The Week In Review


March 11, 2011
U.S. stocks opened slightly lower Friday after an 8.9 earthquake in Japan provided a new bout of uncertainty to global markets already rattled by oil prices and Middle East unrest. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 25 points to 11,958. The S&P 500 dipped a point to 1,294. The Nasdaq Composite turned higher, up a point to 2,702. The quake has the bears out in full force even as the price of oil pulls back. The insurance stocks like Metlife, Aflac, Prudential, and Hartford are lower on concerns of their exposure to the Japanese disaster. The commodity sector opened lower, but battled back. Valero is up 5% after getting hit yesterday. Today they signed another deal to buy a portion of Chevron's refinery business. The financials are holding up well this morning. The techs are lower, but not by much. Apple is one of the few techs trading higher. Oracle and Google are lower even though they were upgraded. Corning is modestly lower even though none of their Japanese plants were damaged. In the retail space AnnTaylor is up 10% after beating estimates. Aeropostale is down 6% after missing estimates. JCPenney and Tractor Supply are higher on upgrades. Big Lots is up on takeover speculation. Through the morning the averages remained in the red, but not by much. During the lunch hour the averages moved into the green lead by the commodities. In the afternoon the averages kept improving wit h the Dow rising as much as 100 points before pulling back into the close. The Nasdaq rose 25 points before pulling back into the close. Resilient market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 59 points at 12,044, led by 3M, Caterpillar, and Alcoa. The S&P 500 rose 9 points to 1,304 led by its energy and materials sectors. The Nasdaq Composite gained 14 points to 2,715. For the week, the Dow lost 1.03%, the S&P 500 fell 1.28% and the Nasdaq dropped 2.48%.

March 10, 2011
U.S. stocks drop like a rock on the open after early-morning data on jobless claims and the trade deficit added to worries that the global recovery could be slowing. The Dow Jones Industrial dropped a quick 182 points to 12031 with all 30 components lower. The S&P 500 sank 21 points to 1,299. The Nasdaq dropped 40 points to 2700. The bears are in full control this morning as something is irking the bulls this earnings. Rare earth metal Molycorp is up 2% after reporting a modest profit. The rest of the commodity sector looks awful with many stocks down 2, 3 or even 4%. Valero is down 5% after agreeing to buy a Chevron oil plant for $2 billion. Chevron is down 2%. The techs keep pushing lower. Apple, Google, IBM, and Research in Motion are down sharply. IBM received a third upgrade in as many days. LSI Logic is one of the few techs higher on an upgrade. In the retail space Green Mountain Coffee is jumping 32% after Starbucks agreed to sell their coffee through the Green Mountain K-cup package. Starbucks is up 8%. Smithfield Foods is up a percent following earnings. GM is getting hit down 3.5% after their CFO stepped down. Four dollar oil is also not helping things. During the first hour the averages kept pushing lower breaking through resistance in the S&P at the 1300 level. Through the morning the Dow fell over 200 points falling below 12000. Only McDonalds is higher within the Dow. The Nasdaq dropped over 50 points below 2700. The S&P 500 dropped below 1300. Not many stocks are left in the green. During the lunch hour the averages improved a little bit only to sell off once again on concerns of protests in Saudi Arabia. In the last hour more selling. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed off 228 points, or 1.9%, at 11,984, its worst point drop since Aug. 11 and its first close below 12,000 since Jan. 31. The S&P 500dropped 24 points, or 1.9%, to 1,295, the first time since Jan. 31 it closed below 1,300. Energy and materials stocks led declines. The Nasdaq Composite slid 50 points, or 1.8%, to 2,701.
March 9, 2011
The U .S. stocks opened with modest losses, giving up some of the prior session's surge, as industrial and metals stocks fell as oil prices rose once again. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 10 points to 12,204, led by a drop in DuPont and Caterpillar shares. The S&P 500 lost 3 points to 1,319. The Nasdaq Composite slid 14 points to 2,751. Wednesday marks the second anniversary of the bull market from March 2009, however, the bulls are not in control today. The techs are weak following poor earnings at a small optical networking firm, Finisar. That stock is down 34% dragging the networking firms with it. Texas Instruments is down 2.5% after a mid-quarter update. All the chips are lower. Even Apple and Google are down. The one bright spot within the techs is IBM trading up 3% after a mid-quarter update. The commodities as mentioned are lower. The oil drillers and alternative energies are about the only stocks up within the commodity space. The retail sector looks surprisingly good even though the high price of oil should be hurting them. American Eagle, Bon Ton, and Children's Place are higher following less than stellar earnings. Buffalo Wild Wing, Tractor Supply, Dish Network, Lululemon Athletica, and Tyson Foods are all higher on upgrades. During the first hour the averages pushed lower similar to yesterday and then reversed course. Following the first hour the Dow was in the green led by IBM. The financials are holding up after a big rally yesterday. Goldman Sachs is up a percent this morning. Through the morning the averages sold off again only to rebound into the lunch hour. I don't' know what is keeping this market up. Resilience. Through the afternoon the Dow hovered around the unchanged level with the Nasdaq solidly in the red. In the last hour nothing changed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down a point at 12213. The S&P 500 closed down 1.8 points at 1320 while the Nasdaq declined 14 points to 2751.

