The Week In Review


October 7, 2011
U.S. stocks opened mostly higher on Friday after the September nonfarm payrolls report came in better than predicted hopefully easing some recession fears. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 75 points to 11,198. The S&P 500 Index inched up a fraction to 1,165. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 9 points to 2,496. The techs are in the lead with plenty of upgrades. Google, Atmel, AMD, and Texas Instruments were all upgraded. The chips for the most part are trading higher. IBM looks good trading just under its' all time high after Morgan Stanley made them a tactical long term buy. The rest of the market is vacillating around the unchanged level. The financials are the weakest sector, surprise, surprise. The European banks are getting hit after Moody's upgraded 12 UK banks. Royal Bank of Scotland is down 5%. Our banks are weak. Goldman Sachs is down nearly 2%. MasterCard and Visa were upgraded, but both are trading lower. In the retail space GameStop, Activision, and Electronic Arts were upgraded, but only GameStop is higher. All the airlines are higher after Sterne Agee upgraded the sector. Through the first hour the Dow crept higher rising 100 points. The broader market looks quiet, yet only three Dow components Bank of America, JP Morgan, and Travelers are trading lower. The Nasdaq crept back into the green up 5 points. The commodities are weak except for Freeport McMoran. The auto stocks like Ford and GM are performing well. Through the morning the rally fizzled led by weakness in the financials. During the lunch hour the averages sold off after Finch downgraded the debt of Italy and Spain. The downgrade put added pressure on the financials. Through the afternoon the averages remained solidly in the red. In the Dow, Intel and IBM remain in the green while with the defensive stocks like Merck, J&J, Verizon, PG, and Pfizer. In the last hour the Dow accelerated its gains to by 90 points only to sell off into the close. The financials finished near the lows. Not a good sign. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 20 points to 11,103. It rose 1.7% for the week, its second straight weekly advance. The S&P 500 ended down 9 points to 1,155, led by a 3.7% drop in financials. It rose 2.1% for the week. The Nasdaq Composite fell 27 points, or 1.1%, to 2,479. For the week, the Nasdaq advanced 2.7%.

October 6, 2011
U.S. stocks on Thursday tilted slightly lower after U.S. jobless claims rose less than expected last week and European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet spoke of increased downside risk to the region at his monthly news conference. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 13 points to 10,926. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index shed a point to 1,142. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 2 points to 2,458. The big news of the day is the passing of Steve Jobs. Apple's stock is modestly lower. The rest of the techs are performing well. Corning is jumping 4% after raising their dividend 50% and initiating a share buyback. That's a good sign. The commodity space is rebounding on the lower US dollar. Freeport is up 20% since Tuesdays lows. MolyCorp is jumping 12% on positive analyst comments. In the retail space, Helen of Troy is down 8% after missing estimates. TJX is down after lowering guidance. JP Penney is unchanged after lowering guidance. Polo Ralph Lauren is up 3% on an upgrade. Through the first hour the averages pulled back only to rebound. Through the morning the averages clawed back into positive territory led by techs and commodities. Constellation Brands is up 8% after beating estimates. So there are companies beating estimates. Tomorrow is a big unemployment number for the month of September. Hopefully the data will ease fears of a recession and allow the averages to keep rallying. Through the morning the averages kept rallying with a nice turnaround in the financials. Bank of America is jumping 6%. In the afternoon, a couple of sell offs only brought the buyers back in. The markets are acting like a bull market, at least for a couple days. The financials remain strong. Actually everything looks good with only a few stocks in the red. Apple remains modestly in the red with the passing of Steve Jobs. In the last hour, for a third straight day, the averages rallied into the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 183 points, or 1.7%, at 11,123, its first close above 11,000 in a week. An 8.8% jump in Bank of America shares led gains for 26 of 30 Dow components. The S&P 500 ended up 20 points, or 1.8%, at 1,164, led by a 3.2% gain in the index's financial sector. The Nasdaq Composite rose 46 points, or 1.9%, to 2,506.

October 5, 2011
U.S. stocks opened modestly lower following a 400 point rally in the last hour of trading Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 43 points to 10,764. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index declined 6 points to 1,117. The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 19 points to 2,385. Typically it's custom to see a following through the next year after such a strong turnaround. The commodities and techs are seeing some strength. In the tech space, the non-Apple techs look good like Cisco, Microsoft, Intel, Dell, and HPQ. The chips look good. AMD was downgraded, but the stock is higher. Analog Devices is higher on positive analyst comments. Research in Motion is jumping 13% on takeover rumors. Akamai is jumping 7% on takeover rumors. The two stalwarts Google and Apple are lower today. Google was downgraded this morning while Apple only received two upgrades. Slow day for Apple. A drop in the US dollar has the commodity space trading up except for the oils. Monsanto is jumping 3% after beating estimates. At 10 o'clock, a better than expected non-manufacturing number sent the averages into the green. The Dow rose over 75 points before pulling back by the tail end of the morning. The Nasdaq rose over 35 points before pulling back. During the lunch hour the averages gave up all their gains while the Nasdaq remained up a percent. The techs and commodities continue to lead the markets. In the afternoon the rally ensured similar to yesterday. The Dow rose 90 points. The Nasdaq climbed 45 points. Even Google and Apple turned around. Heading into the last hour the Dow gave up most of its gains once again. The financials are solidly in the red yet the insurance stocks look good. Ford is perking up on news Moodys may increase their credit rating. That's a good sign. Ford's stock is up 4% while GM is up 3%. In the last hour the averages rebounded, but don't expect a 400 point rally. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 131 points, or 1.2%, at 10,939, led by a 5.5% pop in Disney. Chevron contributed 24 points to the Dow's rise, as the oil major followed oil futures' 5% surge after a drop on inventories. The S&P 500 gained 20 points, or 1.8%, to 1,144, led by chemicals, metals and energy stocks. The Nasdaq Composite rose 55 points, or 2.3%, to 2,460.

