The Week In Review


October 21, 2011
U.S. stocks opened more than 1% high on Friday, buoyed by solid earnings growth at McDonald's and more positive sentiment about the outlook for Europe devising a solution to its sovereign debt and banking crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 133 points, or 1.2%, to 11,675. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 13 points, or 1.1%, to 1,229. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 27 points, or 1%, to 2,626. The earnings keep coming in better than expected. That's a good sign. McDonalds and Honeywell are leading the Dow higher following earnings. McDonalds is trading at a new all time high. Another restaurateur, Chipotle Mexican Grill is jumping 6% on earnings. Plenty of tech earnings, but the stocks are mixed. Maxim, Microsoft, and Freescale are lower following earnings. The rest of the big cap techs are performing well. Rambus, Altera, Seagate, and Jabil Circuit are higher following earnings. In the financial space Eaton Vance, EastGroup Properties, Capital One, and Chubb are higher following earnings. SunTrust is down 5% even though they missed estimates. Blackstone is up 6% on an upgrade. The big banks are trading up 1.5%. The commodities are performing well although Schlumberger is unchanged after missing estimates. Through the first hour the averages pushed higher with the Dow rising 160 points and the Nasdaq rising 36 points. Through the morning the Dow rose over 200 points while the Nasdaq rose 30 points. I guess investors don't want to be short into the weekend with Europe convening to come up with better solutions for their debt crisis. In the afternoon the averages succumbed to profit-taking as the Dow dropped to just up 150 points. Gains in a number of financials have dissipated. Apple fell into the red as investors keep taking profits with the passing of Steve Jobs. The auto stocks look good. Ford is up 5% on news their debt rating was upgraded. GM is up 6%. The economic sensitive stocks are holding up. That's a good sign. Heading into the last hour the averages improved once again. In the last hour the averages skyrocketed into the close. What a week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 267 points, or 2.3%, at 11,808. Friday's gains erased a weekly loss. The blue-chip index rose 1.4% for the week, its fourth week of gains, which is the longest weekly winning streak since January. The S&P 500 added 22 points, or 1.9%, to 1,238. It gained 1.1% for the week, its third weekly advance, the longest stretch since February. The Nasdaq Composite added 38 points, or 1.5%, to 2,637.47. It fell 1.1% on the week.

October 20, 2011
U.S. stock markets opened lower on Thursday, following a flurry of earnings and more reports out of European regarding this weekend's summit to come up with a solution for the debt crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average turned down 14 points to 11,490. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell a point to 1,209. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 10 points to 2,594. So far, this is the busiest day so far this month regarding earnings. The tech space is getting hit even though earnings look pretty good. Ebay, Lam Research, and Cypress Semi are all getting hit due to earnings. Dell for some reason is trading down 7% hurting Intel, HP, and Microsoft. The big caps like Google and Apple are also lower. A few techs are trading up including Xilinx, Western Digital, and Nokia. Nokia is the real winner up 7%. The financials opened higher then sold off. Blackstone, Etrade, American Express, First Niagara, Allstate, and Huntington Bancshares are lower following earnings. Fifth Third is a bright spot up 7% following earnings. Keycorp and SLM are modestly higher. The commodity space is mixed this morning. Most commodities are lower, but Freeport and Agrium are higher on upgrades. Nucor is unchanged on earnings while Patriot Coal is jumping 3% after beating estimates. In the retail space Tractor Supply and Buffalo Wild Wing are jumping over 3% following earnings. Casino company, Wynn Resorts is down 7% after missing estimates. Transportation stock, Union Pacific is up 3% after beating estimates. Through the first hour the Dow rallied into the green trying to drag the Nasdaq with it. That's a good sign. Alcoa, Disney, and Chevron are leading the rally in the Dow. As the morning progressed the averages sold back off. Into the lunch hour the selling accelerated with the Dow dropping 90 points and the Nasdaq dropping 40 points. The financials are leading the downside weakness, although nothing looks good. We figured out Dell is down 7% because of production concerns due to the flooding in Thailand. By the middle of the afternoon the averages did a complete reversal. At the start of the last hour, the Dow rebounded jumping 50 points. The Nasdaq made it back to the unchanged level. The financials are back in the green while the commodities have also rebounded. In the last hour we rallied, then sold off, then rallied again. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 37 points to 11,541. The S&P 500 gained 5 points to 1,215. The Nasdaq Composite lost 5 points to 2,598.

