The Week In Review


June 3, 2011
U.S. stocks slid sharply on Friday after the government reported tepid jobs growth in May, with the addition of 54,000 to nonfarm payrolls, a fraction of the increase expected by many analysts. "The employment report simply states that the U.S. economy is slipping again, maybe temporarily maybe not, only time will tell," said Kevin Giddis, a fixed-income analyst at Morgan Keegan. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 124 points to 12,124. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index shed 13 points to 1,299. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 28 points to 2,745. The economic news isn't good, but the analysts are more bullish. Plenty of upgrades in all sectors this morning. In the oil space Exxon Mobil, Hess, Noble, Halliburton, and Petro bras were all upgraded, but most are lower. In the financial sector only Goldman Sachs is higher on rumors of a settlement on their mortgage mess. Jefferies was upgraded, but the stock is lower. In the tech space Seagate, Adobe, and Autodesk were upgraded, but all three are lower. Research in Motion is lower on a downgrade. Through the first half an hour the averages slowly recovered. The financials and a select number of commodities are turning into the green. Through the morning the averages fought to recover. News out of Europe of more aid to Greece helped the Euro rally verse the US dollar. Within the Dow three financials and Wal-Mart are in the green. Wal-Mart announced a $15 share buyback and upped the dividend at their annual shareholder meeting. In the afternoon the averages remained in the red, but off the lows of the day. The Dow remained down about 50 points with the financials as the best performing sector. The commodities are also holding up well. Heading into the last hour the averages sold back off with the Dow dropping over 90 points. Here we go again. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 97points to 12,151, with Caterpillar and United Technologies shares weighing on the major average. The S&P 500 lost 12 points, or 1%, to 1,300 with telecom and tech the sectors posting the steepest losses. The Nasdaq Composite fell 40 points, or 1.5%, to 2,732. For the week, the Dow average lost 2.3%, its fifth straight week of losses, for its longest loss streak since 2004. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also lost 2.3%.

June 2, 2011
U.S. stocks try to rebound following the biggest one day decline for the Dow Jones Industrial Average this year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average erased opening gains, falling 18 points to 12,272. The Standard & Poor's 500 dipped 2 points to 1,312. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained less than a point to 2,769. The best performing sector so far this morning is the for-profit schools following less stringent rulings from the Department of Education. Corinthian Colleges is jumping a walloping 31%. Apollo is up 13% while Strayer Education is up 23%. Even the Washington Post is up 7% due to the fact they own Kaplan. The retail sector is mixed following May same store sales. Rite Aid and Saks are higher, but most of the large cap retailers are lower. Joy Global is up 6% after raising their outlook. Pier One also raised guidance. The financials are taking it on the chin once again approaching 52 week lows. Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup were put on credit watch by Moodys for a possible downgrade. Goldman Sachs is down once again after getting subpoenaed by Manhattan. When it rains, it pours. The techs are trying to rebound. Microsoft, Texas Instruments and Qualcomm are modestly higher on upgrades. Intel is also modestly higher, but that's about it. The commodities rebounded after the open, but then sold off following high oil inventory data. During the first hour the averages fought to stay in the green, but then succumbed to profit-taking. The Dow dropped 70 points. The Nasdaq declined just 3 points. Through the morning the Dow fell over 100 points before recovering in the afternoon. The Nasdaq actually moved into the green in the afternoon. The Dow kept improving reaching the unchanged level heading into the last hour. JP Morgan made positive comments indicating business wasn't as bad as everyone feared. Those comments helped the bank sector recover. In the last hour the Nasdaq remained in the green while the Dow sold back off. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 41 points to 12,248, led by a 1.4% drop in Wal-Mart. The S&P 500 dropped a point to 1,312 while the Nasdaq Composite edged up 4points to 2,773.

June 1, 2011
U.S. stocks opened lower on Wednesday after another economic report, this one on private-sector employment in May, came in weaker than expected. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 43 points to 12,526. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index declined 4 points to 1,341. The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 3 points to 2,831. Nothing looks particularly good. Jos. A. Bank is down 12% following earnings. Dollar General is down 7% following earnings. Ashland was upgraded and Macy lifted same store guidance, but both are lower. The financials are getting clobbered. They're acting awful once again. Bank of America made comments this morning that the housing environment is not improving. Blackrock and Citigroup were upgraded, but both stocks are lower. The commodities are also getting hit. Arch Coal is down 2% after issuing new shares. Only in the tech space are a few stocks showing some life. Google, Apple, and IBM are showing some life, but everything else is lower. Nokia is getting clobbered for a second straight day following more downgrades. Broadcom, Yahoo, and Ebay were upgraded, but all three are lower. After the first half an hour, weak manufacturing numbers sent the averages lower. The Dow dropped over 100 points. The Nasdaq declined 17 points. Not a good start to the month of June. Through the morning the averages moved lower wiping out yesterday's gains. The financials are in the lead to the downside. The selling only accelerated into the afternoon with the Dow dropping over 200 points. Very few stocks are left in the green. Even Apple is in the red. In the last hour more of the same, no buyers as the markets close out one of the big down days in nearly a year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 279 points, or 2.2%, to 12,290. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index declined 30 points, or 2.3%, to 1,314. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 66 points, or 2.3%, to 2,769.

May 31, 2011
U.S. stocks opened sharply higher on Tuesday thanks to a drop in the US dollar and a jump in the Euro due to optimism that more financial help for Greece is coming. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 120 points to 12,561 with all 30 components in the green. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 12 points to 1,343. The Nasdaq Composite gained 28 points to 2,825. The commodities are in the lead with the fertilizers like Potash and Mosaic receiving upgrades. Both stocks are up over a percent. Noble Energy is higher after discovering a new oil patch. Alcoa is also higher thanks to an upgrade. The financials also look good for once. Goldman Sachs is higher thanks to an upgrade. In the tech sector IBM, Google, and Apple look good. Nokia is the dog of the day down 16% after lowering guidance. Another troubled phone company, Research in Motion is down in sympathy. Juniper is down 2% on cautious analyst comments. In the chip space Nvidia and Broadcom were upgraded, but only Nvidia is higher. NetLogic is jumping 2% on an upgrade. Ebay is higher on an upgrade. Intel is higher after announcing plans for a lighter thinner laptop called an ultrabook. The defense space is performing well thanks to an upgrade of General Dynamic. That stock is jumping 4%. In the retail space Big Lots is up 2% on an upgrade. Gap is modestly higher on positive comments. Limited is higher after announcing a one-time special dividend of one dollar. In the entertainment space, DreamWorks is down 3% to a new low following lackluster ticket sales for Kung Fu Panda 2. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages remained strong, but off the highs. All the Dow components remain in the green, but the broader market is not as strong. A number of financials and commodities have given up their gains. In the last hour the averages pulled back only to rally into the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day up 128 points, or 1%, to 12,569. The Nasdaq Composite added 38 or 1.4%, to 2,835. The S&P 500 gained 14, or 1%, to 1,345.20 with all of its 10 sectors on the rise. For the month, the Dow Jones Industrials finished down 1.9%, their first monthly drop in six months. The Nasdaq and S&P 500 also closed modestly lower for the month.

May 30, 2011

Closed for Memorial Day