The Week In Review


March 30, 2012

U.S. stocks began with gains Friday, with the S&P 500 readying to notch its largest first-quarter advance in more than a decade, after data had U.S. purchases up more than expected in February. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 42 points to 13,188. The S&P 500 climbed 4 points to 1,408. The Nasdaq Composite gained 8 points to 3,103. The techs and financials are higher which seems appropriate since they are the two best sectors to start the year. Apple was upgraded once again for the millionth time this quarter. Surprisingly the stock opened modestly lower. The other goliath this quarter has been Google. The stock is higher on rumors the company will introduce an iPad later in the year. The chips are holding in there. Nvidia is higher on an upgrade. Research in Motion is surprisingly higher following dismal earnings last night. Research in Motion is down 5% for the year after falling 75% last year. Not a good trend. The financials are holding up even as we hear rumors Moodys will downgrade Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, and Bank of America. US Bancorp is lower on a downgrade. Even the energy space is higher. Apache is up a percent on an upgrade. Cliffs Natural Resources is lower even though it received an upgrade. Coal and coal related stocks had performed awful to start the year. Concerns of slowing economic growth in Asia is hitting the commodity space. Through the first hour the averages held up as every sector is trading higher. In the retail space, another hot sector to start the year, Gap is higher on an upgrade. Disney and Lululemon Athletica are higher on upgrades. Finish Line is down 13% on in line earnings. Through the morning the selling accelerated thanks in large part to Apple. Apple dropped 10 points dragging the Nasdaq with it. The Dow sold off as well led by the financials ironically. Heading into the lunch hour the averages roared back. Apple is still in the red, but the rest of the techs look good. Financials are still mixed, but the rest of the market looks good. In the last hour the Dow remained strong while the Nasdaq succumbed to Apple selling pressure. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 66 points to 13,212, sealing its best first-quarter point gain in its history. The S&P 500 gained 5 points to 1,408. garnering its biggest first-quarter advance since 1998. The Nasdaq Composite fell 3 points to 3,091, leaving it up nearly 19% for the first quarter

March 29, 2012

U.S. stocks decline once again following weakness overseas and disappointing jobless claims numbers. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 59 points to 13,066. The S&P 500 Index declined 7 points to 1,397. The Nasdaq Composite lost 15 points to 3,089. The profit-taking continues into quarter end. The energy, materials, and industrials continue to push lower. French oil company, Total is lower as their gas leak persists. In the commodity space, Mosaic is lower by 3% on earnings. Potash and Agrium were upgraded, but the stocks are lower. The oils are all lower while the coal stocks continue to get hit. The financials are lower for once. US Bancorp and PNC were downgraded more due to valuation. Goldman and JP Morgan had their numbers raised, but the stocks are lower. Wells Fargo and Suntrust were upgraded, but both are lower. Even the techs are under some pressure as Apple and Google are modestly lower. Red hat is bucking the trend up 8% on earnings. IBM is lower even though someone upgraded it with a $235 price target. Intel is modestly higher after having their numbers raised. The retail space has been on fire of late even as oil prices push higher and higher. Best Buy initially traded higher following earnings, but now is down 5%. Whole Foods and Under Armour are lower on downgrades. Dicks, Jos, A Bank, and Stanley Black and Decker are all lower on upgrades. Through the first hour the averages tried to rebound with limited success. Through the morning the averages drifted lower on profit-taking. A few stocks remain in the green including IBM and Coke, and McDonalds in the Dow. Red hat is now trading up 16% to new highs. Nice. In the afternoon the averages put in a nice rebound with the Dow cutting loses in half. Consumer discretionary stocks are perking up, but most sectors remain in the red, but off the lows. Through the afternoon into the close the averages kept improving with the Dow moving into the green. Amazing. The Nasdaq remained in the red as its two leaders, Google and Apple, couldn't get going. The Dow Jones gained 19 points to finish at 13,145, with Alcoa and Caterpillar among the top gainers. The Nasdaq Composite fell 9 points to 3,095 while the S&P 500 index dropped 2 points to 1,403.

