The Week In Review
12/13-12/17/10December 17, 2010
U.S. stocks on Friday opened modestly lower after the major averages retested the highs for the year or the last several days. 2010 has been pretty good to investors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 21 points to 11,477. The S&P 500 Index fell a point to 1,241. The Nasdaq Composite rose 5 points to 2,642. On the earnings front, Accenture and Take Two Interactive are both jumping over 9% on blow out earnings. Two big tech giants, Oracle and Research in Motion are up over 2% following better than expected earnings last night. Oracle made a new 52 week high this morning. Apple, Google, IBM, Juniper Networks, and Qlogic were all upgraded, but only Qlogic is modestly higher. In the financial sector, Visa and Mastercard opened higher, but then sold off after getting clobbered yesterday. The analysts seem to be mixed on the news the credit card companies will have to lower their debit card fees. The big banks are quiet this morning. The corporate bond funds have rebounded nicely over the last several days after a sharp selloff due to rising interest rates. The commodities are quiet this morning. Freeport McMoran and Cliffs Natural Resources are up about a percent. The oil drillers are modestly higher. Halliburton is higher on an upgrade. After the first half an hour the Dow fell 30 points while the Nasdaq remained in the green. A quiet start to this option expiration day. Through the morning and into the afternoon the Nasdaq not only remained in the green, but actually trading to a new high for the year. Through the morning and into the last hour the averages went nowhere. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 7 points at 11,491, but gained 0.7% for the week. The S&P 500 inched up a point to 1,243, gaining 0.3% for the week. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 5 points to 2,642, up 0.2% for the week. The S&P 500 and Dow have risen for three straight weeks. The Nasdaq is up four straight weeks.
December 16, 2010
U.S. stocks opened mildly higher on Thursday as better-than-expected economic data on the labor front countered disappointing results from economic bellwether FedEx. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 15 points to 11,472. The S&P 500 Index climbed 2 points to 1,238. The Nasdaq Composite rose 7 points to 2,624. The financials are in the lead this morning. Bank of America is up 2% on news they are extending talks regarding their mortgage backed securities. GE is higher by a percent. Prudential and Annaly Mortgage are higher on upgrades. Discover is down 5% following earnings this morning. In the retail space Aeropostale is jumping 6% on news the company is willing to listen to takeover bids. Christopher and Bank is up 5% on similar rumors of a takeover. Tyson Foods, Starbucks, and AnnTaylor are higher on upgrades. AutoNation made a new 52 week high this morning. The auto industry is on fire. General Mills and Pier One are lower following earnings. In the tech space Oracle is higher on an upgrade and ahead of earnings tonight. Apple is higher on an upgrade. Shocker. Within the first half an hour the averages improved. FedEx opened lower, but demonstrated a nice turnaround jumping 2%. Following the first hour the rally fizzled, a common theme this week. Through the morning the Dow fell into the red while the Nasdaq fought to hold on to gains. The commodity stocks are in the red as commodity prices get hit. A lot of this has to be profit-taking into year end. Nucor is one of the few commodities higher following an earnings loss. Entering the lunch hour the averages improved. The financials moved back into the green. A number of techs moved into the green and even the commodity stocks rallied. The theme for the week is the market doesn't want to go higher, but yet it doesn't want to sell off either. Not a bad position to be in heading toward the year end. In the afternoon the averages perked up with the Dow rising 50 points coming within 10 points of the yearly high. The Nasdaq rose 19 points coming within 6 points of the yearly high. The financials still look good except for Goldman which lost one of their best traders today. In the middle of the afternoon Visa and Mastercard got slammed when news broke that the Fed would step in to limit debit card fees. Both card companies dropped over 8%. JP Morgan fell modestly in the red, but the other big banks are holding up with the major averages. The market doesn't go up much, but then it doesn't want to sell off either. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 41 points at 11,499, led by a 3.6% gain in Alcoa. The S&P 500 closed up 7 points at 1,242, led by industrial stocks. The Nasdaq Composite gained 20 points to 2,637.
December 15, 2010
U.S. stocks wavered at Wednesday's start, with investors questioning whether to continue a rise that has pushed the S&P 500 up for the last six sessions straight. Worries about Europe's debt weighed after the rating agency Moody's warned it might cut Spain's credit rating. The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 3 point to 11,479. The S&P 500 Index fell a point to 1,239. The Nasdaq Composite fell 3 points to 2,624. On the earnings front Joy Global is up 5% after beating estimates. Grocery companies Kroger and Safeway are higher on upgrades. Plenty of upgrades this morning. Oracle, Broadcom, Raxspace, Google, and Apple all received upgrades. Broadcom is actually trading down 4%. Actually not many techs are trading higher. The financials opened lower, but then rebounded into the green. Regions Financial and BankAtlantic are higher on rumors of a takeover from PNC. All the regional banks are performing well. Bank of Nova Scotia is modestly higher on an upgrade. T Rowe Price is higher on an upgrade. The insurance stocks continue to perform well. After the first half an hour the averages moved into the green led by the financials. The transportation stocks have performed great. Ryder Systems is up 3% on an upgrade. The commodity space is trying to improve even though the US dollar is higher. Dynegy is up 3% after agreeing to be taken over. Freeport McMoran remains one of the few commodities trading lower. Caterpillar is modestly higher on an upgrade. The auto space is performing well. GM is higher after selling their first electric car this morning. Ford is up a percent as well. Through the morning the averages remained in the green, but no follow through. In the afternoon the averages pulled into the red similar to the last couple of days. Some of this has to do with volume drying up here at the end of the year. In the last hour some buyers showed up indicating that while the markets may not want to go up much more, it also doesn't want to go down. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 19 points at 11,457. The S&P 500 ended down 6 points to 1,235, dragged lower by utilities and financial stocks. The Nasdaq Composite fell 10 points to 2,617 points.
