The Week In Review


March 13, 2009
U.S. stocks opened mixed on Friday the 13th with financials still inching higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 24 points to 7,190. The S&P 500 gained 2 points to 752 while the Nasdaq Composite declined 2 points to 1,424. The economic data is encouraging with the U.S. trade deficit narrowing by 9.7% in January, the lowest monthly gap since October 2002. Citigroup is up 12% on encouraging comments from the Chairman and word they are replacing four members of their board. Most of the financials and insurance stocks are higher. JP Morgan is up 4% on an upgrade. When was the last time a financial was upgraded? Paychex is up 2% on an upgrade. On the earnings front, Hibbett Sporting is up 12% after beating estimates. Aeropostale and Pacific Sunwear are unchanged after both beat estimates. Walmart is unchanged even though it was downgraded. McDonalds is modestly higher on an upgrade. After the open the averages inched higher. The Nasdaq moved into the green. Dell, Palm, and Intel are modestly higher following upgrades. Google had their numbers lowered, but the stock is higher. At the end of the first hour, the rally started to fizzle, but the financials are still in the green. By the lunch hour, the rally had evaporated. Even the financials were in the red. In the afternoon, the averages hovered around the unchanged level. Not much is going on. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 53 points at 7,223. For the week, the Dow advanced 9%. The S&P 500 index rose 5 points to end at 756. The broad index jumped 10.7% for the week. The Nasdaq Composite gained 5 points to 1,431, ending 10.6% above last Friday's level.

March 12, 2009
The major averages start to the downside with a mixed bag of early economic data illustrating a weak jobs market, but better than expected retail sales. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 14 points to 6,915. The S&P 500 Index shed a point to 720, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 3 points to 1,368. A quiet morning for news. GE had their debt downgraded by S&P, but the stock is higher following a stable outlook. The rest of the financials are modestly lower. Etrade is down 11% on a downgrade. American Express received a second downgrade in as many days. Charles Schwab was upgraded, but the stock is lower. Congress will discuss amending some requirements to mark to market accounting to help out the financials. On the earnings front, Smithfield Foods is up 17% after beating estimates. Pfizer is jumping 4% on positive clinical trials of one of their cancer drugs. The techs and commodity space as quiet this morning. Intel is modestly higher on an upgrade. Following the first half an hour, the averages moved into the green. GE and the financials are perking up. After the first hour, the Dow was near the highs of the day up 60 points. The Nasdaq was up 5 points. As the morning progressed, the Dow pushed higher reaching triple digits thanks to GE which is now up 11%. During the lunch hour, the Dow rose 150 points. Bank of America rose 10% on comments from the CEO indicating once again they don't need more government money and expect to generate $50 pre-tax, pre-provision earnings. Entering the last hour, the Dow rose above 200 points. The CEO of Bank of America keeps talking and the stock keeps inching higher. Don't let him off the stage. The insurance stocks are performing well. So far so good. The averages pushed higher, holding on to most of their gains into the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 239 points, or 3.5%, to end at 7,170. The S&P 500 added 29 points, or 4.1%, to 750
while the Nasdaq Composite climbed 54 points, or 4%, to end at 1,426.

March 11, 2009
U.S. stocks extend their gains following one of the best individual days in years. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 70 points to 6,996 actually hitting 7,000 before pulling back. The S&P 500 rose 10 points to 730, while the Nasdaq Composite added to 17 points to 1,376. The financials look good once again. Citigroup is up 60% in the last three days. Goldman Sachs upgraded Morgan Stanley and US Bancorp and recommended a number of banks capable of paying back their TARP money. American Express is one of the few financials lower on a downgrade. Plenty of earnings from the retail sector including names like J. Crew, American Eagle, Staples, Macys, Vail Resorts, and Bon-Ton. Only Staples is lower. Big Lots, Tyson Foods, Wendys, and Cheesecake Factory are higher following upgrades. The tech sector and commodities are performing well. Google had their numbers cut, yet the stock is trading higher. After the first hour, the Dow remained up 70 points. The Nasday moved higher, up 26 points. So far so good. Through the morning and into the afternoon the rally fizzled. Dow components GE, Bank of America, American Express, and McDonalds all fell into the red. The insurance stocks are lower. Coventry Health is higher following an upgrade, but Cardinal Health, Unitedhealth Group, and Aetna are lower. In the last hour, the averages rallied, then tried to hold on to the gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 3 points at 6,930. The S&P 500 Index inched up a point to 721, while the Nasdaq Composite added 13 points to 1,371.

