The Week In Review


May 4, 2012

U.S. stocks opened with losses Friday after April's job gains proved less than expected. An upward revision to the prior month and a decline in the jobless rate failed to keep losses in check. The jobs report was "a little disappointing, but I don't put a tremendous amount of credence in some of the reports, as the weather has really moved up some of the economic activity this year," said Mike McGervey, president and founder of McGervey Wealth Management in North Canton, Ohio. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 75 points to 13,131. The S&P 500 fell 9 points to 1,381. The Nasdaq Composite lost 30 points to 2,993. The earnings keep coming in better than expected. LinkedIn, Mohawk Industries, and ITT Industries are higher by more than 4% thanks to earnings. CF Industries, QLogic, AIG, and Estee Lauder all reported better than expected earnings, but all four are down over 4%. The markets are more focused on the economic data this morning. In the tech space Apple and Google are trading sharply lower. The financials are also weak this morning. In fact most sectors are lower this morning. Only the utility space is trading higher this morning. Through the first hour the averages traded sharply lower. The Dow fell 130 points with the Nasdaq dropping 50 points. It's a risk off kind of day. Through the morning into the afternoon the averages moved lower with the Dow dropping 170 points and the Nasdaq declining 60 points. The bounces so far today have been limited. Through the afternoon the averages moved sideways not far from the lows. Every Dow component is in the red. In the last hour the averages tried to recover a little into the close, but failed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 168 points, or 1.3%, at 13,038, sinking 1.4% for the week. The S&P 500 lost 22 points, or 1.6%, to 1,369, led by tech and energy stocks. Only the utilities were higher. For the week, the index lost 2.4%. The Nasdaq Composite fell 67 points, or 2.3%, to 2,956, its worst day of the year. It lost 3.7% for the week.

May 3, 2012

U.S. stocks wobbled lower Thursday with concern about Europe overtaking cheer that came with domestic data, which had a better-than-expected report on the labor front. The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 9 points to 12,258. The S&P 500 Index fell a point to 1,401. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 5 points to 3,054. A couple of stocks are trading higher on earnings. Transocean is higher by 3% on earnings although the rest of the energy space is lower. Energy has really gotten hit by the slowing growth in Europe and Asia. Apache is down 3% on earnings. El Paso and Ensco are lower as well on earnings. Hess is lower on a downgrade. The most volatile energy stock of late, Chesapeake is higher by 2% on an upgrade. The financials are lower following European weakness. Visa is down 3% on earnings. MasterCard was upgraded, but the stock is lower. A number of insurance stocks are lower following earnings including Prudential, Lincoln National, and Hartford. Prudential is down 8%. Allstate is the lone standout up 4% on earnings. In the tech space Atmel is down 10% on earnings. Symantec is lower as well on earnings while is up 2% on an upgrade. The big cap techs look good. Intel is higher even though it went ex-dividend. Apple and Google are also modestly higher. At 10 o'clock a weaker than expected manufacturing number sent the averages into the red. The retailers are in the red following same store sales numbers. Macys and Aeropostale are lower by more than 2%. Boston Beer is down 2% on earnings. Whole Foods is jumping 6% on earnings while the dogs of the day are Green Mountain Coffee, down 41% and Weight Watchers, down 15% on earnings. Other companies trading lower this morning on earnings include GM, Hyatt Hotel, and CIGNA. Following the first hour the Dow dropped 50 points while the Nasdaq declined 16 points. After the first hour the averages recovered with the Nasdaq moving into the green and the Dow clawing back to the unchanged level. In the afternoon the averages dropped back off. The Dow declined 50 points while the Nasdaq declined 30 points. The techs, energy, materials, and industrials are leading the weakness. Investors seem to be getting nervous about tomorrow's monthly unemployment data. By the middle of the afternoon the Dow dropped again, falling 90 points while the Nasdaq dropped 40 points. In the last hour the averages clawed back once again awaiting tomorrow's nonfarm payrolls report. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 62 points at 13,206, led by a 3.1% drop in Hewlett-Packard. The S&P 500 fell 10 points to 1,391, led by a 10% drop in Prudential Financial. The Nasdaq Composite lost 35 points, or 1.2%, to 3,024.

