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 lower on Thursday, with sentiment hit by an unexpected increase in weekly jobless claims, a day ahead of the key July employment report. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 43 points to 10,637, weighed down by 1% decline in shares of Alcoa, General Electric, Home Depot, 3M, and Merck. The S&P 500 index fell 6 points to 1,120, weighed down by the energy and financial sectors. The Nasdaq Composite fell 10 points to 2,292. A few stocks and at least one sector look good this morning. The fertilizers are acting well. Agrium and Potash are both up over 3%. A number of retailers look good following better than expected same store sales. Abercrombie and Fitch, Target, Kohls, TJX, and Macys all are trading higher. Liz Claiborne is jumping 11% even though they reported a loss. Aeropostale is down 6% after missing sales estimates. The insurance stocks are struggling after Prudential, Manulife, Suntrust, Allstate, and Hartford reported lackluster earnings. Hartford is down 5%. Other earnings this morning and last night include Jack in the Box, Transocean, Omnicare, DirecTV, Cablevision, Orbitz, GT Solar, Beazer Homes, WebMD, Cardinal Health, Viacom, and Cigna. Orbitz is jumping 13%, Transocean is up 6%, and WebMD is up 5%. Omnicare is down 10% and Jack in the Box is down 6%. After the first hour the averages remain in the red, but not by much. Investors are waiting for the unemployment numbers out tomorrow. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages moved absolutely sideways. No one is making any bets ahead of the unemployment number tomorrow. In the last hour the averages recovered almost reaching the unchanged level. The number tomorrow morning will not be great, but someone is nervous or betting the market will move higher following the report. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 5 points at 10,674. Among blue-chips, shares of American Express fell 2%, while Alcoa erased earlier losses to rise, and Caterpillar gained 1.2%. The S&P 500 index dropped a point to 1,125, weighed down by the technology and financials sectors, while materials and consumer discretionary advanced. The Nasdaq Composite lost 10 points to 2,293.
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