The Week In Review


October 14, 2011
U.S. stocks opened higher Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average joining the Nasdaq Composite in positive territory for the year, as investors welcomed a surge in retail sales and an upbeat earnings report from search engine Google. The Dow industrials rose 125 points to 11,603. The S&P 500 climbed 17 points to 1,220. The Nasdaq added 39 points to 2,659. The techs keep leading the averages higher. Google is jumping 6% thanks to better than expected earnings. Plenty of upgrades in the tech sector. The list includes Juniper Networks, IBM, Marvell, SAP, Apple (of course), EMC, F5 Networks, NetApp, VMware, HP, and Cisco. Cisco looks to be breaking out of a 4 month range. Adobe is jumping 6% on prospects of a new technology called, HTML 5 for cell phones. A few techs are lower. Research in Motion is down a percent and Intel is having trouble participating in the rally. The commodities are having a good day, all performing well. Every sector is trading up. The one sector lagging the rest is of course the financials. Next week is a big week for the big bank reporting earnings. Webster Financial is down 3% after reporting earnings. Ameriprise is up 2% on an upgrade. The insurance stocks are outperforming the banks. MetLife and Hartford are up over 2.5%. In the retail space Mattel is down 2% following lackluster earnings and an announced share buyback. Pier 1 is up 2% after announcing a $100 million buyback. Gap is lower by a percent even though they announced they will be shutting down 20% of their stores. It's about time. Through the first hour the averages remained strong, but off the highs. A number of the big banks have fallen into the red. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages remained in the green, but off the highs. Not a lot of volatility. In the last hour the averages received an added surge sending the averages to new highs for the day. What a week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 166 points, or 1.5%, to 11,644. It gained 4.9% for the week, its third weekly rise and the longest weekly winning stretch since April. The S&P 500 added 20.92 points, or 1.7%, to 1,224.58. It gained 6% for the week. The Nasdaq Composite rose 47 points, or 1.8%, to 2,667. It's up 7.6% for the week. The Dow and the Nasdaq are now higher for the year, while the S&P 500 is off 2.6%.

October 13, 2011
Following a spectacular week with the Dow rising over 1100 points from last Tuesday's lows, the major averages are set to open lower following conservative earnings from JPMorgan Chase and disappointing economic data out of China. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 85 points to 11,432. The S&P 500 declined 9 points to 1,197. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 7 points to 2,597. JP Morgan is down 5% leading the charge lower. Blackstone is down 5% on a downgrade. Metlife is down 3% even though it was upgraded. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are lower by 4% ahead of earnings next week. The commodities are getting hit this morning. Freeport McMoran was upgraded, but higher inventories of copper out of China last night has that stock trading lower. Rio Tinto is down a percent even though they reported solid earnings. The only sector holding up this morning is the tech space. Fairchild Semi is jumping 7% even though the company provided cautious outlook for the fourth quarter. News that chip inventories are being worked off is lending support to all the chips. Intel is higher once again. Intel actually seems to perform better on down days. Qualcomm, Applied Materials, Broadcom, Cisco Systems, Micron, and Texas Instruments are higher. TI is up over 2%. Broadcom and Cisco were upgraded. In the retail space American Eagle, William Sonoma, and Dicks are higher on upgrades. Through the morning the averages pushed higher with the Nasdaq rebounding to the unchanged level. The Dow remained weak due to the financials. In the afternoon the Dow remained weak with most of the techs improving along with the Nasdaq. Google is up a percent ahead of earnings tonight. Heading into the last hour the Dow almost made it back to the unchanged level only to sell once again. Into the close the Dow improved, but not enough to keep the streak alive.

October 12, 2011
U.S. stocks opened higher on Wednesday, extending gains on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index into a third day, on expectations Europe would manage its debt trouble. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 53 points to 11,469. The S&P 500 climbed 8 points to 1,203. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 19 points to 2,602. Last night's weaker than expected earnings from Alcoa haven't thwarted the bulls. Alcoa is down 4%. Patriot Coal is down 4% on a downgrade. Chevron is unchanged on mixed quarterly guidance. The fertilizers are lower, but the rest of the commodities are performing well. Freeport is up 4% even though an analyst lowered estimates, but maintained a $68 price target. Tech space continues to perform well. The chip equipment stocks are acting well. ASML is up 5% following earnings. KLA-Tencor is higher on an upgrade. Intel keeps pushing higher on positive analyst comments. F5 Networks is higher on an upgrade. Cree is jumping 4% on positive analyst comments. A few techs are lower like Seagate, Lexmark, and QLogic on downgrades. Research in Motion is down 2% thanks in part to a major disruption to their service. That company can't seem to catch a break. The financials opened higher on a number of upgrades, but are struggling to maintain their gains. JP Morgan still looks good up 2.5% ahead of earnings tomorrow. The insurance stocks are performing well. In the retail space, Liz Claiborne is jumping 30% after selling a number of their brands. Pepsi is jumping 3% after beating estimates. Through the first hour the averages pushed higher with the Dow jumping 80 points and the Nasdaq rising 30 points. So far so good. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages pushed higher with the Dow moving momentarily into positive territory for the year only to sell off in the last hour similar to yesterday. However, we can't complain, it's another up day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 102 points at 11,518, led by a 3.5% rally in Disney's shares. The S&P 500 gained 11 points, or 1%, to 1,207 thanks to a 2.7% rise in the financial stocks. The Nasdaq Composite ended up 21 points, or 0.8%, at 2,604.

