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 fell sharply at Friday's start after the government said economic growth was slower than estimated in the second quarter. "We don't foresee a double-dip, but we do expected growth to slow even more markedly, to a 1.6% annualized rate in the second half of the year," Bart van Ark, chief economist at the Conference Board, wrote in a note. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 78 points to 10,388. The S&P 500 declined 9 points to 1,091. The Nasdaq Composite was off 24 points to 2,227. A number of stocks are trading lower following earnings including Genworth, Merck, Fortune Brands, Louisiana Pacific, First Solar, Wynn Resorts, KLA-Tencor, Chevron, and Pilgrims Pride. Pilgrims Pride and Genworth are both down over 8%. Within the first half an hour the averages did battle back thanks to better than expected consumer sentiment and the Chicago PMI number. The commodities, an economic sensitive sector, are leading the charge. That's a good sign. The fertilizer stocks are performing well. Potash is higher after receiving two upgrades. Freeport McMoRan opened lower, but battled back, rallying into the green. That's another good sign. Metlife is up 2% following better than expected earnings last night. Prudential is higher on an upgrade. McAfee is up 4% after better than expected earnings. McAfee and Symantec are going in different directions. After the first hour the averages remained in the red, but way off the lows. Through the morning the averages briefly moved into the green only to pull back once again. The leading sectors include financials and commodities. A couple techs look good including Research in Motion and IBM. The chip stocks remain weak due to growing concerns of building inventories. In the afternoon the averages sold off and then rallied once again in the last hour. Commodities, financials, and a number of techs look good. The fact that the market was resilient to bad economic data this week and the commodities and transportation stocks outperformed is a good sign for things to come. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down a point at 10,465. The S&P 500 index inched up 7 cents to 1,101. while the Nasdaq Composite gained 3 points to 2,254. For the week, the Dow rose 0.4%, the S&P 500 fell 0.1%, and the Nasdaq was down 0.7%. For the month, the Dow gained 7.1%, and both the S&P and Nasdaq rose 6.9%.
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