The Week In Review
04/09/2012-04/13/2012April 13, 2012
U.S. stocks started lower on Friday, retreating after the S&P 500's best two-day rise so far this year, as investors pondered a report showing slower-than-expected growth in China. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 59 points to 12,927. The S&P 500 lost 6 points to 1,381. The Nasdaq Composite fell 16 points to 3,038. Earnings are starting to come in better than expected. Google, JP Morgan, and Wells Fargo beat estimates and all three initially traded higher, but now are succumbing to profit-taking. The whole financial and tech sector are under a little pressure after a phenomenal first quarter. Google is down 2.5% exactly the same amount it went up yesterday. Even Apple is under pressure. SAP is lower following earnings in Europe overnight. Nokia keeps pushing lower, day after day. The housing market is following the financials lower. Toll Brothers and Pulte Homes are lower on upgrades. KB Homes is lower after reducing their dividend. I didn't even know they had a dividend. The materials, industrials, and transports are down after a nice bounce yesterday. The energy space is under pressure. The coal stocks like Arch Coal and Patriot Coals are getting hit as the sector has to cut production due to lower demand. Ensco received an upgrade being called a premier oil driller yet the stock is lower by 2%. The defensive sectors like utilities and consumer staples are performing well this morning. Altria is higher on an upgrade. Through the first hour the averages pushed lower. Two down days to start the week followed by two great up days, and then ending with another down day today. The volatility is back. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages remained weak. The Dow fell over 100 points before rebounding thanks to Caterpillar, Home Depot, and Kraft. The Nasdaq isn't rebounding as Google and Apple pushed lower. In the last hour the averages reaccelerated to the downside with the Dow dropping over 100 points led by the financials. The Nasdaq and the techs have been weak all day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 136 points, or 1.1%, at 12,849, its largest weekly hit since the middle of December. The S&P 500 dropped 17 points, or 1.3%, to 1,370, off 2% from the week ago close. The Nasdaq Composite retreated by 44 points, or 1.5%, to 3,011, leaving it down 2.3% from last Friday's close.
April 12, 2012
U.S. stocks opened modestly higher on Thursday as investors considered an unexpected rise in jobless claims last week. "This jobs number, combined with last Friday's disappointing employment report, may spark increasing concern regardling the pace of the ongoing U.S. economic expansion," said Fred Dickson, chief investment strategist at Davidson Cos. The Dow industrials rose 34 points to 12,839. The S&P 500 rose 3 points to 1,372. The Nasdaq Composite added 11 points to 3,028. Mixed news this morning. In the tech space Nokia is lower again after lowering guidance the other day. Sony is modestly lower on job cuts. Dell is lower on a downgrade while Micron and Qualcomm are higher on upgrades. EMC is modestly higher on cautious analyst comments. Apple is struggling to rally while Google looks great ahead of earnings tonight. In the retail space Crocs and Movado are higher on upgrades. Tractor Supply is up 3% after raising guidance. Bed Bath Beyond is lower on a downgrade while Rite Aid is down 2% on in line earnings. The financials look good ahead of earnings tomorrow from JP Morgan and Bank of America. MBIA is higher by 5% on a settlement. In the first hour the averages surged with the Dow jumping 80 points and the Nasdaq rising 22 points. By the end of the first hour the Dow was up 100 points with the Nasdaq up 30 points. The weakest sectors are the defensive plays like utilities, consumer staples, and healthcare. It's a risk on day. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages pushed higher. Prospects of better than expected growth out of China has pushed the material, industrial, and transport sectors higher. In the last hour the averages pushed back toward the highs of the day. Impressive rally. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 181 points, or 1.4%, to 12,986. The S&P 500 climbed 18 points, or 1.4%, to 1,387. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 39 points, or 1.3%, to 3,055.
April 11, 2012
U.S. stocks opened sharply higher Wednesday after five straight down days as investors find cheer in an unexpected first-quarter profit from aluminum producer Alcoa. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 104 points to 12,822. The S&P 500 gained 14 points to 1,372. The Nasdaq Composite added 26 points to 3,018.
