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.
U.S. stocks bounce on the open following five consecutive down days. The Chinese market jumped 6% on a new stimulus plan. The U.S. followed suit with more details of a mortgage modification plan to keep people in their homes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 101 points to 6,827. The S&P 500 Index rose 11 points to 707, while the Nasdaq Composite climbed 19 points to 1,340. The financials are modestly higher. U.S. Bancorp jumped on the open after cutting their dividend 88%. Blackrock is up 2% on an upgrade. Three deep discount retailers BJs, Big Lots, and Costco all reported this morning. All three are higher. Big Lots is jumping 16%. Joy Global is up 12% on better than expected earnings. The commodities are performing well. The techs look good except for Google which laid out a bearish economic view for 2009. After the first half an hour, the major averages still looked good, but a number of stocks started to succumb to selling, namely GE. The stock is down 10% to new lows. U.S. Bancorp and a number of financials are lower. Insurance stocks are going down as well. Hartford is making new lows. Google is selling off. Here we go again. In the middle of the morning, GE made a statement defending their financial position helping lift that stock and the broader market. During the lunch hour, the averages remained strong, but the off the highs. The financials are all in the red. More insider buying at GE, but it's not helping. That's not good. In the middle of the afternoon, the Beige book was released and it wasn't pretty. The Fed expects the economy to remain weak until at least the end of the year. The bad news didn't hurt the averages. In fact, they actually rallied into the last hour. The Dow jumped as much as 250 points on indications Congress would review the mark to market accounting standards next week. Unfortunately that news item signaled the top and the averages sold off once again. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 149 points, or 2.2%, at 6,875. The S&P 500 Index gained 16 points, or 2.4%, to 712, while the Nasdaq Composite climbed 32 points, or 2.5%, to 1,353.
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