The Week In Review


December 23, 2011

U.S. stocks opened with modest gains Friday after economic data had durable goods rising in November by the most in four months. A separate report had consumer spending rising less than forecast last month. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 13 points to 1,2182. The S&P 500 added 2 points to 1,256. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 4 points to 2,603. Should be a quite day ahead of the long holiday weekend. The stocks that have done well all year continue to perform well into year end. Case in point the utilities, the healthcare, and the consumer staples are all trading higher this morning with a number of them making new 52 week highs. Through the first hour the Dow rose 60 points thanks to a number of components trading at or near 52 week highs. The list includes Walmart, Verizon, McDonalds, Home Depot, Kraft, Pfizer, and Merck. Verizon was upgraded this morning with a $43 price target. The Nasdaq is only up 10 points as the wind was taken out of their sails this week with Oracle's disappointing earnings report. VMware is higher on an upgrade. Rambus is jumping 16% after signing a patent license agreement with Broadcom ending their lawsuit. Broadcom is modestly higher as well. In the afternoon the Dow kept inching higher. Only a few stocks are lower and of course they are financial stocks like Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. In the last hour the averages rallied into the close. A good way to end the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 124 points, or 1%, at 12,293. It gained 3.6% for the week, the third up week in four. The S&P 500 rose 11 points to 1,265, up 3.7% for the week. The Nasdaq Composite added 19 points to 2,618, up 2.5% for the week. U.S. stock markets are closed Monday for the Christmas holiday.

December 22, 2011

U.S. stocks opened with modest gains Thursday after the government reported jobless claims fell last week to their lowest level since 2008. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 27 points to 12,134. The S&P 500 Index rose 4 points to 1,247. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 13 points to 2,591. No bad news out of Europe is lending support to the averages as well. No news is good news in regards to Europe. Every sector is performing well this morning except for healthcare and consumer staples. Pfizer is modestly lower on disappointing clinical trial results for one of their new drugs. The techs are bouncing back after Oracle's debacle yesterday. Micron is jumping 14% on earnings. Juniper Networks, Fusion-IO, EMC, and VMware are higher on upgrades. The other blue chips IBM, Intel, Apple, and Google are also trading higher. The commodity space is performing well this morning. Potash is higher on an upgrade. Agrium is higher even though it was downgraded. In the retail space Bed Bath & Beyond and Finish Line are lower by 6% following earnings. Fossil is lower on an upgrade. American Greetings is down a whopping 20% following earnings. Not a good day to be a retail stock. The financials are higher for a second straight day. Don't hold your breath. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages remained in the green on light volume. It would be nice to close out the week on a plus note. The Dow industrials finished up 61 points at 12,169, leaving it up 5.1% for 2011, with five sessions remaining in the year. The S&P added 10 points to 1,254, off 0.3% from the end of 2010, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 21 points to 2,599, down 2% for the not-yet-ended year.

December 21, 2011

U.S. stocks began with modest declines on Wednesday after the European Central Bank said it would lend a record amount to euro-area banks causing concerns once again in Europe. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 36 points to 12,066. The S&P 500 declined 4 points to 1,236. The Nasdaq Composite shed 27 points to 2,576. The weakness in the tech space is due to Oracle's disappointing earnings last night. The stock is down 13% this morning. All the cloud computing space is getting hit this morning. Only a few techs are trading higher. Cree is up 3% on an upgrade. Research in Motion is jumping 7% on takeover rumors and an upgrade. The financials are under pressure once again. Fortress Investment is lower as their CEO, Dan Mudd the former CEO of Fannie Mae is under investigation from the SEC. The stock is down 2%. JP Morgan is modestly lower on a downgrade. Homebuilder, KB Homes is down 4% even though they beat earnings estimates. In the retail space things are mixed. Coke and Coca Cola Enterprises are higher on upgrades. Walgreens and CarMax are down over 5% on earnings. Pep Boys and Panera Bread are lower on upgrades. Through the morning the averages pushed lower. The Dow fell 60 points and the Nasdaq fell 45 points. The defensive stocks are performing the best. Hershey Foods is up a percent on an upgrade. The consumer staples like Altria, Philip Morris, and Kraft are at new all time highs. Utilities and Healthcare are also performing well. In the afternoon the Dow started to slowly recover moving into the green in the last hour. Even the financials are in the green. Amazing. The Nasdaq remains in the red thanks to Oracle's disappointing earnings last night. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 4 points at 12,107 after losing more than 100 points midday. The S&P 500 ended up 2 points at 1,243, led by utilities and energy shares. Tech was the only S&P 500 subsector to end in the red. The Nasdaq Composite lost 25 points, or 1%, to 2,577.

