The Week In Review


April 8, 2011
U.S. stocks on Friday opened with a modest rebound from the prior day's losses, but the gains could be hindered as oil prices ran up to levels not seen since September 2008. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 29 points to 12,439. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index climbed 3 points to 1,337. The Nasdaq Composite added 7 points to 2,803. Instead of preannouncements to start the quarter, we have companies raising guidance. Tempur-Pedic is up 13% after lifting earnings estimates last night. The stocks also received an upgrade. Disk drive maker, Seagate is up 8% after raising guidance and receiving an upgrade. Western Digital is also higher. The techs in general opened higher, but then sold off. Corning is lower even though they continue to say there is no production disruption in Japan. NetApp is lower on a downgrade. Akamai and F5 Networks are higher on upgrades. The financials opened higher, but then sold off. Jefferies is lower after raising cash in a stock offering. Goldman Sachs looks good after investing in a Chinese insurance company. The retail space continues to act well. William Sonoma and Pier 1 are higher on upgrades. Target is higher even though it was downgraded. As oil moves higher, the commodity sector continues to perform great. Only Monsanto is trading lower following disappointing earnings earlier in the week. Through the morning the averages gravitating back to the unchanged level. It seems that investors are waiting for the start of earnings season next week. In the afternoon the selling accelerated with only a few stocks left in the green. The oils are one of the few sectors still in the green. The Dow fell as much as 90 points before rebounding in the last hour. The Nasdaq only fell 23 points before rebounding in the last hour. Volume is low and lackluster. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 29 points at 12,380, with just eight of its 30 components able to advance. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 5 points to 1,328, as financials and industrials struggled. The energy group outperformed the benchmark's 10 industry groups. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 15 points to 2,780. For the week, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite each fell 0.3%, but the Dow industrials pushed out a tiny gain of 0.03%.

April 7, 2011
U.S. stocks opened mostly lower on Thursday as investors considered whether the European Central Bank would continue to hike interest rates to curb inflation. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 8 points to 12,418. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index declined fractionally to 1,335. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 2 points to 2,801. The retail sector is reporting better than expected March same store sales however, the sector is not reacting much. Pep Boys, Bed Bath & Beyond, Rite Aid, and Pier One are all higher after reporting earnings. All four are up over 2%. Ruby Tuesday and WD-40 are lower after reporting earnings. The techs are rebounding after getting hit yesterday. The big cap techs like HP look good this morning. Google is higher after getting their earnings estimates raised. is up 2% on an upgrade. Travelzoo is lower on a downgrade. The commodities are bouncing back. Freeport McMoran is up 1.5%. Monsanto and the fertilizers are bouncing back after getting hit yesterday. The rare earth metals are bouncing back thanks in part to a US Congressman creating a bill to protect and preserve our countries supply of rare earth metals. Molycorp is jumping 5%. After the first hour the Dow fell into the red while the Nasdaq clung to gains. The financials are trying to rally. Ameriprise is up 2% on an upgrade. Newmont Mining is up 3% on increasing gold production. PNC Bank is higher after hiking their dividend 250% and initiating a share buyback. Goldman Sachs also looks good. After the first hour the selling accelerated with the news out of Japan of another major earthquake and a possibility of another tsunami. The Dow fell a quick 90 points and the Nasdaq declined 15 points. The averages quickly recovered half the losses, but remained in the red. Heading into the lunch hour the averages moved back toward the lows of the day and remained in the red through the afternoon. Only a select number of stocks are higher including Google, Molycorp, Goldman Sachs, and Freeport McMoran. Many investors maybe waiting for day break to assess the damage in Japan. In the last hour the averages put in a good rally, but finished in the red. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 17 points at 12,409, with shares of Caterpillar among the bigger decliners, down 1%. The S&P 500 fell 2 points to end at 1,333. The Nasdaq Composite closed at 2,796, down 3 points.

April 6, 2011
U.S. stock indexes opened higher on Wednesday as investors banked on positive earnings. Seed producer Monsanto helped sentiment, reporting a 15% rise in second-quarter profit compared to a year ago. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 49 points to 12,443. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index climbed 6 points to 1,338. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 17 points to 2,809. Ironically, Monsanto is trading down 3% as investors expected even better results. The fertilizers are struggling to rally following Monsanto's earnings. The rest of the commodity sector looks good. Freeport McMoran is up 2% on rumors of takeovers in the sector, however, Freeport would be the acquirer and not the acquiree. Cliffs Natural Resources is trading up 1.5% to a new high. The oils look good as well. Chevron is trading at a new 52 week high. Valero and the rest of the refining market is trading higher on positive analyst comments. The techs are higher after showing some weakness yesterday. Broadcom is up 4% on an upgrade. Google is higher even though it was downgrades. Ebay is higher on an upgrade. Juniper is lower on rumors Verizon is cancelling orders. After the first hour the averages remained in the green, but off the highs. The financials are perking up even as the commodities are pulling back. The fertilizers are in the red. In the retail space Urban Outfitters, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Diamond Foods are higher on upgrades. Toyota is lower on production disruptions, but Ford, GM, and Tata Motors look good. Through the morning the Nasdaq gave up its' gains. The commodity sector is now in the red while the financials and the big cap techs like Cisco Systems and HP look good. In the afternoon the Nasdaq rebounded lifted by Cisco, Microsoft, HP, and Google. Apple is still in the red. The Dow and the financials improved as well. In the last hour the gains held up, but the commodities closed in the red. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 32 points at 12,426, led by a nearly 5% rally in Cisco Systems. The S&P 500 rose 2 points to 1,335. The Nasdaq Composite added 8 points to 2,799.