March 10, 2009
U.S. stocks open solidly higher thanks to a memo from the CEO of Citigroup to employees stating that the financial giant was profitable in the first two months of the year and is having its best quarter in over a year and a half. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 128 points to 6,675. The S&P 500 Index added 17 points to 694, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 29 points to 1,298. Citigroup and the rest of the financials look good although Meredith Whitney remains as bearish as ever. On the earnings front, Krogers and Dicks are higher after beating estimates. Walmart and Best Buy are higher even though both were downgraded. The techs are performing well. Texas Instruments is up 3% on in line guidance. The healthcare sector is higher. Aetna provided in line guidance yesterday. Cigna provided in line guidance this morning. Both are higher by 8%. After the first half an hour, the averages were surging. The Dow jumped 230 points. The Nasdaq rose 51 points. After the first hour, the averages remained strong actually pushing to new highs. The only thing trading lower is gold. Fed Chairman, Bernanke repeated this morning that until the banking system recovers, a sustainable economic recovery will remain out of reach. He also dispelled rumors of getting rid of mark to marketing. Senator Shelby also made similar comments. Entering the lunch hour, the Dow jumped 300 points on comments from Congressman Barney Frank indicating they may ease the rules on mark to marketing and also bring back the uptick rule within the month. Translation, the shorts have to cover. In the afternoon the averages remained strong not far from the highs of the day. In the last hour the averages kept surging. The Dow Industrials finished up 379 points or 5.8% at 6,926. The S&P 500 Index gained 43 points, or 6.4%, to close at 719, while the Nasdaq Composite climbed 89 points, or 7.1%, to 1,358. We need a few more up days.

March 9, 2009
U.S. stocks open at new 12-year lows, with financial shares paving the declines, amid ongoing unease about the future of the financial system. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 42 points to 6,584. The S&P 500 fell 4 points to 679, while the Nasdaq Composite shed 5 points to 1,288. The banking concerns were sparked by Lloyds of London accepting more British government money, concerns about Barclays, and Senator Shelby making statements over the weekend indicating that some major banks should be allowed to fail. How bad is the doom and gloom. Here's a stat, 99% of the NYSE is now below the 200 day moving average. Shortly after the open, the averages moved into the green including the financials. Wells Fargo and US Bancorp are higher on positive comments from one of their largest shareholders, Warren Buffett. Capital One is up 11% after cutting their dividend. GE is up 4%. GE Capital will sell U.S. guaranteed bonds this week. One major merger over the weekend. Merck is buying Schering Plough for $41 billion. Merck is down 10% while Schering is up 13%. Dow Chemical and Rohm Haas are back in talks, lifting Rohm Haas by 5%. The techs are modestly higher. Amazon and Microsoft are higher on upgrades. Google is lower on concerns of slowing sales. IBM is lower as well. The averages jumped on news the Fed Chairman would attend the President's daily economic briefing, but then sold off. After the first hour of trading, the Dow was up 40 points. The Nasdaq up 12 points. The retail sector and commodities are performing well. So far so good. Through the morning the averages pulled back into the red. Here we go again. During the lunch hour, the bulls pushed the averages back in the green. The financials look good again. Wells Fargo is up 20% thanks to Warren Buffett talking it up. After the lunch hour, the averages sold back off. Here we go again. Aetna reaffirmed guidance. They expect to make nearly $4 in earnings and yet the stock is only at $20 a share. Great valuation, but no one cares. Entering the last hour, the averages remained weak. The Dow was down 55 points. The Nasdaq declined 20 points. A number of techs are noticeably weak including Google, IBM, HP, and Apple. Tough market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 79 points, or 1.2%, at 6,547. The S&P 500 dropped 6 points, or 1%, to 676 while the Nasdaq Composite declined 25 points, or 2%, to 1,268, its lowest close since October 2002.