December 20, 2011

U.S. stocks surged at the open Tuesday, supported by a better Spanish bond auction, data showing an improvement in the German economic outlook and a jump in U.S. housing starts. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 218 points, or 1.9%, to 11,984. Cisco led gains for all 30 Dow components. The S&P 500 advanced 20 points, or 1.7%, to 1,225. The Nasdaq Composite rose 49 points, or nearly 2%, to 2,672. Up, up, and away. The major averages are surging this morning as news out Europe has subsided for the day. Sound familiar? Every major sector is acting great as 99% of the S&P 500 is trading higher. The techs are performing well. Micron, Sandisk, KLA-Tencor, and F5 Networks are trading up 4% or better on upgrades. Novellus is up 3% on a downgrade. Red Hat is one of the few techs lower by 9% on disappointing earnings. Research in Motion is down a percent at a new 52 week low. The financials are higher after getting pummeled once again. Jefferies is up 8% following better than expected earnings. The energy, material, and industrials are all performing great. Plenty of news in the retail space. Urban Outfitter and Chipotle Mexican Grill are up 3% on upgrades. CVS Caremark is up 6% after having their dividend hiked by 30%. ConAgra and Navistar are higher by 5% on better than expected earnings. A couple stocks Sanderson Farms and Carnival are lower on earnings. Through the first hour the Dow rose 250 points while the Nasdaq rose 55 points. Through the morning the averages crept higher. It's an all or nothing market. In the afternoon more of the same. The Dow remained up over 300 points as every Dow component is higher. The Nasdaq is up 77 points. The culprit for the big rally is a dramatic decline in bond yields in Spain and other parts of Europe. In fact, the 3 month Spanish bond yield has dropped from 5.22% a month ago to less than 2% today. That's a multi-year rally in just one month. U.S. stocks surged 3% Tuesday, posting their best day of the month amid low volumes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 337 points, or 2.9%, to 12,103. The S&P 500 added 35 points, or 3%, to 1,241, led by rallying financials. The Nasdaq Composite gained 80 points, or 3.2%, to 2,603.

December 19, 2011

U.S. stocks gained Monday, recouping part of last week's losses, as investors anticipated the next round of Europe headlines in what's likely to be a low-volume trading week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 44 points to 11,910. The S&P 500 gained 4 points to 1,224. The Nasdaq Composite rose 14 points to 2,568. Stocks are rebounding from last week's retreat of more than 2% although it's a quiet day for news except for the fact the dictator of North Korea passed away over the weekend. The South Korean index fell 4% this morning. Back here, no news to push the markets. Through the first hour the Dow held on to gains even as the financials lost some steam. The rest of the market is holding up. UPS looks good this morning after reporting record shipping sales last week. Apple is higher as UPS must be shipping a lot of Ipads. F5 Networks is higher on an upgrade. Oracle and are modestly higher on positive analyst comments. Xilinx is down after lowering guidance. In the retail space Coinstar, Under Armour, and Footlocker are modestly higher on positive analyst comments. Toy maker, Jakks Pacific is down 20% on lower sales volume. Cablevision is rebounding 3% after getting hit last week and the last six months for the most part. After the first hour the averages drifted lower falling into the red. Diamond Offshore is lower on a downgrade. Speaking of diamonds, the diamond of the day goes to Winn Dixie up 71% after agreeing to be taken over. In the afternoon the averages remained weak lead by the financials. An Internet IPO from last Friday, Zynga is down another 5% today. It's never been so easy to lose money. With the start of the last hour, the averages accelerated to the down side. Bank of America is down below $5 a share on concerns the banks needs to raise more capital. Into the close the averages bounced off the lows, but not a good way to start the week. U.S. stocks closed near the lows of the session Monday, after a series of statements from European officials doused a flicker of positive sentiment about the region. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 100 points at 11,766, led by a 4.1% drop in Bank of America shares to under $5. The S&P 500 fell 14 points, or 1.2%, to 1,205 led by a 2.3% drop in financial stocks. The Nasdaq Composite fell 32 points, or 1.3%, to 2,523.