The Week In Review


Sept 16, 2011
U.S. stocks opened higher on Friday ahead of a measure of consumer confidence that could show improvement in September from last month. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 65 points to 11,498. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index climbed 5 points to 1,215. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 7 points to 2,615. The averages keep performing well even though there are some cracks in the rally. On the earnings front, Research in Motion is down 20% following disappointing earnings and lowered guidance. That stock looks just like Hewlett Packard. Netflix is down 5% after dropping over 12% yesterday after lowering guidance. The commodity space is struggling. Goldman Sachs market strategist is recommending a more defensive position steering away from economic sensitive positions. Patriot Coal is down 10% after guiding production lower. Fertilizer firm, CF Industries is lower on cautious comments from an analyst. The techs remain the bright spot in the markets. Texas Instruments is up a percent on a dividend hike. Intel and Nvidia also look good. Ebay is up 2% on an upgrade. Yahoo is up 2% on M&A speculation. Apple and Google continue to look good. The financials opened higher, but then sold off. News out of Europe that the EU leaders want to postpone any major restructuring until next month is not lending support to the banks. A better than expected consumer confidence number did not lend support the markets. In fact, the averages sold off after that number. After the first hour, the averages gave up their gains due to weakness in commodities and banks. Through the morning the averages bounced back into the green thanks to the techs. But other than the techs, nothing looks that great. In the afternoon, more of the same. The averages crept higher led by techs. Intel, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and IBM look great. Research in Motion, however, is down 20%.The financials and commodities look awful and the European problems persist, but we're higher. Go figure. In the last hour the averages were able to hold on to their gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 75 points at 11,509, gaining 4.7% for the week. The S&P 500 rose 6 points to 1,216, up 5.4% for the week. The Nasdaq Composite gained 15 points, or 0.6%, to 2,622, rallying 6.3% for the week. I wish we could keep this going.

Sept 15, 2011
U.S. stocks opened strongly higher on Thursday, extending gains into a fourth day, after the European Central Bank said it was coordinating with the Federal Reserve and other central banks. The ECB news helped offset disappointing U.S. economic data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 82 points to 11,328. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 9 points to 1,198. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 17 points to 2,589. Resilient market this week for a change. The major averages push higher once again led by techs and chip stocks. Intel is up 2% after pricing $5 billion in bond notes taking advantage of the low rates. The chip techs like Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Cisco Systems are all trading higher. The financials are modestly higher. Goldman Sachs was downgraded, but the stock is higher. Allstate is higher after disclosing their Hurricane Irene losses which wasn't as bad as anticipated. All the insurance stocks are higher. The commodity stocks opened higher, but then sold off. Steelmaker, Nucor lowered guidance, but the stock is higher by 2%. Most stocks lowering guidance are actually rallying following the disappointing news. That's a good sign. Kodiak Oil & Gas and Arch Coal are up over 3% on upgrades. During the first hour the Dow rallied as much as 150 points before pulling back. The Nasdaq rallied as much as 27 points before pulling back. Through the morning, similar to yesterday, the averages battle back led by techs. The commodities are back in the green and the financials are showing a little life. The dog of the day goes to Netflix down 12% after lowering guidance. A highflier when they miss guidance is never a pretty picture. In the afternoon the averages rebounded with the Dow rising 130 points. The Nasdaq improved by 25 points. Encouraging comments out of Europe regarding some progress toward providing solutions and back up plans for the banking and credit crisis is lending support to the averages. In the last hour the averages kept rallying. It's been a good week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 186 points, or 1.7%, at 11,433, less than a point shy of its session peak of 11,433. The S&P 500 gained 20 points, or 1.7%, to 1,209. Rallies financial and energy sectors led gains for all 10 industry groups. The Nasdaq Composite, which had turned negative mid-morning, ended up 34 points, or 1.3%, at 2,607.

