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 wavered at the start as solid retail sales and decent economic data did little to lift the averages. Tomorrow is the big monthly unemployment number. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 9 points to 12,032. The Standard & Poor's Index fell a point to 1,302. The Nasdaq Composite declined a point to 2,748. Commodity prices move higher, but the commodity stocks are lower. The commodity exchange, the CME Group is down 5% after missing estimates. Arch Coal is lower even though it was upgraded. The techs are mostly lower. Apple and Google are down. Corning and Micron are lower even though they were upgraded. Research in Motion is up 2% due to missteps at Nokia. Nokia is down 3%. Juniper, Cisco, and Sandisk are higher on upgrades. A number of retailers look good after reporting January sales numbers. Aeropostale, American Eagle, Gap, Limited, Dillards, and Nordstrom are all up over 3%. AutoNation is up 8% on earnings. BJ's is jumping 12% on news the company will considering selling a division or the whole company. Saks is down 3% on their sales report. CVS Caremark is down 5% following earnings. In the healthcare sector Merck is down 3% following lackluster earnings. Cigna is also lower on earnings. GlaxoSmithCline is up 2% on earnings. The financials are trying to rebound. Deutsche Bank, Hartford, Visa, and Mastercard are all higher following earnings. Other companies reporting earnings this morning include Kelloggs, Reynolds America, Diamond Offshore, Viacom, ITT, Starwood, Ryder Systems, Green Mountain Coffee, Shutterfly, Viacom, and Dow Chemical. Shutterfly is jumping 16%, while Green Mountain Coffee is up 18%. Through the morning the averages pushed lower, but not by much. In the afternoon the averages hovered around the unchanged level, much like yesterday. Entering the last hour the averages started to rally ahead of tomorrow's monthly unemployment data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 20 points at 12,062, led by more than 1% gains in the shares of Cisco Systems, Bank of America, and AT&T. The S&P 500 added 3 points to 1,307. The Nasdaq Composite ended up 4 points to 2,753.
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