The Week In Review
3/28-4/1/11April 1, 2011
U.S. stocks started the new month on a high note after the government reported employers in March added more jobs than expected and the unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 8.8%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 51 points to 12,371. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index climbed 7 points to 1,333. The Nasdaq Composite added 12 points to 2,793. A new month and a new quarter, but the same old sectors look good like the commodities. Fertilizers, oils, steels, coal, iron ore stocks look good. Mosaic is up 2% even though it was downgrades. One copper Freeport McMoran is down a percent on the open. The industrial names like Caterpillar and Deere are up trading at a new 52 week highs. The techs are modestly higher led by the familiar names like Apple, Google, and IBM. Intel, Dell, and Research in Motion are modestly lower. EMC is higher on an upgrade. Baidu.com was downgraded, but the stock is higher. Motorola Mobility is unchanged on a downgrade. Nokia is lower on a downgrade. The big loser is Logitech down 17% after lowering guidance. After the first half an hour the financials perked up. That's a good sign. Huntington Bancshares is up 3% on an upgrade. After the first hour the Dow rose over 80 points above 12400 for the first time in two and a half years. The Nasdaq jumped 13 points. The financials are in the lead today. The Dow Jones Transporation Average is at a new high for the year as well. FedEx is up 3% on an upgrade. US Airways is up 3% as well on an upgrade. Tata Motors is higher after reporting better than expected March sales. GM is modestly higher after reporting sales numbers. So far the first day of the new quarter is no April fools. Through the morning the averages remain strong near the highs of the day. A number of techs and commodities pulled back, but the financials still look good. In the afternoon the averages moved sideways only to sell off heading into the last hour led by the techs. In the last hour the techs and the Nasdaq fell into the red with Apple dropping 1.5%. Intel is down nearly 3%. The rest of the market is giving up its' gains, but rebounded into the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 56 points at 12,376, led by more than 1% gains in General Electric and Caterpillar. The S&P 500 gained 6 points to 1,332. The Nasdaq Composite added 8 points to 2,789. For the week, the Dow gained 1.3%, the S&P 500 rose 1.4%, and the Nasdaq advanced 1.7%. It was the second week of gains for all three averages.
March 31, 2011
U.S. stocks on Thursday started the final day of the quarter slightly lower after the government reported a smaller-than-expected drop in weekly jobless claims. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell a fraction to 12,350. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index dipped a point to 1,327 while the Nasdaq Composite was off 2 points to 2,775. It's the end of the first quarter and what a quarter its' been with the Dow up nearly 7% and components Caterpillar up 20%, Chevron up 18%, and Pfizer up 18%. The commodities look to be ending the quarter on a high note. Fertilizer, Mosaic is lower following earnings yet the rest of the fertilizers are up. The copper and oil stocks look good. US Steel is down 3% after having their estimates cut. The rest of the market is quiet. The techs are lower for the most part. Intel is down 2% after having their estimates and price target cut. Google looks good. Lawson Software is modestly higher after reporting earnings. NetLogic is higher on an upgrade. The financials are trading lower as a sector. Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs had their earnings numbers cut, yet both are modestly higher. Go figure. After the first hour the averages were modestly higher, but the rest of the day may be quiet since it's the end of the quarter. Most money managers are ready for the quarter to end. Through the morning the averages drifted lower. Only a handful of stocks look good. Electric vehicle company Tesla Motors is jumping 20% on an upgrade with a price target that is three times higher than the current stock price. Not bad. Carmax is down 6% after reporting a quarterly profit. Northrop Grumman is dropping 8% due to the fact their spinning off their nuclear warship division into a company called Huntington Ingalls. In the afternoon, the averages moved sideways waiting for the quarter to end. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 30 points at 12,319, rising 6.4% for the first three months marking its best first-quarter performance since 1999. The S&P 500 Index ended the daily session down 2 points at 1,325, rising 5.4% for the quarter. The Nasdaq Composite rose 4 points to 2,781, recording a 4.8% return for the first three months of the year.
