U.S. stocks opened lower on Wednesday, looking to snap a three-day winning streak, after weak durable goods orders from October. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 158 points to 8,320. The S&P 500 shed 15 points to 842, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 13 points to 1,451. The economic data is pointing to a harsh recession. The retailers keep posting bad earnings from the likes of Dillards, Tiffany, J. Crew, Talbots, Coldwater Creek, and Delias. J. Crew and Dillards are both down 10%. Deere posted a 18% drop in earnings. The stock is down 10% today and down 66% since June yet the news was not that bad. Sales will slow next year, but Deere expects to make $2 billion in earnings or over $4 a share. That means the stock is trading for 7 times earnings and yet no one wants to buy it. Crazy. After the first half an hour the averages kept recovering. The financials are lower except for Citigroup. That stock is up 6% partly on news a Mexican billionaire bought a big stake in the firm last week. After the first hour, the Dow was down 70 points. The Nasdaq was in the green by 10 points. President-elect, Obama made a third speech in as many days introducing a new economic advisory team. The averages were were able to claw their way back to the unchanged level during his speech. During the lunch hour the Dow moved into the green thanks to Citigroup and GM, two of its worse performing components. Citi is up 15% while GM is up 50%. Not bad. The averages remained in the green even as we learned of terrorist attacks in India. Heading into the last hour the averages accelerated to the upside. In the last hour the Dow jumped over 200 points. The Nasdaq improved by 52 points. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 247 points, or 3%, at 8,726. The S&P 500 index gained 30 points, or 3.5%, to 887, while the Nasdaq Composite jumped 67 points, or 4.6%, to end at 1,532. The S&P is up 20% in the last four days. Not bad.
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