October 4, 2011
U.S. stocks stumbled at Tuesday's start, with the major indexes down for a third session and the S&P 500 Index entering bear market territory, off 20% from its April 29th high. Europe's debt debacle continued to rattle investors' nerves. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 139 points to 10,515. The S&P 500 dropped 12 points to 1,086. The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 18 points to 2,317. More selling to greet investors as hopefully we're entering the last phase of this bear market correction. The news is quiet this morning as upgrades and downgrades really won't help in this market. The selling is broad based, but there are some stocks showing some life. In the tech space Cisco, Intel, Microsoft, and Research in Motion are modestly higher. In the financial space, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley keep sinking, but JP Morgan and Wells Fargo are holding up much better. Hartford Insurance is modestly higher. In the commodity space, Cliffs Natural Resources is higher, but that's about it. Alcoa is down 3% after getting their estimates cut. Through the first hour the averages pushed lower only to rebound. Through the morning the Dow sold back off falling nearly 250 points before rebounding. Entering the lunch hour the Nasdaq moved into the green led by Cisco, Intel, Microsoft, and Apple. More commodities moved into the green thanks to a falling US dollar. JP Morgan is up a percent, but that's about it in the financials. In the afternoon the rally fizzled. Through the afternoon the Dow fell back by 200 points while the Nasdaq dropped 37 points. Today looked like a perfect turnaround day, but it isn't materializing. In the last hour the averages drifted lower only to finally, finally catch a bid. The Dow jumped a quick 50 points followed by the Nasdaq getting back to the unchanged level. The Nasdaq moved into the green trying to drag the Dow with it. Then in the last 15 minutes the bears gave up as the rally accelerated to the upside. Finally a rally we can enjoy. Into the close the Dow jumped 355 points in 45 minutes while the Nasdaq jumped 100 points. Nice rally. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 153 points, or 1.4%, at 10,808, led by J.P. Morgan Chase up 6.6%. The S&P 500 (SPX) closed up 24 points, or 2.3%, at 1,123, led by a 4.1% rally in financials. The Nasdaq Composite added 68 points, or 3%, to 2,404.

October 3, 2011
U.S. stocks kicked off trading for the last quarter of 2011 on a downbeat note Monday as news that Greece won't meet its fiscal deficit targets prompted investors to take a cautious stance. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gave up 28 points to 10,884, with 19 of its 30 components lower. The Nasdaq Composite shed 5 points to 2,409, while the S&P 500 Index gave up 2 points to 1,128. Hopefully the fourth quarter will be better than the third quarter. We'll know in a matter of weeks once the earning reports commence. In the meantime, it's still preannouncement season. Arch Coal is down a percent at a new 52 week low after lowering guidance last Friday night. Alcoa reports next week. This morning the stock is lower on a downgrade. Freeport McMoran is modestly higher on an upgrade. The financials opened unchanged this morning. SunLife is down 2% even though it received an upgrade. Morgan Stanley opened lower on cautious analyst comments, however rebounded once Cramer pounded the table on the stock. The techs are holding up as well. Amazon is up 2% on an upgrade. Yahoo is jumping 4% on rumors Alibaba is interested in buying the firm. Analog Devices is jumping 2% on an upgrade. Qualcomm is modestly higher on positive analyst comments. Intel is lower even though one analyst made cautious comments. At 10 o'clock better than expected manufacturing and car sales numbers lifted the averages into the green, but the rally was short-lived. After the first hour the averages were back in the red. Through the morning the averages remained in the red battled to get back to the unchanged level. A select number of techs and financials are trading in the green. Bond yields keep pushing lower as the Fed's operation Twist has started. The 30 year Treasury bond yield is down to 2.8%. Crazy, but that should make equities more attractive. During the lunch hour the selling accelerated led by the financials. Bank of America is down 4% to a new 52 week low. Morgan Stanley is also down 4%. No buyers out there. The dog of the day is airline firm, AMR down 40% on rumors of a bankruptcy. Through the afternoon the averages drifted lower breaking some support levels. Plenty of financials are making new 52 week lows. Things go from bad to worse. In the last hour the selling accelerated into the close. Not good for tomorrow. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 258 points, or 2.4%, at 10,655, its lowest close since Sept. 2010. The S&P 500 lost 32 points, or 2.9%, to 1,099, also the lowest close since Sept. 2010. Intraday, it broke through its Aug. 9 closing low, a bearish sign for some technical strategists. The financial sector fell more than 4%. The Nasdaq Composite fell 79 points, or 3.3%, to 2,335, its lowest close since Sept. 2010.