Day Traders Diary


February 6, 2009
The markets open higher even though the U.S. lost 598,000 jobs in January, the highest number since 1974. Unemployment jumped to 7.6%, the highest level since 1992. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 82 points to 8,145. The S&P 500 climbed 8 points to 854, while the Nasdaq Composite climbed 8 points to 1,554. The financials look good ahead of a major announcement on Monday from the Treasury department regarding helping the major banks. Bank of America is up 15% on an upgrade from Dick Bove. GE is modestly higher even though JP Morgan warned of a credit downgrade and a dividend cut. The insurance stocks are lower following bad earnings from Hartford Financial. Hartford is down 25%. Metlife is lower on a downgrade. The techs continue to perform well. Corning is up 6% on an upbeat forecast for the second half of the year. The commodities are looking great even as oil pushes lower. After the first half an hour, the Dow rose 140 points. The Nasdaq improved by 28 points. After the first hour, the averages remained strong near the highs of the day. Most stocks are trading in the green. Even Toyota is higher even though they will report a loss for the first time in a decade. So far so good. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages remained strong. The financials still look good including Bank of America which is up 28%. CEO Ken Lewis came on T.V. to calm investors fears. He was emphatic that the bank doesn't need any more government money. That's good. Very few stocks are in the red. A couple oil companies and the insurance stocks and that's about it. By the middle of the afternoon, the Dow jumped as much as 250 points before pulling back. GE gave up most of its' gains after making conciliatory remarks that they may have to lower the dividend in the future. In the last hour, the averages held firm. The Nasdaq is actually up for the year. Unbelievable. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 217 points at 8,280, up 3.5% for the week. The S&P 500 climbed 22 points, or 2.7%, at 868, up 5.2% on the week. The Nasdaq Composite rose 45 points, or 2.9%, to 1,591, up 7.8% on the week and up 14 points on the year.

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