March 30, 2011
U.S. stocks opened higher on Wednesday after the monthly ADP employment report offered encouragement ahead of Friday's payroll report from the Department of Labor. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 50 points to 12,329. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index climbed 6 points to 1,326. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 15 points to 2,772. Another rally to start the day. This market doesn't want to go down. A biopharmaceutical company, Cephalon is jumping 27% thanks to a hostile bid from a rival firm. A mystery investor offered bids for airline firm AMR and Eastman Kodak, however, Wall Street isn't taking the offers too seriously. The commodities continue their ascent higher. The fertilizers, oils, steel, and copper plays look good. Rare earth metal play, Molycorp is up once again on news they are working with the US Department of Energy. The techs look good this morning. Corning and Hewlett Packard received positive analyst comments. Apple is one tech that in the short term can't seem to get going. One analyst cut numbers on a possible delay of the Iphone 5. I wouldn't expect this to be a big issue. The retail sector is performing well. Jos. A Bank is up 4% on earnings. Family Dollar is higher after beating earnings estimates. Amazon is up 2% on an upgrade while Gamestop is unchanged on an upgrade. After the first hour the Dow remained right where it started the day. Dow components Alcoa, AT&T, Verizon, Caterpillar, Chevron, Coke, and Pfizer all made new 52 week highs this morning. Two other former Dow components Altria and Philip Morris are also at new highs. The Nasdaq gave up some of its gains as Apple drifted lower. Through the morning the Dow drifted higher as the financials perked up on indication some of the Dodd Frank bill may get revised. Goldman Sachs is up a percent. Blackrock is jumping 5% due to the announcement they will be added to the S&P 500. That's a good thing. In the afternoon the Dow rose 100 points inching within 15 points of the yearly highs. I guess that's it for the correction. In the last hour the averages succumbed to a little profit-taking into the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 71 points at 12,350, led by a 2.2% rally in AT&T. The S&P 500 rose 8 points to 1,328, with a 1.4% rise in telecom stocks, but all 10 industry sectors finished higher. The Nasdaq Composite gained 19 points to 2,776.
March 29, 2011
U.S. stocks opened mildly lower as investors continue to digest the big gains from last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped fractionally to 12,197. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index declined 2 points to 1,308. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 6 points to 2,724. Most sectors are trading a little lower. A couple of blow ups on the earnings front. Education company, Apollo Group is down 7% following lower guidance. Homebuilder, Lennar Group is down 3% even though they reported a profit. Progressive Software is down 3% following in line earnings. The tech sector is mixed this morning. Apple is lower which is never a good sign for the Nasdaq. Qualcomm is one of the few chip stocks higher jumping 3% on an upgrade. Amazon is up 3% after acquiring a cloud service company. IBM, Research in Motion, and Google look good. The commodities opened lower, but rebounded. AK Steel is jumping 4% after hedge fund manager SAC Capital increased their stake in the firm. The rest of the steels and iron ore stocks are higher. Alcoa, Chesapeake Energy, CF Industries, and Molycorp are all higher on upgrades. The financials are lower struggling as a sector once again. XL Capital is up 2% on an upgrade, but Travelers is lower on a downgrade. In the retail space Van Heusen is up 6% after beating estimates. Home Depot is up 3% after reaffirming estimates and raising debt for a share buyback plan. After the first hour the Dow rose 30 points while the Nasdaq rallied 12 points. Through the morning the averages kept moving higher with the Dow rising 60 points and the Nasdaq climbing 20 points. Resilient market. In the afternoon the averages kept improving into the last hour with the Dow jumping 80 points led by commodity plays. Rare earth metal play, Molycorp is up 7% today and up 40% from the mid-March lows. Goldman Sachs looks good, but the rest of the financials aren't budging. In the tech space Google, IBM, and Research in Motion look good, but Apple can't seem to get going. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 81 points at 12,279. Home Depot led gains in the Dow, rising 2.9%. The S&P 500 gained 9 points to 1,319, led by more than 1% rallies in energy and telecom sectors. The Nasdaq Composite gained 26 points to 2,756.
March 28, 2011
U.S. stocks opened modestly higher on Monday after the government reported consumers spent more than expected in February. After its biggest weekly gain since July, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 20 points to 12,241. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 2 points to 1,315. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 6 points to 2,749. After such a run up last week, you'd expect some weakness this weekend, but none so far. After the open the commodities commenced their rally. Freeport McMoran is up a percent on an upgrade. The other commodities also look good including Cliffs Natural Resources, the fertilizers, and steels. US Steel is up 1.5% on takeover rumors. The oil drillers are modestly lower on a couple downgrades. The techs are trying to rally. Google and Apple are modestly higher. Research in Motion is higher after getting clobbered last week. Alcatel Lucent is jumping 9% on an upgrade. Nokia is up 5% on an upgrade. Oracle and Nvidia are modestly higher on positive comments. Eastman Kodak is jumping 10% thanks to a Federal judge that said he would review a patent claim against Apple and Research in Motion that could produce a settlement worth hundreds of millions for Kodak. The financials opened lower, but are trying to battle back. BB&T is up a percent on an upgrade. In the retail space Liz Claiborne is higher even though they reported a loss. Philips is down 2% following earnings after producing a quarterly loss in their flat screen television business. Best Buy had similar difficulties after reporting their earnings last week. After the first half an hour the averages remained perked up a little bit. After the first hour the Dow remained strong up 40 points. Upgrades for two Dow components AT&T and Verizon are helping the average. Verizon is at a new 52 week high. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages drifted from the highs. The financials are lower on cautious analyst comments on Goldman Sachs. Hotel firm, Marriott International is dragging down their sector on cautious comments. In the last hour the Nasdaq fell into the red dragging the Dow with it. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 22 points at 12,197. The S&P 500 dipped 3 points to 1,310. The Nasdaq Composite lost 12 points closing at 2,730.