March 8, 2011

U.S. stocks open modestly higher led by the financials and Bank of America following positive comments at their investor day conference this morning. The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 5 points to 12094 with Bank of America up 2%. The S&P 500 rose a point to 1,310 with financial stocks the best performing sector and energy the worst. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 8 points to 2,738. Oil prices retreated 50 cents to under $105 a barrel, but it isn't helping the commodities. Fertilizers, oils, copper, iron ore, and the steels are all lower. Arch Coal and Patriot Coal were upgraded, but are trading lower. Dynegy is lower after reporting a loss. Apache was upgraded, but the stock is lower. Solar play, Trina Solar is up 2% on an upgrade. In the tech sector, Apple opened modestly higher, but then sold off leading the Nasdaq lower. Qualcomm is down 2% even though they are raising their dividend. Nvidia and Atmel are lower even though they were upgraded. Through the first half an hour the averages fell into the red only to rebound. The Dow shot back up thanks to the banks. The financials are the one shining star this morning. Besides Bank of America, all the major financials are higher. Fulton Financial is jumping 3% on an upgrade. In the retail space the news is mixed. Urban Outfitters is down 16% after missing estimates last night. Dicks Sporting Goods is up 5% due to better than expected earnings. Brown Forman is jumping 6% thanks to strong liquor sales. Chipotle Mexican Grill and Bed Bath & Beyond are lower on downgrades. Through the first hour the averages kept improving as the price of oil pulled back. The Dow rose 70 points while the Nasdaq improved by 10 points. Through the morning the averages vacillated back and forth only to shoot higher into the lunch hour. The Dow rose 100 points dragging the Nasdaq with it. In the afternoon the averages kept improving. The reason for the sharp rally is really not known. Oil is lower, but only by a buck. For some reason the bulls are in control. In the last hour the averages moved back to the highs of the day on comments The President and the Prime Minister of Great Britain are in talks to put limits on Libya including a no fly zone. Good news for the markets, but the price of oil isn't reacting. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 124 points at 12,214, led by a 4.7% gain in Bank of America, followed by a 3.5% rise in American Express and a 2.7% rally in J.P. Morgan Chase. The S&P 500 gained 11 points to 1,321 led by a 2.2% rise in financial stocks. Energy was the only declining sector as oil prices fell. The Nasdaq Composite ended up 20 points at 2,765.

March 7, 2011

The major averages open higher once again thanks in part to the oils as crude oil rallies once again above $107 a barrel. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 32 points to 12,199. The S&P 500 gained 3 points to 1,324, with energy stocks in the lead. The Nasdaq Composite rose 5 points to 2,790. The averages look good to start the day, but the rally was fleeting. The bulls are in denial. We can't rally with oil pushing higher. Within the first hour the averages gave up their gains led by weakness in techs. Even Apple is down over a percent. Networking equipment maker, Ciena is down 10% following earnings. The weakness in Ciena is dragging Cisco Systems down 2% to new lows for the year. Intel and Texas Instruments received positive analyst comments however, both stocks are lower. Western Digital is bucking the trend up 4% after agreeing to buy Hitachi's disk drive business for $4.3 billion. The financials are trying to hold up this morning. MBIA is up 3% on takeover chatter. PNC and Metlife are modestly higher on a positive Barrons articles. After the first hour the Dow fell 30 points while the Nasdaq declined 20 points. Only the oil drillers are still trading higher. A rare earth metal, Molycorp is up a percent on an upgrade. The CME Group is higher on an upgrade. Through the morning the averages moved lower as oil would not pull back. The Dow fell as much as 80 points before the lunch hour while the Nasdaq dropped 50 points. During the lunch hour the Dow pushed lower falling over 120 points and the Nasdaq declined 60 points. The weakness in the Nasdaq is being led by Apple, Google, and the other heavy weights. Through the afternoon the Dow improved stabilizing around the negative 100 point level. The Nasdaq hovered around the negative 50 point level. Oil closed up a dollar at $105 a barrel. Starting the last hour the averages slowly recovered. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 79 points at 12,090, led by a 2% drop in Alcoa and a 1.6% drop in Intel. The S&P 500 lost 11 points to 1,310, with materials and tech the worst hit among the S&P 500's 10 industry groups. The Nasdaq Composite lost 39 points to 2,745.