March 28, 2012

U.S. stocks opened nearly flat Wednesday following weakness overseas and a lower than expected durable goods order this morning. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 11 points to 13,208. The S&P 500 Index climbed nearly a point to 1,413. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 8 points to 3,128. Once again tech and financials led the way. In the tech space Apple is at a new all time high while Google is also performing well. Google was upgraded with a $750 price target. IBM is trading at a new high helping out the Dow. Nvidia is up 2% on an upgrade. KLA Tencor, Juniper, were all upgraded, but are trading lower. Rival, Redhat reports earnings tonight. The financials are holding in there, but other sectors are under pressure. The energy space has been under pressure for a while trading down over a percent this morning. Materials are also under pressure. Freeport McMoran, a pure copper play, is down 3.5% on heavy volume. Industrials space is also lower. GE was upgraded, but the stock is lower. One industrial, Huntington Ingalls is jumping 8% on earnings. Through the first hour the averages drifted lower. The retail sector is mixed. Sealy is jumping 7% on earnings. Family Dollar is higher as well on earnings while Jos. A Bank is down 8% on earnings and lowered guidance. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages kept dropping. The Dow dropped 130 points before rebounding. The Nasdaq declined 33 points before rebounding. A little profit-taking into the quarter end. In the last hour the averages continued to recover off the lows led by tech, ie Apple and Google. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 71 points to 13,126, led by a 3.5% drop in Caterpillar. The S&P 500 fell 6 points to 1,405, with materials and energy falling the most. Financials bucked the trend. The Nasdaq Composite fell 15 points to 3,104.

March 27, 2012

U.S. stocks began Tuesday with mild gains following the third best day of the year yesterday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 6 points to 13,247. The S&P 500 rose nearly a point to 1,417. The Nasdaq Composite added nearly a point to 3,123. On the earnings front, Lennar is up 3% on better than expected numbers. All the homebuilders are up on this news and so far 2012 has been great to the homebuilders and financials. The banks are modestly lower this morning. US Bancorp and Bank of America are modestly lower on downgrades. Bond insurer is modestly higher on an upgrade. The techs are also holding in there. Apple is at a new high. IBM, Intel, and Cisco also made new highs for the year before pulling back. Micron is higher on an upgrade. Healthcare stocks have been on a roll with Obamacare going to the courts. Through the first hour the averages struggled to move beyond the unchanged level. But the good news is the broader market doesn't want to go down. The energy sector of late has struggled to keep up with the broader market due to fears of a slowdown in China. European oil and gas company, Total is lower by 6% due to a natural gas leak from one of their wells. Through the first hour the averages continued to hug the unchanged level with more stocks slipping into the red. The utilities are trading higher. The retail space continues to shine. McCormick and Walgreen are higher by 2% on earnings. American Eagle is higher on an upgrade. In the afternoon the averages kept moving sideways with only the energy and telecoms under a little bit of selling pressure. In the last hour a little more selling pressure put all the averages in the red led by energy stocks. Utilities were one of the few sectors to end in the green. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 43 points to 13,197. The S&P 500 dropped 4 points to 1,412. The Nasdaq Composite dropped just 2 points to 3,120 thanks to a one percent rally in Apple.

March 26, 2012

U.S. stocks opened higher on Monday as Germany's chancellor signaled she may be open to boosting the euro-zone financial firewall while Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said faster growth will be required to reduce unemployment further. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 89 points to 13,171. The S&P 500 Index added 11 points to 1,407. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 24 points to 3,091. Last week of March and the first quarter and we're off to a good start. Every sector is performing well. Entertainment company, Lions Gate is jumping 4% thanks to their blockbuster movie, Hunger Games. In the retail space Cabela's and Foot Locker are higher by 2% on upgrades. Gap was downgraded, but the stock is up making a new high. Cal-Maine Foods is lower by 4% on earnings. One of the few stocks lower. In the defensive space, Philip Morris is up a percent to a new high thanks to an upgrade. Healthcare is performing well as Obama care may get struck down by the courts. Everything is working. Amazing start to the new year. Through the morning the averages inched up with the Dow rising 130 points while the Nasdaq improved by 37 points for a 19% return for the year. Wow. Thank you Apple. In the afternoon the averages drifted off the highs, but not by much. A few more stocks in the red from the utility and energy sector, but all in all, it's an extremely strong day. Through the afternoon the averages pushed higher. The Dow rose 150 points while the Nasdaq improved by 50 points up 20% for the year. Wow. In the tech sector IBM, Intel, and Cisco Systems are at new highs for the year. Apple, Microsoft, and Google are not far behind. Amazing, amazing run. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 160 points, or 1.2%, at 13,241, recouping last week's 152-point, or 1.2%, loss, its worst week of the year. The S&P 500 rose 19 points, or 1.4%, to 1,416, also wiping out last week's 0.5% decline. The Nasdaq Composite gained 54 points, or 1.8%, to 3,122.