The Week In Review


April 29, 2011
U.S. stocks wobble at the start following disappointing earnings at Microsoft and lowered guidance from smart phone maker Research in Motion. The Dow Jones actually rose 25 points to 12,788 thanks to a 2.7% advance in Caterpillar following blowout earnings. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index added a point to 1,361 while the Nasdaq Composite added a fraction to 2,872. Its' the end of April and what a month it has been with all three major averages up 2-4%. However this morning we're seeing some profit-taking. A number of companies easily beat estimates with some raising guidance, yet the stocks are lower. Some of these examples include Crocs, Microsoft, VF Corp, Newell Rubbermaid, Coventry Health Care, Weyerhaeuser, Chevron, and Cliffs Natural Resources. The commodities in general are witnessing some profit-taking even though earnings are through the roof. The fertilizers are modestly higher. In the tech space Research in Motion and Microsoft are dragging down the sector. Apple is higher since they seem to be the main benefactor from Rimm's weakness. IBM continues to push higher. Resilient stock. KLA Tencor and Motorola Mobility are higher following earnings. An analyst raised their earnings estimates for Micron, but it doesn't seem to be helping. The financials remain stuck in the mud going nowhere. Goldman Sachs was upgraded, but the stock is at a seven month low. Homebuilder, DR Horton is up 2% on earnings. After the first hour the Dow pushed higher touching 12,800 for a new high. The Nasdaq is stuck in a rut around the unchanged level. Entering the lunch hour the Dow improved rallying over 40 points. Boeing, Caterpillar, American Express, and IBM are leading the blue chip average higher. Microsoft is the weakest component. Apple keeps rising lifting the Nasdaq into the green. In the afternoon the Dow rose as much as 64 points before pulling back in the last hour. The Nasdaq inched up 6 points before falling back into the red even as Apple kept rallying. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 47 points at 12,810. For the week, the Dow rose 2.4% and finished April up 4%, its heftiest monthly rise since December. The S&P 500 Index closed Friday up 3 points to 1,363, with energy the best performer of the index's 10 industry groups. The Nasdaq Composite Index on Friday edged up a point to 2,873. For the week, S&P 500 Index rose 2% and ended April up 2.9%. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.9% for the week, and posted a 3.3% rise in April.

April 28, 2011
U.S. stocks opened mildly lower on Thursday after data illustrated a first-quarter economic slowdown and another disappointing weekly report on the labor front. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 9 points to 12,681. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index declined a point to 1,354. The Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 4 points to 2,865. The earnings keep flooding in. The insurance stocks look good with Lincoln National, Aflac, and Allstate are all trading sharply higher. Metlife and Harford Financial are trading up in sympathy. Health insurance company, Aetna is trading up 5% after beating earnings estimates. The techs are mixed this morning. Akamai and Ebay are lower on earnings. LSI Logic is higher following earnings. and Xilinx are higher on upgrades. IBM is at another new high while Apple has struggled as of late. The financials are quiet this morning, not moving much other than the insurance stocks. The commodities opened lower this morning. Exxon Mobil, Noble Energy, Dow Chemical, and Potash are modestly lower following earnings. Transocean and Baker Hughes were upgraded, but both are modestly lower. Arch Coal raised their dividend, but the stock is lower. International Paper is up 3% following earnings. After the first half an hour the commodities and the averages turned around. The Dow rallied into the green led by Boeing and DuPont. The Nasdaq is inching closer to the unchanged level. The retail sector is mixed to lower this morning. Liz Claiborne, Cabela's, and Office Max are sharply lower following earnings. Starbucks, Colgate, and Bunge are lower on earnings. Briggs & Stratton is higher following better than expected earnings. Through the morning the Dow remained in the green at another new high for the year at 12700. The Nasdaq is stuck at the unchanged level. In the afternoon the Dow remained in the green while the Nasdaq pulled back into the red. Apple is particularly weak. The financials can't get going. Goldman Sachs is weak. The commodities have also pulled back. In the last hour the Dow accelerated rallying over 80 points before a small pullback into the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 72 points at 12,763, led by a 3.2% gain in Boeing. Today was the highest close for the Dow since May 2008. The S&P 500 gained 4 points to 1,360 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 2 points to 2,872.

