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 turned higher on Friday after an opening slide, with Wall Street looking at weekly losses of as much as 5%, and investors on shaky ground after the prior session's wild action. Although at some point today the markets will probably try to scare us. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 26 points to 10,546. The S&P 500 Index added 2 points to 1,130. The Nasdaq Composite held steady at 2,319. The monthly unemployment data came in better than expected this morning. Typically that would cause the market to rally, but the fundamentals are thrown out the window in times like this as investors trade on emotion. The averages remained quiet in the first half an hour with financials in the lead. The calm waters did not last long as the averages started to dive in reaction to a sell off in Europe. The Dow dropped over 200 points pushing the Dow into negative territory for the year. The Nasdaq declined as much as 80 points into negative territory for the year. Apple is down 3% after Nokia sued them for patent infringement. Couldn't they wait a day or two. As the morning progressed the European market recovered and so did the U.S. markets. The Dow actually rallied into the green briefly before selling back off by 100 points. Once the European markets closed the U.S. breathed a sigh of relief. Through the lunch hour the averages remain quiet, but then sold off once again on concerns of a bomb scare in Time Square. Here we go again. A few stocks are performing well today. Many of the oils are higher. Kraft is the best Dow component up 2.5% thanks to better than expected earnings. There is one stock trading on fundamentals. AIG is up 7% on questionable earnings. More accounting tricks. Washington Post is down 2.5% on earnings. After a volatile day like yesterday, you'd expect a number of upgrades, but I counted only about five upgrades. It's human nature to step back when volatility hits the market and wait for the dust to settle. In the afternoon the Dow remained down 50 to 100 points. A few stocks remain in the green. The oils, Kraft, and a couple of financials like Goldman. Goldman had their annual meeting today. Great timing. Goldman hinted to a possible dividend hike. In the last hour the averages sold off then rebounded a little. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 140 points, or 1.3%, to end at 10,379, bringing its weekly point loss to the worst since October 2008. The S&P 500 index fell 17 points, or 1.5%, to close at 1,110. The Nasdaq Composite ended down 54 points, or 2.3%, to 2,265. For the week, the Dow industrials fell 5.7%, the S&P 500 lost 6.4%, it worst drop since March 2009, and the Nasdaq dropped 8%. An ugly two weeks.
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