October 11, 2011
U.S. stocks opened lower Tuesday, retreating after the prior day's rally, ahead of a vote in Slovakia on increasing the size and abilities of Europe's bailout fund. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 38 points to 11,394. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index declined 6 points to 1,188. The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 9 points to 2,556. The averages opened lower following a phenomenal week with the Nasdaq up 12% and the Dow up a 1000 points, however, the selling is light today. Through the first hour the averages rebounded thanks to the techs and commodity space. Apple looks good. Google, Broadcom, SAP, and Arm Holdings are higher on upgrades. Intel also looks good. IBM was upgraded, but the stock is modestly lower after hitting an all time high yesterday. Texas Instruments and Nvidia are modestly lower after having their estimates cut. In the commodity space, Valero is jumping 3% on an upgrade. The fertilizers look good on positive comments. Alco is up 2% ahead of earnings tonight. The financials opened lower, but battled back. Citigroup is up 3% even though Goldman cut their earnings estimates for the firm. Goldman also had their estimates cut, but the stock is higher. Bank of America is higher as well. Paychex is modestly higher after raising their dividend. The insurance stocks are higher as well. Through the morning the averages moved into the green. In the afternoon the Dow vacillated around the unchanged level while the Nasdaq remained solidly in the green thanks to the techs. A mid-afternoon sell off brought the buyers back in the last hour. The markets are acting resilient. That's a good sign. Into the close the averages gave up some of their gains. The Dow average finished down 16 points at 11,416, led by a 1.4% loss in AT&T. The S&P 500 ended up 65 cents at 1,195, led by tech stocks. The Nasdaq Composite rose 16 points to 2,583.

October 10, 2011
U.S. stocks jumped on the open Monday, following gains in stock futures and Europe markets, after a weekend pledge by French and German leaders to devise a plan by early November to support European banks and debt-strapped sovereigns. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 176 points, or 1.6%, to 11,279. The S&P 500 gained 22 points, or 1.9%, to 1,178. The Nasdaq Composite rose 45 points, or 1.8%, to 2,523. On Sunday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said they agreed on the need to strengthen European banks but provided few details. Even so, the financials look good. The European and US banks are all trading up 2% to 3%. Here's how bad things have become. Friedman Billings Ramsey put out a note indicating that the major banks are all 40% undervalued yet the analyst said to stay on the sidelines. Crazy. If the financials are trading up that means all the sectors are higher. Every Dow component is higher. In the tech space Micron and KLA Tencor are higher on upgrades. KLA Tencor and Intel traded higher on Friday even though it was a down day. The chip and chip equipment stocks continue to perform well. Yahoo is up 3% on more rumors of a takeover. BMC Software is one of the few techs lower on a downgrade. The commodities are performing well. Potash is up 5% on an upgrade. Transocean is jumping 5% on news they are not liable for a faulty deepwater well in the Gulf of Mexico. Through the first half an hour the Dow pushed higher rising 236 points. The Nasdaq jumped 60 points. Light volume day with most everything closed except for the stock market. Through the morning the averages pushed higher. The Dow rose nearly 300 points as one component, IBM made a new 52 week high. The Nasdaq is up 73 points or neatly 3%. The techs are catching a bid. It'd be nice to have a fourth quarter tech rally. Into the afternoon the volume dried up as the averages moved sideways near the highs of the day. In the last hour the averages drifted a little lower only to rally into the close finishing on the highs of the day. A great way to start the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 330 points, or 2.97%, at 11,433. More than 5% gains in Bank of America and J.P. Morgan Chase led advances for all 30 blue-chip components. The S&P 500 added 39 points, or 3.4%, to 1,194, led by a 5.1% rally in financials. The Nasdaq Composite gained 86 points, or 3.5%, to 2,566. It was the biggest percentage gain for S&P 500 and Nasdaq since Aug. 23, and the biggest gain for the Dow since Aug. 11