The Week In Review


May 11, 2012
U.S. stocks opened lower Friday, with large banks leading the losses after J.P. Morgan Chase reported a $2 billion trading loss. The bank's CEO, Jamie Dimon, called the losses "self inflicted" in revealing them late Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 67 points to 12,787, with J.P. Morgan shares off 9.3%. The S&P 500 Index shed 7 points to 1,350. The Nasdaq Composite declined 8 points to 2,925. Finally, investors were getting comfortable with the banks and this black eye comes out of nowhere. All the financials are lower this morning. Citigroup and Goldman Sachs are lower 4% each. Bond insurers, Assured Guaranty and MBIA are lower by 2% following earnings. As usual, energy and materials are lower once again. Chesapeake Energy is down 3% on more liability disclosures. Rare earth company, Molycorp is down 2% following disappointing earnings. After the open, the averages put in a good rebound lead by the techs. Intel is higher following a positive analyst meeting yesterday. Nvidia is jumping 9% on better than expected earnings. IBM and Microsoft also look good. Apple and Google are bringing up the rear. The dog of the day goes Sony down 8% following earnings. Things are mixed once again in the retail space. Dillards is jumping 7% on earnings. Bed Bath & Beyond is higher by 3% on earnings while Nordstrom is down 3% on earnings. Best Buy is lower following a downgrade this morning. Through the first hour the averages recovered all their losses. After the first hour the Nasdaq jumped 20 points while the Dow rose 20 points as well. Two of the best performing Dow components this morning are Verizon and AT&T thanks to upgrades. Resilient market. Through the morning the averages kept improving with the Dow rallying 50 points and the Nasdaq remaining up 20 points. Google and Apple are still not participating in the rally. Arena Pharm is the diamond of the day opening up 100% after the FDA Panel votes 18-4 to appove their weight loss drug, lorcaserin. In the afternoon the rally fizzled a little bit as the Dow fell back to the unchanged level. The Nasdaq held on to gains even as Google and Apple fell back into the red. In the last hour the averages pulled back further to end another down week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 34 points at 12,820, off 1.7% from the week-ago close. The S&P 500 retreated 4 points to 1,353, down 1.2% for the week. The Nasdaq Composite managed a fractional gain to close at 2,933, down 0.8% from last Friday's finish.

May 10, 2012
U.S. stocks opened higher Thursday after the government said jobless claims dipped last week, signaling companies could pick up the pace of hiring in May. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 64 points to 12,900. The S&P 500 added 9 points to 1,364. The Nasdaq Composite gained 9 points to 2,943. A real dichotomy is developing where the US economic data and companies continue to perform well while the European economic troubles are hurting a number of international companies. Case in point, Cisco Systems is down 8% following earnings and cautious comments indicating many corporations may pull back orders if Europe weakens further. Rival, Juniper is down 4% in sympathy as well. IBM and HP also opened lower, but Apple and Google are lifting the Nasdaq. AOL and Arm Holdings are also higher on upgrades. BMC Software is modestly higher on earnings. The financials are performing well this morning following a rebound in Europe overnight. Prudential is higher by 2% on a couple upgrades although the stock is down over 10% in the last month. The insurance stocks in general are performing well this morning. Stifel Financial is lower by 4% following earnings. In the retail space things are mixed. Monster Beverage, Tesla Motors, and Activision Blizzard are higher on earnings. Monster Beverage is jumping 11%. Kohls and Priceline are both lower by over 3% on earnings. Smith Wesson and Costco are higher on earnings. Macys was upgraded, but the stock is lower. Staples is lower on a downgrade. Through the first hour the Dow rose as much as 80 points before pulling back. The Nasdaq rose 16 points before pulling back. After the first hour the Nasdaq actually fell into the red as Cisco led the weakness. The Dow gave up more than half its gains. In the lunch hour it looked like the averages would give up all their gains only to rebound in the afternoon. The Dow jumped 70 points back towards the highs of the day while the Nasdaq begrudgingly moved into the green. But by the middle of the afternoon once again, the averages drifted back off once again. The market is acting heavy. The materials are the weakest sector followed by energy and industrials. In the last hour the averages limped into the close. The Dow Jones finished up 19 points closing at 12854, snapping a six day losing streak. The S&P closed up 3 points at 1357. The Nasdaq declined a point to 2933.

