green. Within the Dow, Boeing, Exxon Mobil, and JP Morgan look good and that's about it. In the middle of the afternoon the averages sold back off towards the lows of the day on news the government's good bank bad bank plan had hit a snag. In the last hour, a little recovery only to sell off to new lows. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 148 points, or 1.8%, at 8,000. For January, the blue-chip index fell 8.8%. The S&P 500 index fell 19 points, or 2.3%, to 825. For the month, the broad index fell 8.6%, its worst performance on record. The Nasdaq Composite lost 31 points, or 2%, to close at 1,476. The technology heavy index fell 6.4% during the month.
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