Day Traders Diary


U.S. stocks opened pretty much unchanged to start a quiet week ahead of Christmas. China cut its key lending rates following like moves by the U.S. Federal Reserve, the Bank of Japan, and other governments around the globe in the last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 12 points to 8,591. The S&P 500 dropped 3 points to 884, while the Nasdaq Composite declined 6 points to 1,557. Not a lot of interest in the markets to start the week. JP Morgan is modestly higher after acquiring two Canadian divisions from UBS. The insurance stocks are back down after a nice rally last week. Prudential is down 5% on a downgrade. Plenty of downgrades today. In the commodity space Potash, Monsanto, and U.S. Steel were downgraded. Nucor is up one percent on an upgrade. Fluor is down 4% after having their numbers cut at Amtech. GM is down 13% as Credit Suisse lowered their price target to one. That's not good. Sysco Foods and Walgreen cut their own forecasts. Both are down 3%. After the first half an hour the averages started to sell off. The Dow dropped 50 points. The Nasdaq declined 23 points. Not much is rallying. In the tech space, Palm is up 10% after receiving a cash infusion from private equity. The stock is down 70% in the last four months. Through the morning the averages improved only to sell back off into the lunch hour. Caterpillar is down 3% after announcing pay cuts and buy out offers to some employees. No Santa Claus rally yet. During the lunch hour the averages recovered a little, but not much. GM and Ford are moving lower. Very few stocks are in the green. Pimco Corp Opportunity Fund is up 5% thanks to a positive article in Barrons and also featured at Leigh As the afternoon progressed the averages moved lower. The Dow dropped as much as 150 points. Alcoa is down 7% and GM is down 20%. Not good. In the last hour the Dow fell over 200 points. Oil has reversed course, dropping 5% back
under $40 a barrel. Oil is so weak, Saudi Arabia will produce a federal deficit for the first time in six year. For some reason, I don't feel that bad for them. The averages were able rebound into the close to help save the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 59 points at 8,519. The S&P 500 declined 16 points to 871, while the Nasdaq Composite surrendered 31 points to finish at 1,532.

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