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 got off to a mixed start Friday after the September jobs report, which when viewed with its August revision, proved to be about in line with forecasts. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 6 points to 10,954. The S&P 500 Index was off by a fraction at 1,157. The Nasdaq Composite fell 5 points to 2,377.94. After the employment data, the U.S. dollar sold off causing the commodities to jump. Alcoa is up 6% following better than expected earnings last night. Freeport is jumping 3% to a new high. The fertilizers like Agrium are jumping 5% to new highs. Most of the oils are higher as well. Rowan is higher on an upgrade. In the tech sector Micron missed by 6 cents, however, the stock is up 4%. Micron's earnings pointed to strong demand for the Apple Ipad. Apple is modestly higher not far from its' 52 week high. QLogic and BMC Software are modestly higher on upgrades, but most techs are lower. Amazon and F5 Networks are lower on downgrades. Adobe is down 5% after jumping yesterday on rumors Microsoft wanted to buy them out. VMware is lower even though the stock was upgraded. In the retail space JCPenney is jumping 5% on the disclosure a private equity firm has been buying up the stock. Aeropostale is up 3% on an upgrade. American Eagle and Abercrombie & Fitch are higher on upgrades. The financials are going nowhere. Credit Suisse and Jefferies are lower on downgrades. Hartford is higher on an upgrade. Goldman Sachs is higher as well. After the first hour the averages improved led by the commodity stocks. Through the morning the averages pushed higher with the Dow rising 50 points hitting 11000 for the first time since the beginning of May. The Nasdaq is modestly higher. In the afternoon the averages remained strong led by the commodities. Deere is jumping 5.6%, Freeport McMoRan is up 4.7%, and the fertilizer stocks are on fire. CF and Agrium are both up over 8%. All four stocks made new 52 week highs today. In the last hour the averages remained firm. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 57 points at 11,006, its first close above 11,000 since May 3. Shares of Alcoa Inc. (AA) led blue-chip gains, rising 5.7% after the aluminum giant's earnings topped expectations. The Dow gained 1.6% for the week. The S&P 500 index gained 7 points to 1,165, led by gains in the materials sector. The Nasdaq Composite rose 18 points to 2,401. The S&P 500 is up 1.7% and the Nasdaq up 1.3% for the week.
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