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 one day rally is over. The President's State of the Union did little to spark any enthusiasm on Wall Street. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 36 points to 7,314. AT&T is up one percent on an upgrade. The S&P 500 declined 4 points to 768 and the Nasdaq Composite shed 11 points to 1,430. More disappointing earnings keep coming in. Dreamworks and Martha Stewart are both down 5% following earnings. Wynn Resorts is down 10% after missing estimates by a wide margin. Those leveraged casino companies are in trouble. Frist Solar is down 17% after providing a cautious outlook for 2009. The financials surged yesterday. Today it's back to reality. Most of the big banks are getting hit hard. Allstate is down 7% after cutting their dividend. BB&T raised their dividend, but Wall Street doesn't want to see that. The stock is down 5%. The retail sector is mixed. TJX, Dollar Tree, and Saks opened higher. Dicks rose 2% on an upgrade. The rest of the sector is weak. After the first half an hour, the averages pushed lower on weak housing numbers. The Dow dropped over 140 points. The Nasdaq declined 28 points. Here we go again. Through the morning the averages remained weak, but off the lows. A majority of the financials have recovered most if not all their losses. That's good. Fed Chairman Bernanke for a second straight day is trying to ease fears of bank nationalization. He stated there is no government plan to nationalize Citigroup. At 2 o'clock, the Treasury provided more details of the stress test for banks which initially helped them, then hurt them, then helped them once again. Entering the last hour the major averages were back to the unchanged level with the big banks in the green. The averages had a nice rally in the last hour, but unfortunately it completely fizzled into the close. Not much fun. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 80 points at 7,270. The S&P 500 fell 8 points to 764 while the Nasdaq Composite declined 16 points to 1,425.
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