Alcoa is trading up 8% helping lift the commodity sector. A select number of oil drillers like Noble Corp, Transocean, Rowan, and Diamond Offshore are all higher on upgrades. A machinery agriculture company, Titan Machinery is jumping 15% on strong earnings and better than expected guidance. In the tech space, Apple is bouncing back. Apple and Google are higher by a percent. A few techs are lower. VMware is lower by 2% on in-line guidance. F5 Networks is lower on an upgrade. The dog in the tech space is Nokia down 15% on lowered guidance. The financials are all rebounding this morning. Genworth is up 6% on an upgrade. Bank of America is higher on an upgrade. Metlife and Hartford are higher as well on positive analyst comments. Annaly is higher after reporting their commentary on the first quarter. In the retail space Best Buy is bouncing back after their CEO stepped down yesterday. Supervalu is higher by 4% on an upgrade. TravelZoo is the diamond up 27% on news the company is considering selling the business. Through the first hour the averages remained strong. Very few stocks are trading lower. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages held up even as more stocks dipped into the red. Even Apple fell into the red as the government sues the company for fixing prices with publishers. Apple certainly has the cash for a settlement. Entering the last hour and into the close the averages held ending where they started the day. Industrials, financials, telecom, and transports led the rally. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 89 points at 12,805. The S&P 500 added 10 points to 1,368. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 25 points to 3,016 even with Apple in the red.
April 10, 2012
U.S. stocks opened slightly negative on Tuesday, unable to shake off the prior session's steep losses following weakness overseas once again. Three regional Federal Reserve presidents will be speaking today which may cause some more market volatility. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened down 15 points to 12,915. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index slipped a point to 1,381. The Nasdaq Composite Index managed a gain, rising 5 points to 3,052 thanks to Apple. Apple rose a percent this morning surpassing the $600 billion market cap. Amazing. The rest of the techs are holding up as well. Dell is higher by 2% on an upgrade. Google and IBM are modestly higher on positive analyst comments. Qualcomm is unchanged on an upgrade. AOl is lower by 2% even though it was upgraded, although yesterday's 40% rally was pretty impressive. Sony is the dog of the day down 7% after lowering guidance. A company that sells a lot of Sony's products, Best Buy is also under pressure down 3% as their CEO is stepping down. The rest of the consumer discretionary sector is under pressure although Supervalu is jumping 6% on earnings. Harley Davidson is higher by 2% on an upgrade. Through the first hour the Dow pushed lower with the Nasdaq holding up thanks to Apple. The financials are trying to hold in there. AIG and Raymond James are higher on upgrades. Energy, materials, industrials, and transports are under pressure If it wasn't for Apple, it wouldn't be a pretty day. Through the morning the averages kept pushing lower with no bounces. Heading into the last hour the Dow fell 200 points with the Nasdaq dropping 50 points. Apple went from up 7 points to down 8 points. Europe is roaring its' ugly head once again. In the last hour the averages moved back toward the lows. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 213 points, or 1.7%, at 12,715, worst sell off this year. The S&P 500 fell 23 points, or 1.7%, to 1,358. For both, it was the fifth straight session of losses, the longest losing streak of the year. The Nasdaq Composite fell 55 points, or 1.8%, to 2,991, its first close below 3,000 in nearly a month.
April 9, 2012
U.S. stocks opened sharply lower on Monday as investors got their first chance to react to the March nonfarm payrolls report, which had employers adding fewer jobs than expected. The U.S. Labor Department on Friday said American companies added 120,000 jobs last month, with the number under 200,000 for the first month in four. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 125 points to 12,934. The S&P 500 shed 15 points to 1,382. The Nasdaq Composite declined 38 points to 3,042. Every sector is trading lower this morning. The financials are weak following weakness overseas. Bank of America and Citigroup are lower by 2.5%. Barrons wrote a positive piece in Legg Mason, but it's not helping. The stock is down 3%. Aflac is lower by 2% on an upgrade. MasterCard was upgraded, but the stock is lower. The other leading sector, techs are succumbing to profit-taking. Intel, Google, and EMC were upgraded, but the stocks are lower. F5 Networks is lower by 3% on a downgrade. AOL is one of the few techs bucking the trend up 40% after agreeing to a patent deal with Microsoft that will give them a billion dollars in cash. Another stellar sector the retailers are under pressure. Ford is down 2% on a recall. Toyota, Dicks, Priceline, and Under Armour were all upgraded, but all four are lower. Sherwin Williams is higher by 2% after upping guidance. Not bad. The energy space is modestly lower, holding up better than other sectors. Rare Earth stock, Molycorp is higher by 6% on news of further reserve discoveries. Through the first hour the averages stayed close to the lows of the day. The weakness is causing gold to rally. Alcoa is modestly higher ahead of earnings tonight. Heading into the lunch hour the averages moved back toward the lows. One good sign is volume is light, but we ready do need some down days to even things out. During the lunch hour the averages put in a second rebound, this one with a little more sustainability into the afternoon. The afternoon rebound was led by techs and improving financials. In the last hour and into the close the averages moved back toward the lows. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 130 points, or 1%, to 12,929. The S&P 500 lost 15 points, or 1.1%, to 1,382. The Nasdaq Composite lost 33 points, or 1.1%, to 3,047.