Day Traders Diary
3/16/09U.S. stocks rose firmly at the open Monday, continuing last week's sharp rally, after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said he expects the recession to end this year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 48 points to 7,271. The S&P 500 index gained five points to 761, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 4 points to 1,435. The financials continue their modest rally. Barclays is up 15% on an upbeat assessment of business. Citigroup is up 11%, Bank of America is up 8%, and GE is up 3% above $10 for the first time in over a month. JP Morgan is up 2% on an upgrade and a $45 price target. Lincoln and Hartford Financial are both higher even though they were downgraded. After the open, the techs gave up their gains. Corning is modestly higher on positive comments from Barclays. Intel was upgraded, yet the stock is lower. Oil is lower today, but Exxon is higher thanks to an upgrade. Agrium and CF Industries are higher as merger talks continue to evolve. Union Pacific is jumping 6% due to an upgrade. Abbott Labs is up 2% on an upgrade. So far so good. After the first hour, the Dow remained strong up 70 points thanks to the financials. The Nasdaq, however, is in the red. Through the morning, the Dow kept pushing higher thanks to the financials. I haven't been able to say that in a long time. Entering the lunch hour, the Dow was up over 100 points as Citigroup jumped over 30%. AIG is up 67% as the government moves in to prevent further short selling. In the afternoon the Dow kept surging thanks to the financials. Barrons wrote a positive cover piece on the two largest investment banks, Goldman and Morgan Stanley. Ironically, they're both lower. In the last hour, our great rally completely fizzled. Only a select number of financials and commodities remained in the green. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 7 points at 7,216. The S&P 500 Index ended down 2 points at 753 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 27 points, or 1.9%, to 1,404.
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