May 9, 2012
U.S. stocks began Wednesday in retreat, with the benchmark indexes sliding more than 1% on concern about Europe's sovereign-debt crisis, and rising borrowing costs in Spain and Italy. "People are fearful of the unknown, and nobody fully understands what could develop," Bob Pavlik, chief market strategist at Banyan Partners, said of Europe's troubles. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell a quick 122 points to 12,809. The S&P 500 shed 14 points to 1,349. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 31 points to 2,915. The news out of Europe is not getting any better, punishing our markets. The financials are in retreat as their European counterparts are trading down 2% to 3%. The real weakness is in the energy space, materials, and industrials. CF Industries and Agrium had much better than expected earnings, but both stocks are lower by more than 2%. Huntington Ingalls is lower by 5% on in line earnings. Phillips 66 is bucking the trend up a percent on an upgrade. Dow Chemical is also higher on an upgrade. In the retail space things are mixed. Dean Foods is jumping 6% on earnings. Soda Stream is the diamond of the day up 27% on earnings. Toyota missed earnings' estimates, but is higher by 2%. Hershey Foods, Under Armour, and Fossil are higher on upgrades while Macys is down 5% due to earnings. Tim Hortons is also lower following earnings. In the tech space, Google and Apple are lower, but not by much. Cisco Systems is unchanged ahead of earnings tonight. ARM Holdings was upgraded, but the stock is lower. AOL is higher by 4% after beating earnings estimates. Through the first hour the averages tried to put in a rebound with little success. After the first hour the Dow fell as much as 180 points before rebounding. The Nasdaq fell 45 points before rebounding. A little more volatility in the markets. The safe, defensive utilities are outperforming all other sectors. Through the morning the averages improved markedly. Apple moved into the green dragging the Nasdaq with it. The Dow recovered over 100 points from its lows, but most stocks remain in the red. During the lunch hour the averages sold back off only to rebound in the afternoon led by techs, consumer discretionary, and a select number of materials. By the middle of the afternoon the averages looked like they wanted to go positive, but sold off once again in the last hour. For the sixth straight session, its longest losing streak since August 2011, the Dow Jones fell 97 points to 12,835. The blue-chip index has lost 444 points, or 3.3%, in the six-session decline. The S&P 500 dropped 9 points to 1,354. The Nasdaq Composite retreated 11 points to 2,934.

May 8, 2012
U.S. stocks opened lower Tuesday as Greece's struggle to form a government intensified worry about the region's debt. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 95 points to 12,913. McDonalds is one of the weaker components due to comments about slower sales. The S&P 500 retreated 10 points to 1,359. The Nasdaq Composite shed 25 points to 2,932. The news is light this morning, but the news coming in isn't particularly good. A couple doozies when it comes to earnings. Scott Miracle Gro is down 16% on disappointing earnings, Mako Surgical is down 35% on earnings while watch and apparel maker, Fossil is down 36%. Ouch. Wynn Resorts, Molson Coors, Wendy's, and Patriot Coal are all lower as well on earnings. A select few stocks are trading to the upside this morning. Apollo is up 5% and Rosetta Stone is up 13% on earnings. But that's it for the good news. Through the first hour, the averages pushed lower with the Dow dropping 150 points. The Nasdaq followed as heavyweights Apple and Google fell into the red. Through the morning the Dow fell as much as 200 points before rebounding. In the afternoon the averages remained weak improving a little bit into the last hour. The defensive sectors like utilities and telecom are holding up better than other sectors. Within the Dow, Disney is modestly higher ahead of earnings tonight. In the last hour the averages kept improving, but still finishing in the red. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 76 points at 12,932, but far from its' lows when we were down 198 points. The S&P 500 fell 5 points to 1,363, led by retail and financial stocks. The Nasdaq Composite lost 11points to 2,946.

May 7, 2012
U.S. stocks started with losses Monday following weakness in Asia overnight and elections in France and Greece that added more uncertainty to euro-zone efforts to grapple with sovereign debt. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 48 points to 12,990. The S&P 500 Index lost 2 points to 1,366. The Nasdaq Composite fell 5 points to 2,951. The news is quiet this morning with limited earnings and analyst comments. On the earnings front, Louisiana Pacific is trading up 6% while Tyson Foods is up 3%. Berkshire Hathaway is also higher following earnings while Sysco Foods, PetsMed Express, and Trex are lower on earnings. After the open the averages put in a quick rebound led by the financials and techs. That's a good sign. Apple and Google look good while Micron and Nvidia are higher on upgrades. Intel raised their dividend 7% yet the stock is modestly lower. Facebook received its second upgrade in as many days even though the stock won't come public for another week and a half. After the first hour the averages drifted lower once again back toward the lows. Within the Dow, Disney is leading the charge following a blockbuster opening for their movie, the Avengers. Through the morning into the afternoon the Dow rebounded along with the Nasdaq. Apple and Google still look good while the financials are also performing well. The transportation stocks are also performing well thanks to a drop in the price of oil. In the last hour the rally in the Dow fizzled while the Nasdaq held on to modest gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 29 points at 13,008. Caterpillar and IBM contributed the most to the Dow's slide. The S&P 500 ended up 50 cents at 1,369. Financials and telecoms were up the most. The Nasdaq Composite rose a point to 2,957. Apple and Google, the index's most heavily weighted, each ended higher.