As concerns over the coronavirus (also referred to as COVID-19) continue to dominate news headlines, cause volatility in the marketplace, and test investor confidence in securities markets, one thing remains unchanged - Leigh Baldwin & Co. and its commitment to assist clients through turbulent times. Along with the securities markets, we remain open and available to clients, ready to assist with any needs, questions, or concerns as they arise.
U.S. stocks opened mildly lower Wednesday, with the S&P 500 index pausing after a four-session winning run, as investors looked to a policy decision from the Federal Reserve later in the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 15 points to 12,821. The S&P 500 shed a point to 1,356. The Nasdaq Composite declined 4 points to 2,925. A great run in the broader markets may come to an end with the comments from the Fed. Having said that the averages may trade sideways until this afternoon. One ominous sign as the quarter comes to an end are preannouncements. PG is the dog of the day down 3% after lowering guidance. Surprisingly, the news isn't hurting the broader market. Through the first hour the averages held in there. In the tech space things are mixed. Adobe is down 3% following earnings and a downgrade while Jabil Circuit is jumping 7% on earnings and an upgrade. Applied Materials is jumping 3% on earnings while Google is modestly lower on a downgrade. The financials are struggling after a great run. JP Morgan continues its' run up another 2.5% today and up over 15% for the month with a dividend coming in the first week of July. Annaly is unchanged after reaffirming their dividend last night. In the energy patch Exxon looks good, but everything else is struggling. Conoco Phillips is down 2% on a downgrade. Rare Earth company, Molycorp is jumping 10% on news out of China regarding rare earth pricing. The defensive sectors are struggling this morning. Southern Company is down 2% on a downgrade. Walgreens is down again this time on a downgrade following news they want to expand with an acquisition in Europe. Wellpoint is lower on a downgrade, but up 10% for the month ahead of the Supreme Court decision on Obama's healthcare package. During the lunch hour the averages started to drift lower ahead of the Fed's comments. At 12:30, the averages took a sharp hit as the Fed decided to continue Operation Twist. The Dow dropped a quick 90 points while the Nasdaq declined 18 points. Surprisingly, the averages battled all the way back rallying into the green. But the rally didn't last. When the Fed Chairman addressed the media the averages sold off once again retesting the lows. In the last hour the averages once again battled back. Very impressive. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 12 points to 12,824, ending a four-session streak of gains. The S&P 500 lost 2 points to 1,355. Extending its rise into a fifth session, the Nasdaq Composite rose just 69 cents to 2,930.