The Week In Review


January 2, 2009
It's the start of a new year and no one seems interested. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened up 32 points at 8,809. The S&P 500 gained 2 points to 905, while the Nasdaq Composite rose a point to 1,578. 2009 starts with a few less financials. Merrill Lynch and Wachovia have ceased to trade, merging with their respective parties. The other financials are quiet along with the rest of the market. The commodity stocks are modestly positive even though oil is lower. Gold is also lower as the U.S. dollar rallies. The chip stocks are quiet as industry data shows sales were down 10% in November. Apple is higher on an upgrade plus competitor Research in Motion is having problems with their new smart phone called, Bold. Research in Motion is only modestly lower. It took less than half an hour for the Dow to fall into the red. 2009 is looking a lot like 2008. After the first hour, the averages were back in the green. There are some bulls out there. Through the morning the averages improved. The Dow rose as much as 140 points. The Nasdaq improved by 25 points. Most stocks are higher except for a few select financials including Bank of America, Goldman, Wells Fargo, and JP Morgan. Barclays is down 6%. Oil has had a nice turn around from down $3 to up a buck. In the afternoon the averages remained strong. Entering the last hour the Dow topped 200 points hitting 9,000 once again. The Nasdaq rose 50 points. The January effect is in effect. In the last hour the averages remained remained near the highs of the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 258 points, or 2.9%, at 9,034, giving the blue-chip index a gain of 6.1% for the week. The S&P 500 climbed 28 points, or 3.2%, to end at 931, up 6.8% for the week. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 55 points, or 3.5%, to finish at 1,632, leaving the technology-laden index a 6.7% gain on the week.

January 1, 2009

Markets closed. Happy New Years!

December 31, 2008
U.S. stocks open slightly higher today, the final trading session of 2008. No mixing words, it was a terrible year for stock markets around the world. Year to date, the Dow Industrials is down nearly 35%, the S&P 500 has lost 40%, and the Nasdaq Composite is off almost 42%. So far this morning, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 35 points to 8,704. The S&P 500 index rose 2 points to 893 while the Nasdaq composite rose 4 points to 1,555. Very little news this morning. The techs look okay with Google and IBM improving of late. No bounce in the financials, particularly the big banks. The Treasury made a statement that they have overspend their $350 billion allotment of the TARP fund. Great. The commodities are weak as oil declines once again, ending its best, then worse year in history. Oil is set to close out the year down 60%. Through the first hour the averages inched higher on light volume. Through the morning the averages remained in the green, not far from the highs of the day. Mortgage rates keep inching lower. The 30 year fixed is down to 5.1%. Not bad. Next stop 4.5%? Through the afternoon the averages remained in the green on light volume. Oil has rebounded along with most of the commodities. Gold closed higher for the eighth straight year. Not bad. Entering the last hour, the Dow looked good up over 100 points. GM is one of the few Dow components lower. The Nasdaq is up 31 points. The techs are definitely acting better. In the last hour, the averages remained strong. It looks like we're closing out an awful year on an up note. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 108 points at 8776. The Dow dropped 53 points for the month and a measly 4, 488 points for the year for a 33.8% decline. The S&P 500 Index rose 12 points today to end at 903. The S&P was up for the month, but down 38% for the worse year since 1937. The Nasdaq Composite gained 26 points to close at 1,577. The technology-heavy index rose 42 points on the month, but down 40.5% for the year. On to 2009.

December 30, 2008
The major averages open higher after the government extends aid to GMAC to the tune of $5 billion now that it's a bank holding company. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 62 points to 8,547. GM is up 7% on the GMAC news. The S&P 500 index rose 4 points to 874 while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 10 points to 1,520. Not much news out this morning other than more disappointing economic data including poor housing data and a huge drop in consumer confidence. Dow Chemical was the dog yesterday after losing a big contract to Kuwait. Today, Dow is struggling to find financing to keep the merger with Rohm & Haas in tact. Yum Brands is seeing a nice bounce thanks to an upgrade. The news in the retail sector is not getting any better. The Financial Times believes that 200,000 retailers may shut their doors next year and 3,000 malls may file for bankrupcty in 2009. The financials are lower. The sector as a whole will report a quarterly loss for the first time since 1990. The commodities opened higher, but then sold off. Oil reversed course. Through the first hour the averages remained in the green holding firm on light volume. Most investors just want the year to end. The Japanese and German markets closed out their books for the year this morning, both dropping over 40%. Through the morning the averages kept improving. Entering the lunch hour and then the las hour, the Dow was up over 100 points. The Nasdaq improved by 28 points. In the last hour the averages kept improving on light volume.

December 29, 2008
With three days to go, thee major averages open mostly higher lifted by oil and other commodities stocks due to tensions in the Middle East. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 5 points to 8,520 led by Exxon Mobil, Chevron, and Alcoa. The S&P 500 index opened unchanged at 872. The Nasdaq Composite fell 2 points to 1,527. The Israelis continue to pound the Gaza Stripe and Palestine in retaliation to attacks from last week. This is lifting oil and many of the other commodities. Dow Chemical is the dog of the day, down 20% after Kuwait scrapped plans for a $17.4 billion joint venture with the firm. The financials are all lower. Credit Suisse is up a percent even though they admitted to losing nearly a billion dollars to the Madoff scandal. The retailers are all lower following a miserable holiday. The techs are lower. HP is modestly higher on a positive Barrons piece. And that's about it for the positive news. The averages moved lower after the open. The Dow dropped 60 points. The Nasdaq declined 24 points. Most traders and investors are done with 2008, looking forward to 2009.
Through the morning the averages moved lower including the commodity stocks. Oil has reversed course, dropping into the red. In the afternoon the Dow remained weak down over 100 points. Oil is back in the green, but very few stocks are in the green. In the last hour the averages recovered a little. Quiet day on light volume. More of the same the next two days. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 31 points at 8,483. The S&P 500 index fell 3 points to 869 while the Nasdaq Composite lost 19 points to 1,510.