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 sharply higher on Monday after China said it would let its currency appreciate against the U.S. dollar. China has kept the yuan artificially low in a move that has boosted its exports and kept imported goods costly for its consumers. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 124 points to 10,575. The S&P 500 Index climbed 13 points to 1,130. The Nasdaq Composite gained 27 points to 2,337. A number of mergers announced over the weekend, another good sign things are picking up. JP Morgan is in talks to acquire a Brazilian asset management firm. All the Brazilian stocks like Petrobras are trading higher. Petrobras is up 3%. Brazil's steel company, Gerdau is up 3% as well. The commodities are performing well. Freeport McMoran is up 5%. Exxon Mobil is up 2% even though it was downgraded. BP is down 3% as the cost of the oil spill has risen to over $2 billion. In the transportation space, Union Pacific is up 2% on an upgrade. In the tech space Micron and Brocade are higher on upgrades. Apple is at another new high. Shocker. Research in Motion was upgraded, but the stock has gone no where. The company reports earnings on Thursday. The financials are modestly higher this morning thanks to all the merger activity over the weekend. After the first hour the averages remain strong near the highs of the day. A few techs fell into the red including Google, Research in Motion, and Microsoft. The retail sector is one of the weakest sectors in the market today. Through the morning the averages gave up half their gains. Research in Motion is down 3% ahead of earnings on Thursday. The financials have improved a little bit. Visa and Mastercard are both improving, up over 3% on revisions to the financial reform bill. Metlife and Stifel Financial are higher thanks to positive Barrons articles. In the afternoon the averages rebounded, then sold off into the last hour. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 8 points at 10,442. The S&P 500 index fell 4 points to end at 1,113. The Nasdaq Composite fell 20 points to end at 2,289.
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