The Week In Review
U.S. stocks got off to a mixed start Friday after the September jobs report, which when viewed with its August revision, proved to be about in line with forecasts. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 6 points to 10,954. The S&P 500 Index was off by a fraction at 1,157. The Nasdaq Composite fell 5 points to 2,377.94. After the employment data, the U.S. dollar sold off causing the commodities to jump. Alcoa is up 6% following better than expected earnings last night. Freeport is jumping 3% to a new high. The fertilizers like Agrium are jumping 5% to new highs. Most of the oils are higher as well. Rowan is higher on an upgrade. In the tech sector Micron missed by 6 cents, however, the stock is up 4%. Micron's earnings pointed to strong demand for the Apple Ipad. Apple is modestly higher not far from its' 52 week high. QLogic and BMC Software are modestly higher on upgrades, but most techs are lower. Amazon and F5 Networks are lower on downgrades. Adobe is down 5% after jumping yesterday on rumors Microsoft wanted to buy them out. VMware is lower even though the stock was upgraded. In the retail space JCPenney is jumping 5% on the disclosure a private equity firm has been buying up the stock. Aeropostale is up 3% on an upgrade. American Eagle and Abercrombie & Fitch are higher on upgrades. The financials are going nowhere. Credit Suisse and Jefferies are lower on downgrades. Hartford is higher on an upgrade. Goldman Sachs is higher as well. After the first hour the averages improved led by the commodity stocks. Through the morning the averages pushed higher with the Dow rising 50 points hitting 11000 for the first time since the beginning of May. The Nasdaq is modestly higher. In the afternoon the averages remained strong led by the commodities. Deere is jumping 5.6%, Freeport McMoRan is up 4.7%, and the fertilizer stocks are on fire. CF and Agrium are both up over 8%. All four stocks made new 52 week highs today. In the last hour the averages remained firm. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 57 points at 11,006, its first close above 11,000 since May 3. Shares of Alcoa Inc. (AA) led blue-chip gains, rising 5.7% after the aluminum giant's earnings topped expectations. The Dow gained 1.6% for the week. The S&P 500 index gained 7 points to 1,165, led by gains in the materials sector. The Nasdaq Composite rose 18 points to 2,401. The S&P 500 is up 1.7% and the Nasdaq up 1.3% for the week.
U.S. stocks opened higher Thursday after the government reported jobless claims fell last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 18 points to 10,986. The S&P 500 added 2 points to 1,162. The Nasdaq Composite gained 8 points to 2,388. The Labor Department's data showing applications for unemployment benefits last week declined to three-month lows come one day before the government's monthly jobs report. That's good. The monthly retail sales reported this morning was a modest positive as well. In the retail space Ross Stores, Target, Saks, and Nordstrom are trading higher. Crocs and Ann Taylor are both up 3% on upgrades. American Eagle is jumping 5% after the company lifted estimates for the quarter. Gap is lower on disappointing same store sales. The financials are modestly higher continuing their trend for the quarter. Fifth Third is higher on an upgrade. M&T Bank is down 3% even though the stock was upgraded. The tech space is succumbing to profit-taking. Research in Motion continues its' downward trend on rumors Apple will go with Verizon next year hurting Blackberry sales. The high-flying techs are under selling pressure once again. One software firm, BMC Software is jumping 7% on rumors they want to be bought out. After the first hour the Dow was unchanged while the Nasdaq was up 5 points. The commodities are trading lower for once. A quiet day so far. Through the morning the Dow moved lower with the Nasdaq unchanged. The commodities are weak. During the lunch hour the selling accelerated with the Dow dropping 60 points. The Nasdaq fell into the red. We're due for a down day. Ironically, a number of high-flying techs have turned around. BMC Software and Oracle made new highs today. In the middle of the afternoon the averages started to slowly improve with the Nasdaq moving into the green in the last hour. No one wants to be short going into the unemployment number tomorrow. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 19 points at 10,948. The S&P 500 index fell a point to 1,158, weighed down by telecoms and materials. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite, however, finished slightly higher, gaining 3 points to 2,383.
The major averages opened mixed this morning following disappointing data on the private jobs market ahead of the monthly employment report later in the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 10 points to 10,955. The S&P 500 opened flat at 1,160 while the Nasdaq Composite fell 3 points to 2,395. On the earnings front, Monsanto is higher even though they missed estimates. Constellation Brands is also higher following earnings. Costco is lower even though they missed estimates. FBR made positive comments on a number of retailers including Ann Taylor, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Coldwater Creek. All three are higher. Family Dollar is modestly higher after announcing a share buyback. Kohls indicated they will be hiring more employees for the holidays. The stock is unchanged. More mergers keep getting announced. Robbins Myers is buying T-3 for $422 million. T-3 is jumping 16%. GE announced an acquisition before the bell for $3 billion. GE is trading up 1.5% to a five month high. The financials are acting better with the start of the fourth quarter. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are higher even though they had their numbers cut at Ticonderoga. In the tech sector, Apple is higher on an upgrade. Ipad sales seem to be performing well. After the first half an hour the Dow moved higher up 20 points. The Nasdaq remained stuck in the red. Through the morning the Nasdaq moved lower while the Dow succumbed to profit-taking. The commodities, financials, and a select number of other stocks continue to look good. Chevron and Freeport McMoRan are trading at new 52 week highs. In the afternoon all three major averages moved into the red. The recent high-flying techs are getting hit after a data storage company, Equinox lowered estimates. Equinox is down 33% while Salesforce.com and F5 Networks are both down over 8%. Research in Motion is down 3.5% on more rumors that Apple will allow Verizon to carry the Iphone next year. Verizon is higher even though the stock went ex-dividend today. In the last hour that resilient Dow battled back into the green. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 22 points at 10,967, led by a 2.4% gain in General Electric. The Nasdaq Composite tumbled 19 points, or 0.8%, to 2,380, with software firms particularly hard hit. The S&P 500 lost 78 cents to 1,159, with telecoms and tech leading declines.
