The Week In Review


May 1, 2009
It's May Day. U.S. stocks sputter at the start of this new month following April's stellar performance. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 11 points to 8,156. The S&P 500 declined fractionally to 872 while the Nasdaq Composite opened flat at 1,717. The earnings keep flooding in. Insurers, Metlife and Hartford are lower as both reported quarterly losses. Both are down over 5%. The financials are modestly lower. JP Morgan cut estimates on a number of large cap banks, Dick Bove made cautious comments on mid-sized banks, and Mastercard's quarterly sales missed estimates. Mastercard is down 6%. Citigroup is modestly higher after selling a Japanese division for $7.9 billion. Other companies reporting earnings include Washington Post, Clorox, Chevron, and Dean Foods. All four are lower. Washington Post is down 15% after reporting a quarterly loss. The large newspaper companies can't make money anymore. A few companies are trading higher following earnings including Fortune Brands, Suncor, Callaway, and McAfee. In the tech sector, Research in Motion is up 3% on an upgrade. After the first hour, the Dow was down 40 points. The Nasdaq declined 9 points. Many of the financials turnaround, moving modestly into the green. The commodities are performing well. Through the morning the averages improved. In the afternonn, the averages moved into the green. One thing is for sure, volatility is down dramatically in the last month. In the last hour, the Dow sold off by 40 points only to recover into the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 44 points at 8,212, leaving the blue chips up 1.7% for the week. The S&P 500 Index ended at 877, up 4.71 points, or 0.5%, which translates into a weekly climb of 1.3%. The Nasdaq Composite added a point to end at 1,719, giving it a 1.5% rise from last Friday's close.

April 30, 2009
It's the last day of the month and what a month it has been. The S&P 500 is up over 10% for April, best month in a long time. The markets are opening higher thanks to a slew of corporate reports topping expectations. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 65 points to 8,251. The S&P 500 Index added 8 points to 882, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 19 points to 1,731. Everything looks pretty good so far. The retail sector continues to shine. Starbucks, Skechers, Office Max, and Kelloggs are all up over 8% thanks to solid earnings. In the tech sector Flextronics and Akamai are higher thanks to earnings. Intel is up 4% due to an upgrade. Google is up 2% back to $400 a share. The financials are performing well this morning. Aflac, Visa, and Annaly Capital are higher thanks to earnings. Bank of America is higher by 4% even though Ken Lewis lost his Chairman position. Travelers is down by 5% even though they beat by 3 cents. Other stocks trading higher due to earnings include Tyco, Comcast, Newell Rubbermaid, Apache, Kodak, International Paper, Apache, and Dow Chemical. P&G, Cigna, Exxon Mobil, and Newmont Mining are lower following earnings. After the first hour, the Dow was up over 100 points touching 8300. The Nasdaq rose 38 points. Through the morning, the averages remained strong, but off the highs. During the lunch hour and through the afternoon the rally evaporated, faling into the red. In the last hour, the averages clawed back to the unchanged level. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 17 points to end at 8,168, giving the blue-chip index a gain of 7.3% for April. The S&P 500 declined 83 cents to 872, which translates to an advance of 9.4% for April, the index's best monthly rise since March 2000. The Nasdaq Composite rose 5 points, or 0.3%, to finish at 1,717, leaving the technology-laden index with a monthly gain of 12%, its best gain since October 2002.

