The Week In Review


September 30, 2011
U.S. stocks tumble to start the day on data showing American incomes fell in August combined with poor Chinese manufacturing data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 135 points, or 1.2%, to 11,018, led by a 2.8% drop in American Express, while JPMorgan Chase and Caterpillar shed 2.5%. The S&P 500 index dropped 16 points to 1,143 while the Nasdaq Composite fell 41 points to 1,439. It's the last day of the quarter and what a quarter it has been. Everything is in the red this morning as no one trusts this market. Industrial firm, Ingersoll Rand is down 17% after lowering guidance. The Industrials and Materials have performed lousy this quarter on fears of a Chinese and global slowdown. In the commodity space, Mosaic is down 6% on a downgrade. The steel stocks were all upgraded, yet they are all trading lower. Marathon Oil also received an upgrade and is trading down 2%. Everything in the commodity related space looks awful. In fact, every sector looks poor. The financials are down sharply following the European banks. Deutsche Bank is down 6% on concerns they may have to lower guidance. PNC Bank is down 2% even though RBC made it their top pick. The techs are also weak as another chip company, Micron lowered guidance. The stock is down 10%. AMD is down another 2% after lowering guidance yesterday. Intel is modestly lower after announcing a small acquisition. HP is down 3% on rumors the company is still thinking of spinning off their PC business. Dell is lower as well even though one analyst is making positive comments. Through the first hour the averages battled back limiting the losses to the opening weakness. A few defensive positions in the Dow were able to sneak into the green including Merck, PG, J&J, and McDonalds. After the first hour the Dow remained weak down 100 points. The Nasdaq remained down 33 points. Through the morning the averages tried to battle back, but the broader market is still weak. More of the same in the afternoon. Only a few stocks are trading in the green. The averages held up until the last hour when the selling accelerated. What a way to end the quarter. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 240 points, or 2.2%, at 10,913. It gained 1.3% for the week but lost 6% for the month, its fifth monthly loss in a row. The 12.1% quarterly loss was the worst since the March 2009 quarter. The S&P 500 fell 28 points, or 2.5%, to 1,131. It was off 0.4% for the week, down 7.2% for the month and off 14.3% for the quarter, the worst quarter since Dec. 2008. The Nasdaq Composite lost 65 points, or 2.6%, to 2,415. It fell 2.7% for the week, lost 6.4% for the month and 12.9% for the quarter.

September 29, 2011
U.S. stocks jumped higher on Thursday after German lawmakers voted for new powers for the euro-zone's crisis fund and U.S. economic reports came in better than anticipated. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 219 points to 11,230. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 20 points to 1,171. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 40 points to 2,531. A nice snap back from yesterday's sell off. The financials are in the lead thanks to a rebound in the European banks. The techs also look good even though AMD lowered estimates last night. The stock is trading down 10%, but the rest of the chips are holding up. Qualcomm is up 2% thanks to an upgrade. Dell is higher as well on an upgrade. HP is higher on speculation that activist investors are circling the firm. Nokia is cutting jobs, but the stock is up 4%. After the first half an hour the rally started to fizzle as the commodity space moved into the red. The fertilizers are weak following disappointing earnings at Mosaic. That stock is down 7% at a new 52 week low. Cliffs Natural Resources is down 5% this morning at a new 52 week low and now down nearly 50% since July. A wild ride. A number of techs have also dropped into the red like Apple, Google, and Research in Motion. Following the first hour the Nasdaq was in the red while the Dow is still up triple digits. Through the morning the Dow remained strong with only Alcoa in the red. In the afternoon the rally fizzled as the Dow gave up more of its gains and the Nasdaq fell into the red. The strongest sectors are the financials, insurance, and REITS. By the middle of the afternoon the Nasdaq fell as much as 57 points while the Dow fell into the red by as much as 45 points. Everyone seems to be bearish. Ironically, the financials remain in the green. In the last hour the averages battled back with the Dow moving back into the green. The rally accelerated into the close. After rising as much as 260 points and falling 45 points, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 143 points, or 1.3%, at 11,153, led by Travelers, Bank of America, and J.P. Morgan Chase. The S&P 500 ended up 9 points at 1,160. The Nasdaq Composite fell 10 points to 2,480.

September 28, 2011
U.S. stocks opened higher on Wednesday, with the benchmark indexes all up for a fourth session on hopes for progress in efforts to resolve the euro-zone's debt trouble. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 57 points to 11,248. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index added a point to 1,176. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 3 points to 2,549. The quarter is ready to end and the earnings are starting to trickle in. Paychex is trading up a percent thanks to better than expected earnings. In the tech space, Jabil Circuit is jumping 9% after beating earnings estimates. Accenture is up 4% thanks to strong earnings, an announced share buyback, and a 50% hike in their dividend. Accenture's good earnings are lending support to IBM. IBM is up a percent approaching its' 52 week high once again. The chip stocks are modestly higher. Qualcomm and Lam Research are both up a percent thanks to upgrades. Amazon is jumping 3% ahead of their press release of a new tablet to compete with the ipad. Apple is higher on an upgrade. Apple investors don't seem too worried about completion from Amazon. The financials opened only modestly higher as Europe is assessing more levies against the banks. Politicians just don't get it. Goldman Sachs lowered price targets for a number of big money center banks. The commodity space is one of the few sectors to open lower. Chesapeake Energy is one of the few stocks in this sector trading up on news of a natural gas discovery out West in the Utica Shale region. Kodiak Oil & Gas is higher after announcing an acquisition. Through the first hour the rally dissipated led by commodities and the financials. The Nasdaq fell into the red while the Dow clung to a 30 point gain. Through the morning the Dow gave up its' gains only to rebound. In the afternoon the volume dried up and the averages drifted lower. The Dow fell over 100 points before rebounding. The Nasdaq fell 35 points only to rebound. Apple fell into the red, but Intel, Microsoft, and IBM are still in the green. Amazon has held up as well remaining up over 3%. Entering the last hour the averages were doing a good job of recovering only to sell off hard into the close. A rebound in the US dollar was lending support to the selling pressure. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 179 points, or 1.6%, at 11,010. The S&P 500 retreated 24 points, or 2.1%, to 1,151. The Nasdaq Composite declined 55 points or 2.2%, to 2,491. Wednesday's losses snapped a three-day winning stretch for stocks.