May 2, 2012

U.S. stocks opened lower on Wednesday after the ADP private-payrolls data left Wall Street less optimistic about Friday's nonfarm payrolls report from the Labor Department. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 49 points to 13,229. The S&P 500 declined 7 points to 1,398. The Nasdaq Composite shed 10 points to 3,039. One day we get good economic data, the next day the opposite. The earnings keep coming in with plenty of hits and misses. In the retail space Papa Johns and American Eagle are both up over 10% on earnings. Martha Stewart, Energizer, and CVS Caremark are also higher on earnings. Barnes & Noble and Gap are higher on upgrades. In the tech space Broadcom is modestly lower on earnings. Autodesk is down 3% on a downgrade. Apple is trying to mount a comeback after getting hit yesterday. At 10 o'clock, a weaker than expected manufacturing number out of New York sent the averages lower. The financials are getting hit following weakness overseas. MasterCard and Franklin Resources are down 3% on earnings. Genworth is bucking the trend, trading higher on earnings. Plenty of fireworks in the energy space this morning. Chesapeake Energy is the dog of the day down 12% on disappointing earnings and more revelations of possible improper behavior on the CEO's part. Devon Energy and Marathon Oil are lower by 3% on earnings. The coal stocks looked great yesterday, but back down today. Arch Coal and Patriot Coal are both lower by more than 3%. After the first hour the Dow was down over 70 points wiping out yesterday's gain. The Nasdaq declined 15 points as Apple and Google try to hold the unchanged level. Through the morning into the lunch hour the averages battled back. The Nasdaq moved into the green thanks to Google, Apple, and Intel. The Dow is fighting its way back to the unchanged level thanks to techs, consumer staples, and healthcare. The weakest sectors are financials, energy, and materials. Through the afternoon the averages kept improving. In the last hour the Dow looked like it would make it back to the unchanged level only to come up short. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 10 points at 13,268. The S&P 500 retreated 3 points to 1,402. The Nasdaq Composite rose 9 points to 3,059.

May 1, 2012

U.S. stocks on Tuesday started a new month with tentative losses ahead of data that could illustrate U.S. manufacturing expanded at a slower pace for April. "Earnings are the key market support, but investors are unwilling to pay for future earnings when the economic and political climate is so cloudy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 12 points to 13,200. The S&P 500 shed nearly half a point to 1,397. The Nasdaq Composite held steady at 3,046. The earnings are slowing, but still coming in. Stocks trading lower on earnings include MeadWestvaco, Bank Atlantic, Martin Marietta, Automatic Data, Hospira, Dominos' Pizza, Cummings, Legg Mason, TRW Automotive, Pfizer, and Jacobs. Industrials Jacobs and Cummins are following Caterpillar's comments previously about slowing overseas growth. Industrial, Conoco Phillips split into two companies, Conoco and Phillips 66. Conoco is up 3% while Phillips 66 is modestly lower. At 10 o'clock better than expected construction and manufacturing data sent the averages surging higher. The Dow jumped 75 points while the Nasdaq rose over 20 points. Through the morning the averages kept pushing higher as the bulls are in charge. Companies that traded higher following earnings this morning are pushing higher. Archer Daniels, Sears, Huntsman, Genesee Wyoming, and Fresh Del Monte are up over 6% thanks to better than expected earnings. Chesapeake Energy is jumping 8% as their CEO will relieve his duties as Chairman. Akamai and Hess are higher on insider buying. Pf Chang is jumping 30% on a private equity takeover offer. By the lunch hour the Dow was at a new high for the year as eight components are trading at new 52 week highs. The Nasdaq is up 36 points or 1.2%. Don't sell in May just yet. In the afternoon the averages moved sideways pulling back modestly. By midafternoon, Apple sold off falling back to the unchanged level dragging the Nasdaq down 15 points off its high. The Dow remains firm. In the last hour the Dow drifted a little further from its' high along with the Nasdaq. The weakness is coming from Apple, techs, and a couple industrials like Cummins. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 65 points at 13,279. The S&P 500 added 7 points to 1,405. The Nasdaq Composite gained 4 points to 3,050.

April 30, 2012

U.S. stocks dipped mildly to start the last day of April as economic data has been rather disappointing of late. News out of Europe that Spain has fallen into a recession isn't helping. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened lower by 4 points at 13,223. The S&P 500 retreated 3 points to 1,400. The Nasdaq Composite declined 5 points to 3,063. It's been awhile since we've had a merger Monday. Sunoco is trading up 20% after agreeing to be acquired by Energy Transfer Partners. Energy Transfer Partners is trading up 3% as well. Looks like a good deal. Barnes & Noble, the diamond so far, is trading up 60% thanks to a deal struck with Microsoft for a business alliance. On the earnings front, the season is winding down with a majority of the S&P 500 reporting better than expected results. The guidance for next quarter and the rest of the year remains the big question mark. Through the first hour the Dow held up as the Nasdaq pushed lower due to more profit-taking in Apple. Apple seems to be dragging down Google as well, but not much else. The rest of the market is quiet on light volume. It seems investors are ready for the month to end or else they're waiting for the monthly employment data out at the end of the week. Goldman Sachs made comments today that they believe the employment numbers will come in less than expected. By the end of the morning the averages remained mired in the red, but quiet. One stock showing some life is Monster Beverage jumped 20% on rumors Coke was interested in buying the company. In the afternoon the averages kept moving sideways with the two weakest sectors financials and techs succumbing to profit-taking. Speaking of profit-taking Monster Beverages sold off at the end of the day as Coke denied claims they were interested in buying the firm. In the last hour the Dow recovered battling back to the unchanged level as the Nasdaq and Apple remained in the red. The Dow Jones finished down14 points to end at 13,213. The S&P 500 Index fell 5 points to 1,397, down 0.8% for April after four consecutive months of gains. The Nasdaq Composite retreated 22 points to 3,046.36, down 0.8% for April, its first monthly loss in four.