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 Friday, retreating from their biggest single-day gains since November 4th. China is making news after ordering its banks to hold more cash in reserve to tame inflation. After Thursday's 173-point rise, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 15 points to 11,165. The S&P 500 Index declined 2 points to 1,193. The Nasdaq Composite fell 4 points to 2,510. Once sector under selling pressure is are the commodities. The CME exchange is raising margin requirements once again for a number of commodities to cool some of the euphoria in that sector. Green energy firm, Sunpower is down 4% on a downgrade. The financials are lower once again. After the first half an hour the selling accelerated with the Dow falling 50 points. The Nasdaq declined 13 points. One sector that continues to shine is retail. Foot Locker is jumping 9% after beating estimates. AnnTaylor is higher by 6% after beating earnings estimates. Hibbett Sports is up 5% after beating estimates. Decker Outdoors is higher on an upgrade. Nike is up a percent after hiking their dividend. Heinz is modestly lower after missing estimates. In the tech space things are mixed. Dell, Marvell, and Salesforce.com are higher following earnings. Netsuite and EMC are higher on upgrades. Cisco is unchanged after adding $10 billion to their share buyback. Autodesk is lower following earnings. Google and Apple are trading lower. Intuit is down 6% on lackluster earnings. After the first hour the averages slowly improved with the commodities perking up. Freeport McMoran has turned around. Cliffs Natural Resources is up 3%. Not bad. Through the morning the averages remained in the red, but not by much. The commodities look good and a number of techs look good following Dell's earnings. In the afternoon the averages limped into the green led by commodities, techs, and retailers. A great week for retailers. In the last hour the averages improved to finish in the green. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 22 points to end at 11,203. The S&P 500 index gained 3 points to 1,199. The Nasdaq Composite rose 3 points to close at 2,518. For the week, the Dow rose 0.1%, the S&P up 0.04%, while the Nasdaq was flat.
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