U.S. stocks charged higher on Tuesday on a combination of escalating hopes of further quantitative easing and better-than-expected economic data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.7%, or 184 points to 10,935. The S&P 500 Index rose 2%, or 22 points, to 1,159 and the Nasdaq Composite surged 2.3%, or 53 points to 2,397. Comments from the Chicago Fed President Charles Evans espousing "much more" accommodative policies sparked more buying interest in equities on expectations of further quantitative easing from the Federal Reserve. In addition, data from the Institute for Supply Management bolstered investors' confidence with the ISM's non-manufacturing index climbing to 53.2% in September, coming in stronger than the 52.3% forecast in the survey. Up, up, and away for the major averages. The commodities look great with gold, silver, and copper all shooting higher. Mosaic is up 4% after missing estimates last night. Chevron is up 2% after announcing a share buyback. Freeport McMoRan is jumping 5%, Agrium is up 4%, and even Alcoa is up 2%. The techs look great. Apple and Google are up over 3% today. Atmel and Amkor Tech are up over 5% on upgrades. Netsuite is up 3% on a rumored takeover. JDA Software and BMC Software are lower on downgrades. The financials look good today with the index up 2.4%. Not all the financials, however, are higher. American Express is lower by 2% on a downgrade. The retail sector is mixed today. Wolverine Worldwide is up 3% following earnings. Cedar Fair is up 2% after raising sales guidance. Ethan Allen and Harley Davidson are jumping 9% on upgrades. Gymboree is up 6% on rumors of a takeover. Anheuser Busch is up 3% on an upgrade. Electronic Arts is jumping 4% on strong sales of their new soccer video game. Home Depot is modestly lower on a downgrade and Talbots is dropping 12% after lowering guidance. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages remained strong. No pull backs just yet. In the last hour the Dow rose over 200 points only to pull back a little into the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 193 points at 10,944, led by a 3.4% gain in shares of Boeing. The S&P 500 index gained 23 points or 2.1% to 1,160. All sectors of the broad index rallied, with materials leading the pack, up 2.8%, followed by industrials, up 2.7%. The Nasdaq Composite rose 55 points, or 2.4%, to close at 2,399.
U.S. stocks edged lower on Monday as investors took a cautious stance before a slew of economic reports that could impact the Federal Reserve. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 7 points to 10,821. The S&P 500 declined a point to 1,144, while the Nasdaq Composite declined 6 points to 2,364. Another Monday, another takeover candidate. Sara Lee is jumping 10% after rejecting a takeover offer from private equity firm KKR. Earnings season starts this week with Alcoa. Unfortunately Alcoa is trading lower on a downgrade. The commodities in general are lower this morning. Freeport McMoRan is lower after Citigroup removed it from their Focus List. Fertilizers are lower as well. Plenty of upgrades and downgrades this morning. In the tech sector Apple, F5 Networks, Hewlett Packard, and Amazon were all upgraded. F5 Networks is up the most which is only 2%. Microsoft is lower by 2% on a downgrade. The financials are lower this morning. DragonWave, Bank of Montreal, and UBS are lower on downgrades. PNC and Allstate are higher on upgrades. Penn National Gaming is higher on an upgrade. In the retail space Kelloggs, Macys, Fossil, Scotts Miracle Gro, and JCPenney are lower on downgrades. The best retailer, if you want to call it a retailer, is Ford. The stock is up 4.5% as one analyst upgraded saying the earnings estimates are way too low. After the first hour, the Dow moved into the green thanks to a rebound in the financials. JP Morgan is up 2% on a positive article in Barrons. The Nasdaq remained in the red. Through the morning the averages sold back off. Fewer stocks remain in the green. In the afternoon the selling accelerated with the Dow dropping over 100 points. The Nasdaq declined 20 points. Through the afternoon the averages remained weak, recovering a little in the last hour. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 78 points to 10,751, weighed down most by a 6.5% drop in shares of American Express. The credit-card company said it is contesting government allegations that it violated antitrust law over card-acceptance rules. The S&P 500 index dropped 9 points to 1,137, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 26 points to 2,344.