The Week In Review
12/27-12/31/10December 31, 2010
U.S. stock indexes opened lower on Friday as investors opted for taking profits in wrapping up a strong year of gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 9 points to 11,560. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index declined a point to 1,256. The Nasdaq Composite dipped 3 points to 2,659. Very little news to end the year. The recent highflying stocks like rare earth metals, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Priceline, Netflix, F5 Networks, and Decker Outdoors are all lower. The commodities opened modestly lower, but then the US dollar dropped allowing the commodity stocks to improve. The financials opened lower, but then rebounded. The techs are modestly lower. After the first hour the averages remained in the red with the Dow down 15 points and the Nasdaq down 10 points. The diamond of the day goes to Imax up over 10% on rumors of a takeover from Sony or possibly Disney. Imax's stock is up 150% from the July lows. Not bad. Through the morning the Dow improved, moving into the green led by the financials. The commodities also look good. The techs and the Nasdaq remain stuck in the red. In the afternoon more of the same. The financials and commodities look good. Everything else is going nowhere. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 7 points at 11,577, less than 10 points below a two-year high it reached on Wednesday. The Dow jumped 5.2% in December and rose 11% for the year. The S&P 500 index fell 24 cents to 1,257. The broad index still jumped 6.5% for the month and rose 12.8% in 2010. The Nasdaq Composite fell 10 points to 2,652 today, leaving it with 6.2% advance in December and a 16.9% gain for the year. Happy New Year.
December 30, 2010
U.S. stocks traded slightly higher after the open on Thursday, as jobless claims fell to their lowest level in more than two years, helping offset disappointing data on Chinese manufacturing. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 4 points to 11,589. The S&P 500 index rose 88 cents to 1,260. The energy sector led the gains, while consumer staples lagged. The Nasdaq Composite gained 2 points to 2,669. The commodity stocks look like they're going to finish the year on a tear. Freeport McMoran, Agrium, Potash, CF Industries, and Mosaic all made new 52 week highs this morning. The rest of the commodities are also performing well. Alcoa is higher on an upgrade. Fifteen minutes into trading, the markets received some good news in the form of better than expected manufacturing numbers out of Chicago. Ironically, the averages did not react. In fact the averages drifted into the red. Once again volatility and volume are low as many people are not working today or tomorrow. After the first hour the averages remained range bound. A number of financials have inched into the green. A number of chip stocks are in the green. Commodities remain the best performing sector. In the afternoon and in the last hour the averages remained in the red. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 15 points at 11,569, with 23 of its 30 components ending lower. The S&P 500 index declined 1.9 points at 1,257, weighed down by its financials and healthcare sectors. The Nasdaq Composite lost 4 points to 2,662.
December 29, 2010
U.S. stocks began higher on Wednesday, with equities extending a rise that has the Dow Industrials up more than 5% for the month, looking at double-digit gains for the year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 31 points to 11,606. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 2 points to 1,261. The Nasdaq Composite gained 4 points to 2,666. A common theme this week is no major news to move the markets, not that money managers want to do anything drastic before year end. In the retail space, BJs and Childrens Place are higher on rumors of takeover speculation. Sears is jumping 6% on no news. Foot Locker is up a percent on an upgrade. The commodities continue to push higher, particularly the fertilizers. Noble Energy is up 3% after discovering natural gas in Israel. Noble also received an upgrade. Pride International is also higher on an upgrade. In the tech space, Yahoo and Google are higher on upgrades. Fairchild Semi is higher on an upgrade. IBM and Apple also look good. The financials opened mixed this morning. Bank of America, GE, and Goldman Sachs are higher, but the other big banks are modestly lower. Morgan Stanley is modestly lower after having its estimates cut this morning. After the first half an hour the averages remain strong near the highs of the day. Gold and silver are hitting new highs for the day. The rare earth stocks are trading higher once again. In the afternoon the Dow remained in the green, but off the highs. The financials are now all in the red. The Nasdaq remains in the green as many techs hold their gains. The commodities are also performing well. Fertilizer stocks Agrium, Potash, CF Industries, and Mosaic all made new 52 week highs today. In the last hour the rally fizzled. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 9 points at 11,585, while the S&P 500 Index added a point to 1,259. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 4 points to 2666.
December 28, 2010
U.S. stocks open modestly higher on Tuesday ahead of a consumer confidence number. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 15 points to 11,571. The Standard & Poor 500 Index gained a point to 1,259. The Nasdaq Composite added 2 points to 2,669. The US dollar is lower allowing the commodities to push higher. Freeport McMoran is at another new 52 week high. The rare earth stocks continue to sizzle. Molycorp is up another 10% today. The financials are modestly higher once again. Bank of America is up 1.5%. The techs opened higher, but then sold off. Apple is higher, but that's about it. After the first half an hour the averages fell into the red. The recent highflyers like Chipotle Mexican Grill, Priceline, Netflix, F5 Networks, Decker Outdoors, and Panera Bread are all lower. Volume is down so far this morning. No news this morning except for a couple of upgrades for the recent IPO, General Motors. That stock is up 2% to new recent highs. After the first hour the averages remained in the red on no volume. Quiet trading to start the morning. Through the morning and into the afternoon Dow improved thanks to Chevron and Exxon Mobil making new 52 week highs. The Nasdaq remained in the red. The financials have pulled back. In the last hour the Dow rose as much as 30 points as most of the Dow components traded higher. The Nasdaq remained stuck in the red. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended at 11.575 up 20 points for the day, its best close since August 2008. The Nasdaq lost 4 points closing at 2,622. The S&P 500 crept up 97 cents to 1258.
December 27, 2010
U.S. stocks opened lower Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average retreating from a 26-month high, as Wall Street reacted to China's interest-rate hike during the holiday weekend. The Dow Industrials dropped 50 points to 11,523. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 5 points to 1,251. The Nasdaq Composite shed 12 points to 2,652. Everything opened lower except for the bond funds. Very quiet morning thanks in part to the blizzard that hit the metropolitan area last night. The commodities are lower due in part to China's action to raise rates. The commodities would be lower if not for the US dollar trading down. Alcoa is lower by 2% even though one analyst raised pricing for aluminum for next year. In the tech space everything is lower. Google received an upgraded, but the stock is lower. Even Apple is modestly lower. The financials opened lower, but quickly rebounded. Bank of America rose 2% shortly after the open. All the big banks look good so at least we have one sector performing well. After the first half an hour the Dow remained down 50 points. The Nasdaq declined 19 points. The retailers had one of their best holidays in a number of years however, the sector is lower. Netflix is down 3% after Barrons wrote a negative article saying the short sellers may be right about the stocks fundamentals. All the highflying stocks from 2010 like Chipotle Mexican Grill, Priceline, Deckers Outdoors, and F5 Networks. After the first hour the averages slowly recovered, but remained in the red. The financials look good. Copper commodity play, Freeport McMoran is up half a percent to a new 52 week high. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages improved with the Nasdaq moving into the green. The Dow remained in the red even though the financials continue to perform well. A former Dow component, AIG is jumping 9% after securing a new credit facility for $4 billion. Not bad. The commodities continue to improve. A rare earth metal company Molycorp is up 9% to new highs. That stock is up over 60% for the month. Not bad. In the last hour the Nasdaq remained in the green while the Dow did not budge from the red. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 18 points at 11,555, while the S&P 500 Index edged up 77 cents to 1257. The Nasdaq Composite Index ended up a point at 2667.