October 19, 2011
The U.S. stocks fell slightly at Wednesday's opening as traders balanced better-than-expected U.S. economic data, earnings reports from key technology and banking companies and overseas equities boosted by hopes about new plans to tackle Europe's sovereign debt crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 6 points to 11,571. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index lost 2 points to 1,223. The Nasdaq composite dropped 11 points to 2,646. It's all about earnings. In the tech sector, Intel is trading at a new high thanks to better than expected earnings. Yahoo is up 5% even though earnings were less than stellar. Juniper is unchanged following earnings. Apple, however, is down 5% after missing estimates for the first time in years. Another tech getting hit includes Cree down 7% on disappointing earnings and outlook. The financials are holding up this morning. Northern Trust, US Bancorp, and PNC are higher following earnings. Travelers is jumping 5% thanks to earnings. Piper Jaffray, M&T Bank, and Blackrock are lower following earnings. Visa raised their dividend, but the stock is modestly lower. The rest of the market is trading lower. The commodities are lower. Freeport beat estimates, but the stock is lower. The oils look good. In the healthcare space, Abbott Labs is jumping 4% after reporting earnings and a decision to split the company into two. Intuitive Surgical is jumping 9% following earnings and upgrades. The averages initially sold off only to rebound through the first hour led by the financials. The Dow rose 30 points while the Nasdaq remained solidly in the red due in part to weakness in Apple down 4%. Through the morning the averages improved slightly. Freeport turned around. That's a good sign. The analyst community seem to be in a better mood lately. In the retail space Ross Store, TJX, and Coke are higher on upgrades. Las Vegas Sands is higher as well on an upgrade. In the afternoon the Dow rose as much as 50 points trying to drag the Nasdaq with it, but the rally didn't last. By the middle of the afternoon, negative comments out of Europe and cautious comments in the Beige Book brought in the sellers. In the last hour the selling accelerated. So much for our rally. Intel and Travelers look good within the Dow and that's about it. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finish down 72 points at 11,504, led by more than 3% drops in Alcoa and Bank of America. The S&P 500 fell 15 points, or 1.3%, to 1,209, led by a pullback in natural-resource stocks. The Nasdaq Composite lost 53 points, or 2%, to 2,604.