Sept 14, 2011
U.S. stocks began higher on Wednesday on hopes of progress by European leaders trying to get a handle on regional debt. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 21 points to 11,127. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index advanced 2 points to 1,175. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 12 points to 2,545. The Nasdaq led the rally yesterday and leads the rally once again this morning thanks to the chips. Micron is up 2% on positive analyst comments. Nvidia is jumping 4% on positive comments from CNBC's Jim Cramer. Intel is higher once again after announcing a deal with Google yesterday. Elsewhere in the tech space Oracle, Cisco, Microsoft, and Dell are all higher on upgrades. Dell announced a share buyback yesterday. The financials did open modestly higher. US Bancorp is higher after updating their metrics for the quarter. Ameriprise is higher on an upgrade. Hartford is jumping 4% on an upgrade. Bank of America is modestly higher even though FBR made cautious comments. However, the rally in the financials did not last. In fact, the major averages sold off pretty sharply after the first half an hour. Ralcorp Holdings is down 8% on concerns they will not get bought out by ConAgra. On the flipside, Jakks Pacific is jumping 24% after receiving a private equity offer for a buyout. After the first hour the Dow remained in the red down 60 points, but off the lows of a 100 point decline. The sell off came as a result of Austria implying they may not vote for further bail outs to save the Euro. The Nasdaq is unchanged as many big cap techs try to remain in the green. Through the morning the averages kept battling back led by techs. Philip Morris is jumping 3% after the company raised their dividend by an astounding 20%. Wow. Later in the day, Yum Brands hiked their dividend by 14%. Nice. During the lunch hour the averages moved back into the green. So far this week the averages are acting very resilient. That's a good sign. Through the afternoon the averages kept improving as the European leaders made comments to stay committed to keeping Greece in the EU. In the last hour the averages kept shooting up with the Dow rallying as much as 280 points only to cut the gains in half in the last 30 minutes of trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up140 points, or 1.3%, at 11,246. The S&P 500 added 15 points, or 1.4%, to 1,188, with all 10 sectors higher. The Nasdaq Composite rose 40 points, or 1.6%, to 2,572.

Sept 13, 2011
For a second straight day, the US market is set to open lower following more weakness and turmoil in the European Union. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 47 points to 11,012. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped a point to 1,160. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 4 points to 2,499. Similar to yesterday, our averages open in much better shape than the overseas markets. The financials are acting well, trading modestly higher. JP Morgan is up a percent on an upgrade. Fifth Third, Huntington Bancshares, and Blackstone are higher by 2% on upgrades. A real estate investment trust, East Group Properties is modestly higher on an upgrade. The chip stocks continue to perform well. Micron, AMD, and Qualcomm are higher on positive analyst comments. Intel is higher once again. Dell is modestly higher on an upgrade. After the first hour the averages pushed higher with the Dow rallying 40 points and the Nasdaq climbing 26 points. In the retail space, Best Buy is down 6% following disappointing earnings. On the flip side, engine maker Cummins is jumping 6% on positive comments regarding the quarter helping lift the industrial space. Through the morning the Dow gave up its' gains only to slowly recover in the afternoon. Hess is performing well jumping 3% on news their CEO bought $10 million worth of their stock. I wish more CEOs did that. The chips continue to perform well. Intel got an added boost on news they are partnering with Google to get their chips in Android based phones. That's a good sign. In the last hour, the Dow fell into the red only to rebound into the close. Volatile market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 44 points at 11,105. The S&P 500 gained 10 points to 1,172. The Nasdaq Composite rose 37 points, or 1.5%, to 2,532.

Sept. 12, 2011
U.S. stocks tumbled Monday as worries in Europe of a Greek default and a credit rating downgrade of French banks increased worries about Europe's debt troubles. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 120 points to 10,872. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index shed 9 points to 1,144. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 12 points to 2,455. The news out of Europe is awful however, the news here doesn't look as bad. The lingering question will be, how much will Europe hurt our earnings and economic growth? A huge question mark. Shortly after the open the selling abated. The financials actually look good with a number of banks higher led by Bank of America. Bank of America is making encouraging comments at a Barclays conference this morning. The chip stocks are also performing well as they did last week. Micron, Intel, Maxim, Marvell, and Linear Tech are all higher on positive analyst comments. NetLogic is jumping 50% after agreeing to be acquired by Broadcom. Broadcom is only modestly lower. Altera and Xilinx were downgraded, yet the stocks are higher. Software makers Oracle and NetSuite are higher on upgrades. Apple and Research in Motion are also higher this morning, but the rest of the sector is in the red. Within the first hour the Nasdaq actually went into the green dragging the Dow with it. The Dow almost made it into the green before falling back by 60 points. The Nasdaq is holding the unchanged level. As the morning progressed the averages pushed lower again with the Dow falling 100 points. The banks gave up their gains as JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs made new 52 week lows. Entering the lunch hour the averages took another stab at a rebound led by the chips and financials. During the lunch hour, the averages sold back off and then yo-yoed through the afternoon on rumors China may invest in Italy and the Italian banks. This sounds more and more like our financial crisis ever day. In the last hour, the averages put in a nice rebound, accelerating into the green with no sell off into the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 68 points at 11,061. The S&P 500 gained 8 points to 1,162. The Nasdaq Composite rose 27 points or 1.1%, to 2,495.