April 27, 2011
U.S. stocks opened mildly higher thanks to strong earnings ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's news conference. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 8 points to 12,603. Boeing is up 2% following earnings. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index climbed a point to 1,348. The Nasdaq Composite gained 5 points to 2,853. The earnings keep coming in better than expected. In the tech space Amazon and Corning are trading up over 3% following earnings. The chips continue to perform well. Altera is up 3% following earnings. Qualcomm was upgraded. Broadcom is one of the few chips trading sharply lower following earnings. Allegheny Tech is modestly lower following earnings. Lexmark is lower on a downgrade following dismal earnings two days ago. One sector that is weak is the commodities. The fertilizers, the copper, steel, and oils are mostly lower. US Steel is down 3% on a downgrade. Parker Hannifin is down 5% following earnings. Conoco Phillips is down 2% after missing estimates. Southern Company is modestly lower. Hess and Baker Hughes are bucking the trend trading up over 2% following earnings. The financials are holding up so far this morning. Moody is jumping 9% following earnings and a raised outlook. After the first hour the Dow held on to modest gains while the Nasdaq fell into the red. Through the morning the averages moved sideways ahead of the Fed meeting. Within the Dow, IBM looks good trading up a percent at a new 52 week high. Heading into the lunch hour and during the lunch hour the Dow improved rallying 40 points. The Nasdaq moved into the green. Besides IBM within the Dow, GE is showing some life rallying 3.5%. Not bad. Exxon Mobil is still lower, but the company raised their dividend today. An hour later Chevron raised their dividend. Earnings are improving and dividends are going higher. That's a good sign. In the afternoon the Fed left rates unchanged and the Fed Chairman started his press conference. The averages initially sold off, but then rebounded. In the last hour the rally accelerated as investors grasped the statement that the Fed would remain accommodating for an extended period of time or at least two more meetings which gets us into the fall season or six months from now. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 95 points to 12,690. The S&P 500 rose 8 points to 1,355. The Nasdaq Composite rose 22 points to 2,869 its highest close since December 2000.

April 26, 2011
U.S. stocks open modestly higher following a plethora of better than expected earnings this morning. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 21 points to 12,502. Within the Dow, 3M looks good while Coke is one of the few components lower after missing estimates. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index climbed 4 points to 1,339. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 5 points to 2,831. The earnings are flooding in with most companies easily beating estimates. The commodity space looks good. Cummins is jumping 6% after easily beating estimates. AK Steel and Arch Coal look good following earnings. US Steel and Valero are lower after earnings. Freeport and Cliffs Natural Resources are lower even as Cliffs is set to report on Thursday. Ford is leading the autos higher even though AutoNation is down 4% following earnings. Delta and US Airways, UPS, and Ryder are higher following earnings. So much for higher oil prices hurting the transports. The financials look good for once after some housing data. UBS is jumping 5% following earnings. E-trade is down 3% after earnings. In the retail space Coach, Hershey, Under Armour, and Netflix are lower on earnings. In the tech space Lexmark is a dog down 15% after missing estimates. Tellabs is also lower following earnings. Intel, Microsoft, Corning, and Google look good this morning. After the first hour the Dow improved rising 45 points above 12500 for the first time since 2008. The Nasdaq rose 8 points to 2837 retesting a three and a half year high. So far so good this morning. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages pushed higher with the Dow rising over 100 points. The Nasdaq climbed 20 points. The only weak stocks are the recent highfliers. Netflix is down 8% following earnings. Other highfliers like Chipotle, VMware, F5 Networks, Under Armour, and Priceline are all lower today. Amazon is lower ahead of earnings tonight. In the last hour the major averages held their gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 115 points at 12,595, lifting the blue-chip average back to a June 2008 high. The S&P 500 gained 11 points to 1,347, with industrials leading gains in all 10 subsectors. The Nasdaq Composite added 21 points to 2,857.

April 25, 2011
U.S. stocks opened mostly lower on Monday as the benchmark indexes faced resistance near three-year highs and as investors tracked escalating energy costs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 17 points to 12,488. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell a point to 1,336. The Nasdaq Composite rose 2 points to 2,822. A quiet morning to start. The commodities are modestly higher this morning Patriot Coal and Diamond Offshore are higher on upgrades. Nucor was upgraded as well, but the stock is lower. A number of financials are modestly higher. GE, Travelers, Legg Mason, and Blackrock received positive analyst comments. SunTrust is higher even though it was downgraded. Hartford is lower on a downgrade. In the tech space Polycom is jumping 13% on an upgrade. Brocade is up 4% on an upgrade. Apple, Corning and Intel are higher as well. The cloud computing stocks continue to push higher. Through the first hour the averages pushed lower led by Boeing, Caterpillar, Chevron, and DuPont. The Nasdaq is trying to hold on to its' gains. Through the morning the averages remained in the red. This is another big week for earnings, but so far the averages are quiet. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages limited their losses as a number of techs and commodity plays improved. Intel is up 2% improving on Friday's gains leading the chips higher. The cloud computing stocks remain strong and the rare earth metal stocks are shooting higher. In the last hour the Nasdaq rallied into the green and held on to its' gains. The Dow recovered, but remained in the red. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 26 points at 12,479. The S&P 500 lost 2 points to 1,335, led by falling resource stocks. The Nasdaq Composite edged up 5 points at 2,825.