September 27, 2011
U.S. stocks soared early Tuesday to step into a third straight day of gains as hopes Europe will act to tackle the region's debt crisis sparked further buying, with financials and energy shares leading an across-the-board charge. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 213 points, or 1.9%, to 11,257, with JPMorgan Chase up 4.3%, while Chevron Corp climbed 3.8% and Exxon Mobil added 2.5% on the back of a strong rebound in crude-oil futures. The S&P 500 Index added 20 points or 1.8% to 1,183 and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 37 points or 1.5% to 2,553. The rally continues on hopes the European's are getting a handle in their credit crisis. The financials are in the lead once again as the hardest hit sector. The commodities are also displaying a nice rebound after getting clobbered last week. Potash is up 5% on an upgrade. Cliffs Natural Resources is up 2.5% on news they will spin off non-strategic resources. Freeport McMoran is up 5% after dropping 25% last week. The oil drillers are up over 2% on analyst upgrades. The techs look good, but not up as much as the other sectors. Apple is rebounding after getting hit yesterday. An analyst upgraded the stock with a $500 price target. Yahoo is modestly higher on an upgrade. In the retail space, Walgreens is down 3.5% following earnings. One analyst made cautious comments on a number of specialty retailers, but they are all trading higher. Sanderson Farms is up 4% on an upgrade. VF Corp, the conglomerate of retailers like Lee, Wranglers, Vans, and North Face, made a new 52 week high today. Through the first hour the averages moved higher. The Dow jumped 250 points. The Nasdaq rose 45 points. A large part of this rebound is a short-covering rally and quarter end window dressing, but there are some buyers stepping in to take advantage of the low valuations. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages remained strong with the Dow rising as much as 300 points and the Nasdaq rising 52 points. Even with the run up, the financials have scaled back their gains. Meredith Whitney lowered estimates dramatically on Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs for the quarter and for 2012. That's not lending support. In the commodity space, rare earth metal company Molycorp is jumping 11% after the CEO went on TV to defend their company. In the last hour the rally started to fizzle as Apple fell into the red and a number of financials gave up their gains on news out of Europe that maybe everyone is not on board for a solution to their crisis. Here we go again. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 146 points, or 1.3%, at 11,190, led by a 3.9% rise in Hewlett-Packard. The S&P 500 ended up 12 points, or 1.1%, at 1,175 led by natural resource and materials stocks. Utilities and financial sectors lagged. The Nasdaq Composite rose 30 points, or 1.2%, to 2,546.

September 26, 2011
U.S. stocks opened higher early Monday as hopes for expansion in the euro-zone bailout program and strong gains for European markets helped provide an early lift. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.9%, or 94 points, to 10867. The S&P 500 index rose 8 points to 1,148 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 17 points to 2500. For once the financials are in the lead as some progress is developing in Europe to tackle their credit crisis. All the European banks are performing well. UBS is up 3% as their CEO is stepping down after a rogue broker lost $2 billion. The big US money center banks look good. Berkshire Hathaway's stock jumped 5.6% after the company announced its' first ever share buyback plan. The techs opened higher, but sold following the open led by Apple. Apple is down 2% on rumors of production cuts for their Ipads. The rumors are hurting all the tech stocks. The commodities are also taking it on the chin. Mosaic is down 5% after announcing a secondary offering. All the fertilizers are lower along with most commodity stocks. Through the first hour the averages gave up a majority of their gains. After the first hour the Dow rebounded rallying 100 points, but the breath of the market is getting worse. Through the morning and into the lunch hour the Dow remained in the green, but the broader market is not performing as well. By the middle of the afternoon the Dow received an added boost from comments out of Europe regarding a plan to save the banks from their credit crisis. One sector that continues to perform well irrespective of the European problems is the retail sector. Macys is higher on news they will aggressively hire more seasonal people for the holidays. American Eagle is up 8% on insider buying. Finish Line is up on positive analyst comments. In the last hour the rally accelerated its' gains on optimism that Europe will finally get its' act together. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 272 points, or 2.5%, at 11,043, led by a nearly 7% surge in the shares of J.P. Morgan Chase and a 4.6% rally in Bank of America's shares. The S&P 500 ended up 26 points, or 2.3%, at 1,162, led by a 4.4% rally in financial stocks. The Nasdaq Composite gained 33 points, or 1.4%, to 2,516.