December 14, 2010
U.S. stocks on Tuesday opened with mild gains after the government reported U.S. retail sales were more robust than anticipated in November. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 33 points to 11,459. The S&P 500 Index gained 2 points to 1,243. The Nasdaq Composite added 6 points to 2,631. The retailers look good except for consumer-electronics retailer Best Buy. Best Buy is down 15% after missing estimates and lowering guidance for 2011. Best Buy suppliers like Corning and Netgear are trading down in sympathy. Sara Lee, TRW Automotive, and Harley Davidson are higher on upgrades. Sanderson Farms is down 3% even though they beat estimates. The rest of the market is rather quiet. After the first hour the Dow started to slowly improve rising 50 points led by Boeing, Caterpillar, DuPont, IBM, Kraft, Microsoft, and Verizon. In fact very few Dow components are trading lower. The Nasdaq is up only 9 points. The financials are quiet. Bank of America and GE are modestly lower. Huntington Bancshares is down 3% after pricing a secondary offering. In the pharmaceutical space, Amgen is trading up 3% on positive data for one of their cancer drugs. The commodities are quiet this morning. Cliffs Natural Resources is up a percent, but that's about it for the sector. Through the morning the Dow remained strong up 65 points. The Nasdaq remains up 9 points. In the afternoon the averages remained strong until the Fed announced they would leave rates unchanged. The averages initially rallied, but then pulled back in the last hour, similar to yesterday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 47 points at 11,476, lifted by a 1.7% gain in shares of Kraft Foods, and a 1.4% rise in shares of Microsoft. The S&P 500 index gained a point to 1,241, with the telecom and health-care sectors leading the gains. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 2 points to 2,627.
December 13, 2010
U.S. stocks on Monday opened higher, with Wall Street looking to extend two consecutive weeks of gains, as investors cheered another round of activity on the M&A front. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 22 points to 11,433. The S&P 500 rose 3 points to 1,244. The Nasdaq Composite inched up 5 points to 2,643. The M&A deals include Dell buying Compellent for $960 million, Thermo Fisher buying Dionex for $2.1 billion, and GE buying a U.K. oil firm for $1.3 billion. Dionex is up 20% and Thermo Fisher is up 3%, but the others are lower. Compellent is a take under. The stock is down 3%. Dell is down 2% on a downgrade to a sell at Goldman Sachs. HP is also lower on a downgrade to a sell at Goldman. However, Apple is trading higher after Goldman raised their price target to $430. Google is also higher on an upgrade with a price target of $750 a share. Corning looks good after a positive article in Barrons. The techs in general are struggling. Oracle and Research in Motion are lower ahead of earnings later this week. Netflix is down on cautious analyst comments. The commodities look good thanks in part to China not raising rates over the weekend. Freeport McMoran is up 2% to a new high. The fertilizers and steel stocks are higher. Cliffs Natural Resources is up 3% thanks in part to CNBC's Jim Cramer that recommended it on Friday. The financials opened higher, but then pulled back. Huntington Bancshares is down 4% after issuing more stock. In the retail space Nike is up 2% on an upgrade. Hormel is higher after announcing a 2 for 1 stock split. Amazon is higher on positive analyst comments. Iron Mountain is up 2% after raising their dividend. Weyerhaeuser is higher after raising their dividend. A number of companies are raising their dividends. After the first half an hour the averages remained right where they started. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages improved, but it's only a select number of stocks. Within the financials it's the JP Morgans, Goldman Sachs, and Citigroups leading the charge. Two techs Apple and Google are performing great. Intel and a number of chip stocks are lower as Goldman made comments to avoid Intel. One chip stock Cirrus Logic is higher thanks to business with the hottest tech firm, Apple. A number of commodities are higher like Freeport McMoran and Cliffs Natural Resources. In the last hour the Nasdaq slipped into the red as the Dow pulled back. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 18 points to 11,428, led by gains in shares of Caterpillar, Chevron, and Merck. The S&P 500 index gained just 6 cents to close at 1,240, led by gains in its energy and materials sectors. The Nasdaq Composite fell 12 points to 2,624.