October 18, 2011
U.S. stocks wavered between gains and losses Tuesday as the S&P 500 Index mostly maintained its hold just above the 1,200 level. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 19 points to 11,377. The S&P added nearly 2 points to 1,202, with financials gaining the most traction after Bank of America and Goldman Sachs reported better-than-estimated earnings. The Nasdaq Composite added 2 points to 2,617. A majority of the market opened higher. IBM is the lone decliner in the Dow falling 4%. The rest of the techs are struggling this morning as well. Intel and Apple are quiet ahead of earnings tonight. VMware is quiet following earnings. EMC is one bright spot, jumping 3% after beating estimates. The best sector today surprise, surprise is the financials. Goldman Sachs reported a loss, yet the stock is higher by 2%. Morgan Stanley is up 2% as well. Bank of America is up 5% following earnings. State Street is up 4% after beating estimates. SLM is up a percent on positive comments from money manager, Leon Cooperman. The commodities are one of the weakest sectors due in part to a rally in the US dollar. Chesapeake Energy is down 2% on a downgrade. AK Steel was upgraded, but the stock is lower. Chevron and Alcoa are modestly higher on upgrades. The healthcare space is trading lower this morning. Forest Labs is down 3% after missing estimates. UnitedHealth Group is down 6% even though they easily beat estimates. J&J is unchanged following earnings. The retail space is mixed this morning. Croc's is the biggest dog down 38% after lowering guidance last night. Harley Davidson is down 8% after beating estimates. Netflix and Hasbro are lower on downgrades. Coke is unchanged on earnings. Pepsi is unchanged on an upgrade. WD-40 is jumping 3% after beating estimates while Domino Pizza is up 4% after beating estimates. Through the first hour the Dow fell nearly 100 points before rebounding. The Nasdaq has clawed its way back to the unchanged level even as IBM pushes lower. Through the morning into the lunch hour the averages pushed higher. During the lunch hour the Dow rose 90 points even with IBM down 5%. The Nasdaq has improved by 20 points even though Intel and Apple remain quiet ahead of earnings. Heading into the last hour the averages accelerated their gains. The Dow jumped 180 points. The Nasdaq jumped 40 points. The averages kept accelerating with the Dow jumping 230 points only to pull back 80 points on news out of Europe that Germany and France are closer to expanding the rescue package for Greece and the banks. Into the close the averages rallied once again only to pull back once again. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 180 points, or 1.6%, at 11,577, led by a 10% jump in Bank of America. The S&P 500 added 24 points, or 2%, to 1,225, recouping its 1.9% loss in the prior session, and closing at its highest level since Aug. 3. The Nasdaq Composite gained 42 points, or 1.6%, to 2,657.

October 17, 2011
U.S. stocks declined on Monday, retreating from last week's rise, as Germany downplayed the notion of a quick fix for Europe's debt trouble and a New York-region index illustrated ongoing weakness in manufacturing activity. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 70 points to 11,574. The S&P 500 fell 8 points to 1,216. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 14 points to 2,653. After a great run up from the October 4th lows, the averages on a technical basis are over bought. It's a big week for earnings. This morning the list of companies reporting include Wells Fargo, Citigroup, McMoran, Hasbro, Sun Life, Halliburton, and Charles Schwab. The financials are beating estimates. Citigroup had a blow out report, but investors are unimpressed. The financials remain out of favor even though Barrons ran a cover piece recommending the sector. The insurance stocks are lower, Sun Life is down 8% after reporting a loss. Wells Fargo and Charles Schwab are both down over 4%. Blackrock, Fifth Third, and Huntington Bancshares are lower by 2% on downgrades. The commodities are getting hit. Halliburton is down 6% even though they beat. Freeport McMoran is down 4% due to violent protests by union workers. CF Industries reported better than expected fertilizer pricing, but the stock and the sector are getting hit. The energy space is one of the bright spots due to announced takeovers this past weekend. El Paso is jumping 22% after Kinder Morgan agreed to buy them out. Kinder Morgan is also higher by 7%. Exploration company, Brigham Exploration is jumping 20% on a takeover offer, so at least we have a few stocks trading higher. Through the morning the averages pushed lower. The Dow fell 140 points while the Nasdaq declined 24 points. Every few blue chips remain in the green. Apple looks good in the tech space and that's about it. The Nasdaq fell 25 points. Europe is in focus once again, unfortunately. During the lunch hour the averages pushed lower once again. Research in Motion traded lower on Carl Icahn comments that he and his firm are not interested in the firm. Through the afternoon the averages moved sideways. Stocks like IBM which report tonight are no showing any life. The one financial trading higher, Goldman, reports tomorrow morning. In the last hour, the averages pushed to new lows for the day. So much for our rally. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 247 points, or 2.1%, to 11,397, led by a 6.6% drop in Alcoa. The S&P 500 dropped 23 points, or 1.9%, to 1,200. The financial sector and materials sector lost more than 3%. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 52 points, or 2%, to 2,614. All indexes are now lower for the year. Not the best start to the year.