The Week In Review


August 18, 2011
U.S. stocks opened sharply lower, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down more than 300 points, on worries about Europe and the global economy coming under pressure. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 310 points to 11,100. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index declined 37 points to 1,156. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 90 points to 2,420. The volatility is back. Whether they are right or not, investors are pricing in a recession if not a global recession. The recent earnings are not helping things either. NetApp is trading down 18% following earnings. International Rectifier is down 12%, JDSU is down 10%, Buckle is down 5%, Checkpoint Software is down 6%,JM Smuckers and Sears are both down 6%, following earnings. A couple of stocks are higher including Synopsys, Hott Topic, Limited, and Hot Topic. Through the first hour the averages quickly pushed lower. The Dow fell a quick 500 points with the Nasdaq dropping 125 points thanks in part to a weak manufacturing number. Things are going from bad to worse. Noble Energy is trading down 4% after announcing $3.4 billion joint venture with Consol to develop shale. Through the morning the Dow bounced 100 points off the lows, but that's not saying much. Before the lunch hour, Hewlett Packard made news. The stock went halted on news they are close to buying an enterprise firm and planning on spinning off their PC unit. When the stock started trading once again, it initially rallied into the green only to sell off once again. At least we had a Dow stock in the green for a few minutes. During the lunch hour the averages remained weak with the Dow down 400 points and the Nasdaq down over 100 points. Every modest bounce is met by more selling. Not a good sign. In the afternoon the averages moved sideways waiting for that last hour of volatility. The HP fireworks continued with the company prematurely releasing earnings and having to go halted for a second time. What a mess. In the last hour the selling accelerated only to rebound into the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 419 points, or 3.7%, to 10,990, led by more than 6% drops in Alcoa, and Bank of America. The S&P 500 fell 53 points, or 4.5%, to 1,140. The Nasdaq Composite lost 131 points, or 5.2%, to 2,380.

August 17, 2011
U.S. stocks opened mostly higher on Wednesday as earnings from Target and Staples topped expectations, while personal-computer maker Dell lowered its revenue outlook, hitting technology stocks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 60 points to 11,466. The Standard & Poor's 500 gained 8 points to 1,201. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 6 points to 2,529. Everything looks good except for Dell. Dell is trading down 8% due to slowing sales even though the company continues to make a lot of money. HP is down 2% in sympathy as they will report earnings tomorrow. The stock was downgraded along with Microsoft which is lower. Intel also opened lower, but rebounded. Analog Devices looks good following solid earnings last night. The rest of the techs look good. Eastman Kodak is up 20% on M&A speculation about their patents. Patents seem to be all the rage right now. The commodities are rebounding smartly this morning. Agrium opened lower on a downgraded, but rebounded into the green. Alcoa and Cliffs Natural Resources are higher on upgrades. In the retail space, Target is jumping 4% following earnings. Staples and Bob Evans are higher following earnings as well. Dicks Sporting Goods is up 2% on an upgrade. Chico's beat estimates, but the stock is lower. Deere beat estimates, but is trading lower. Abercrombie & Fitch beat estimates, but the stock is lower. Through the first hour the averages pushed higher with the Dow rising 100 points and the Nasdaq rising 20 points. Through the morning the averages lifted off the highs led by the techs as the volume dried up. The financials and the commodities remain firm. In the afternoon, the Nasdaq pushed lower with most techs in the red. The Dow is also in the red. By the middle of the afternoon the Dow fell as much as 80 points before slowly rebounding into the close. The Nasdaq dropped 30 points before paring its' losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 4 points at 11,410 with American Express leading percent gainers and Hewlett-Packard shares fronting decliners. The S&P 500 ended up a point at 1,193. Telecommunications were up the most and tech took the steepest drop, led by a 10% fall in Dell's shares. The Nasdaq Composite slid 11 points to 2,511.

August 16, 2011
U.S. stocks opened lower on Tuesday after data illustrating a slowdown in Germany's economy renewed worries about the global economy. Losses were tempered, however, as Fitch reaffirmed the United States' triple-A credit rating. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 76 points to 11,406. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index shed 10 points to 1,194. The Nasdaq Composite declined 24 points to 2,530. Earnings are coming in from the retail sector. Within the Dow, Walmart and Home Depot look good. Both are up over 4% following better than expected earnings. TJX is also higher following earnings while Urban Outfitters is down 7% following earnings. Dicks and Saks are also lower following earnings. Dollar General is up 3% this morning on news Warren Buffett has initiated a stake in the firm. Aeropostale is also higher following news a hedge fund manager is investing in the firm. The financials are weak once again after a couple of up days. The commodities are weak and the techs, for the most part, are lower as well. Within the first hour the Dow fell as much as 125 points before rebounding. The Nasdaq fell 40 points before rebounding. Through the morning the Dow trimmed its' losses with the Dow down just 70 points. The Nasdaq fell 20 points. A few more stocks peaked into the green including Intel, Microsoft, HP, and Dell. Dell and HP report earnings later in the week. The averages made it back to the unchanged level by the lunch hour. However less than appealing comments from the leaders of Europe sent the major averages lower. The Dow fell a quick 150 points while the Nasdaq declined 50 points. Through the rest of the afternoon, the averages fought and clawed to get back most of the losses. In the last hour the averages almost reached the unchanged level only to sell off into the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 76 points at 11,405, led by a 4.6% drop in Bank of America. The S&P 500 slid 11 points to 1,192, with financials hit hardest after the German and French leaders said they planned to propose a tax on financial transactions, but dismissed the idea of issuing euro-zone bonds. The Nasdaq Composite lost 31 points, or 1.2%, to 2,523.

August 15, 2011
U.S. stocks opened sharply higher Monday on a spate of corporate deals, including Google's plan to buy Motorola Mobility Holdings for $12.5 billion are lending support the markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 120 points to 11,390. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index advanced 13 points to 1,192. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 25 points to 2,533. Over the weekend it seems investors' fears have subsided a little bit. Motorola Mobility is jumping 56% thanks to the Google buyout offer. Rival firm, InterDigital is down 18% as many investors speculated Google was interested in buying them. On the earnings front, Sysco Foods and Lowes are lower following earnings. Estee Lauder is down 10% following earnings. Valspar is modestly higher following earnings. Plenty of upgrades this morning. In the financial space Wells Fargo, Blackrock, Visa, Zion Bancorp, and Annaly Mortgage are all higher thanks to upgrades. Bank of America is up 3% on news their selling their International credit card business. In the tech space Oracle, HP, Apple (of course), Dell, and IBM are all higher on upgrades. Within the first half an hour the Dow rose as much as 150 points while the Nasdaq jumped 30 points. The commodities are bouncing back smartly. So far so good. Through the morning the averages held their gains with very few stocks in the red from the tech sector. Cisco Systems and Google are lower, although Google is down due to their buyout offer for Motorola Mobility. Into the afternoon the averages moved side near the highs of the day. Volume and volatility continue to subside from last week's wild ride. In the last hour the averages pushed to new highs for the day erasing all the losses from last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 213 points, or 1.9%, at 11,482, led by an 8% surge in Bank of America's stock. The S&P 500 gained 25 points, or 2.2%, to 1,204, with utilities and energy stocks leading gains for all 10 sectors. The Nasdaq Composite added 47 points, or 1.9%, to 2,555.