April 5, 2011
U.S. stocks started with mild losses Tuesday, as investors stayed to the sidelines ahead of midmorning U.S. data and the release of the Federal Reserve's interest-rate-meeting minutes.. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 14 386, led by a slip in Boeing shares. The S&P 500 dipped a point to 1,331. Nat Semi shares are surging 71%, leading gains on the S&P 500. The Nasdaq Composite turned higher, up 3 points at 2,792 even though Apple is lower after the Nasdaq 100 index dropped its' tech giants weighting from 20% to 12%. A number of the blue chip techs like Microsoft, Intel, Oracle had their weighting increased. Chip stocks are a standout after Texas Instruments said it would buy National Semiconductor for $6.5 billion. Intel, Qualcomm, Broadcom, Netflix, Marvell, RF Micro Devices, and Texas Instruments all received upgrades this morning. Google is lower by 2% for some reason this morning. The commodities opened lower, but soon rallied. Can't keep the commodities down. The financials are unchanged this morning. Capital One, Zion Bancorp, JP Morgan, and Wells Fargo were all upgraded, but it doesn't seem to be helping. KB Homes is down 8% after reporting March sales. Within the first hour the averages moved lower only to rebound. Through the morning the averages moved into the green. Besides the NSM- Texas Instruments deal, Merck is also buying a firm Inspire Pharmaceutical for $430 million. Inspire is jumping 25%. PG is selling their Pringle division to Diamond Foods for $2.4 billion. Diamond Foods is jumping 10%. So far so good today. In the afternoon the averages remained in the green, but not by much. Within the Dow Jones Alcoa, Chevron, AT&T, and DuPont all made new highs today with a number of other components within 1% of their highs. The techs remain a drag with Apple still trading lower. Google is down 3.5% after the government's FTC division started an investigation into their search engine. A number of commodities have given up their gains. In the last hour the Dow was unable to maintain its' gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 6 points at 12,393 with a 1% pullback in General Electric shares leading decliners. The S&P 500 edged back 20 cents to 1,332. Telecom stocks led gains while materials advanced 1.1%, led by Newmont Mining shares as gold futures notched a new settlement record. The Nasdaq Composite ended up 2 points at 2,791.

April 4, 2011
U.S. stocks started higher on Monday to start the first full week of the New Year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 24 points to 12,400. GE is up a percent after receiving a positive cover piece on the Barrons magazine over the weekend. Pfizer is also higher after selling a drug manufacturer division for $2.3 billion. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 3 points to 1,336. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 9 points to 2,799. A few week and a new quarter, but the commodities continue to lead. Potash and Agrium are higher thanks to positive comments. All the fertilizers are higher. The copper, iron ore, steel, and oil stocks are higher. Rare earth metal play Molycorp is jumping 8% after acquiring a European manufacturer for $89 million. The techs and financials opened higher, but then sold off. Apple is lower even though the stock received an upgrade with a $480 price target. Google opened higher on an upgrade, but then sold off. F5 Networks is higher on an upgrade. The financials are back in a rut. Wells Fargo is lower after the SEC fined their Wachovia division. In the retail space Under Armour, Cheesecake Factory, and Ford look good on upgrades. McDonald is higher after announcing they will hire 50,000 workers in the next year. After the first hour the Dow remained up, but only by 15 points. The Nasdaq is now unchanged. The Dow Jones Transportation Average is modestly higher even though Southwest Airlines seems to have planes falling apart. Their stock is down 2.5%. Through the morning the averages gave up their gains with the weakness in the techs. Apple, Intel, Research in Motion, and HP are all down by a percent. The commodities are holding their gains. Heading into the lunch hour the Dow improved dragging the Nasdaq with it. In the afternoon the averages drifted lower again on light, light, volume. Nobody is stepping in today. The commodities are the only sector acting well today. In the last hour not much changed other than the Dow holding on to gains closing at a new high for the year, highest close since June 5, 2008. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 23 points at 12,400 led by a 1.1% gain in shares of Johnson & Johnson and a 1% climb in shares of Walmart. The S&P 500 inched up 46 cents at 1,332. The Nasdaq Composite, however, snapped a four-session winning streak to end at 2,789 down 41 cents.