April 29, 2009
U.S. stocks opened higher Wednesday after a two-day string of losses. Investors are finding some comfort that a lot of the bad news regarding the economy and the banks has been priced in. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 64 points to 8,080. The S&P 500 Index climbed 7 points to 862, while the technology-laden Nasdaq Composite rose 16 points to stand at 1,690. Bank of America is higher, along with most of the financials, ahead of their annual shareholder meeting. CEO Ken Lewis seems to have the votes to keep his job, but may lose his Chairman position. That's a win for Ken Lewis. Etrade is down 30% after missing estimates by a wide margin. Plenty of earnings are flooding in, most look pretty good. Dreamworks and Wyndam Resorts are both jumping 23% on earnings. Hess, Time Warner, and Baker Hughes are up 7% on earnings. Waste Management, Burger King, Qwest, and Reynolds America are all higher thanks to earnings. Goodyear, Panera Bread, Buffalo Wild Wing, and Arcelor Mittal are lower on earnings. After the first half an hour, the Dow jumped over 100 points. The Nasdaq rose 24 points. So far so good. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages remained strong with the Dow surging nearly 200 points. The Nasdaq rose 45 points. ExxonMobil is the second Dow component in as many days to raise their dividend. That's good. In the middle of the afternoon, the Fed made a statement to leave rates unchanged with some encouraging comments that the economy is nearing a bottom. The averages had little reaction at first, then shot higher. In the last hour, the averages sold off, then rebounded into the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 168 points or 2.1% at 8,185. The S&P 500 Index added 18 points, or 2.2%, to close at 873, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 38 points, or 2.3%, to 1,711.

April 28, 2009
U.S. stocks open lower on Tuesday amid worries of the growing threat of the swine flu and a leak that Citigroup and Bank of America need to raise more capital after failing the government's so-called stress tests. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 75 points to 7,949. The S&P 500 declined 8 points to 848, while the Nasdaq Composite shed 15 points to 1,663. Citigroup and Bank of America are leading the financials lower. Franklin Resources is lower by 4% after missing estimates by 14 cents. In Europe, Deutsche Bank had solid earnings results, however, the stock is down by 6%. In the retail sector, Office Depot and Under Armour are higher after beating earnings estimates. Fortune Brands cut their dividend, but raised forecasts for next quarter. The stock is jumping 6%. Other earnings reports are coming in from Valero, Bristol Myers, Pfizer, and Coventry Health. All four are modestly higher. In the tech sector, IBM is boosting its dividend by 10% and announcing an increase of $3 billion to its buy back. The stock is up 1%. After the first hour, the averages were back to the unchanged level. The financials remain weak. Through the morning and into the afternoon, the averages remained near the unchanged level, sneaking into the green. Many of the financials improved except for Bank of America and Citigroup. The averages started to rally in the middle of the afternoon only to sell off in the last hour. Bank of America is back at its low of the day ahead of their annual meeting tomorrow. Many investors are called for the head of the CEO. We'll see tomorrow if he gets to keep it. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 8 points at 8,033. The S&P 500 Index fell a point to 856. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 4 points to 1,674.

April 27th, 2009
U.S. stocks open sharply lower, with investors anxious about the swine flu and the prospects for the virus outbreak to deepen the recession. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 78 points to 7,997. The S&P 500 Index shed 9 points to 856. The Nasdaq Composite declined 17 points to 1,677. The swine flu is hitting pork producers, oil, and travel stocks due to fears of a drop off in demand. Tyson Foods and Smithfield are both down over 9%. Biotechs like GlaxoSmithKline are trading higher on the prospects their drugs will combat the swine flu. Glaxo is jumping 5%. Gilead Science is up 4%.The other major news this morning is coming from GM providing another restructuring plan to escape bankruptcy. GM is trading up 24%. The earnings reports keep flooding in. Corning, Qualcomm, Humana, Whirlpool, and Western Union are all higher following earnings this morning. Verizon beat by 4 cents, however, the stock is lower by 2%. The financials opened lower, but recovered in the first hour. The government has run their stress test and met with the top 19 banks, discussing their results. Most believe the 19 largest banks are well capitalized, for now. Following the first hour, the Dow was down only 10 points. The Nasdaq declined 6 points. Through the morning and into the lunch hour, the averages hovered around the unchanged level. More outbreaks of the swine flu sent the major averages lower in the afternoon. Not much of a rebound in the last hour. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 51 points, or 0.6%, at 8,025. The S&P 500 Index shed 8 points, or 1%, to stand at 857 while the Nasdaq Composite declined 14 points, or 0.9%, to 1,679.