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 opened mixed on Friday the 13th with financials still inching higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 24 points to 7,190. The S&P 500 gained 2 points to 752 while the Nasdaq Composite declined 2 points to 1,424. The economic data is encouraging with the U.S. trade deficit narrowing by 9.7% in January, the lowest monthly gap since October 2002. Citigroup is up 12% on encouraging comments from the Chairman and word they are replacing four members of their board. Most of the financials and insurance stocks are higher. JP Morgan is up 4% on an upgrade. When was the last time a financial was upgraded? Paychex is up 2% on an upgrade. On the earnings front, Hibbett Sporting is up 12% after beating estimates. Aeropostale and Pacific Sunwear are unchanged after both beat estimates. Walmart is unchanged even though it was downgraded. McDonalds is modestly higher on an upgrade. After the open the averages inched higher. The Nasdaq moved into the green. Dell, Palm, and Intel are modestly higher following upgrades. Google had their numbers lowered, but the stock is higher. At the end of the first hour, the rally started to fizzle, but the financials are still in the green. By the lunch hour, the rally had evaporated. Even the financials were in the red. In the afternoon, the averages hovered around the unchanged level. Not much is going on. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 53 points at 7,223. For the week, the Dow advanced 9%. The S&P 500 index rose 5 points to end at 756. The broad index jumped 10.7% for the week. The Nasdaq Composite gained 5 points to 1,431, ending 10.6% above last Friday's level.
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