The Week In Review


October 28, 2011
U.S. stocks opened modestly lower on Friday, with investors taking a breather after a two-day leap that took the Dow up 500 points thanks to solid earnings and encouraging developments out of Europe. The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 17 points to 12,191, with 14 of its 30 components falling, led by Exxon Mobil and Chevron. The S&P 500 fell 4 points to 1,279. The Nasdaq Composite declined 5 points to 2,733. Following a day with plenty of news out of Europe and over 300 earnings reports today is much quieter. Stocks trading up following earnings this morning include NCR, KLA Tencor, QLogic, AMD, MetLife, Decker Outdoors, Sandisk, National Financial Partners, Arch Coal, Merck, Goodyear, and Biogen. A few stocks are trading lower following earnings including Cablevision, Chevron, Quality Systems, Dominion, and Coventry Health. The broader market is trading lower this morning, but not by much on light volume. The financials are acting much better. Goldman Sachs is higher after rallying 10% yesterday. Dick Bove upgraded the stock this morning. Bank of America is trading higher as well. MetLife is up 3% following earnings and an upgrade. Hartford is higher as well along with Aflac, Travelers, and Prudential. The commodities are perking up. Cliffs Natural Resources is jumping 4% even though they missed estimates. Agrium is trading higher while Potash is lower on a downgrade. Through the first hour the averages remained in the red, but not by much. Through the morning the averages perked up thanks to the financials. Into the afternoon the averages moved sideways mildly in the red. Anything less than a 1% decline is a good sign especially after yesterday's performance. In the last hour the major averages snuck back into the green to finish out the week. The Dow climbed 22 points to end at 12,231 for a fifth-straight weekly gain. The S&P 500 rose 50 cents to 1,285 while the Nasdaq Composite slipped a point to 2,737, with both indexes ending up 3.8% higher for the week.

October 27, 2011
U.S. stocks chalked up healthy gains at Thursday's start, adding to the prior day's surge, as Wall Street echoed global markets in cheering Europe's accord to expand a rescue fund to curb the region's debt crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 246 points to 12,115. The S&P 500 Index added 31 points to 1,273. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 67 points to 2,718. US markets are following a surge in the European markets. In the meantime, US corporations keep churning out earnings to the tune of 300 companies since last night. Surprisingly most stocks are higher. A deal for the Greece debt crisis is good for the financials. All the big banks are jumping 4% to 7%. Ameriprise and Lazard are jumping 15% following earnings. Legg Mason, NYSE Euronext, and Franklin Resources are all higher by 7% after beating estimates. Visa is one of the few financial related stocks not trading higher. Even Moodys is higher following earnings. In the insurance space, AFLAC is jumping 7% even though they missed estimates. MetLife is up 7% ahead of earnings tonight. The techs look great as Intel moves to a new 52 week high this morning. Akamai is up 13% following earnings. Novellus is up 9% following earnings. Taiwan Semi is up 4% on earnings. Cisco is jumping 4% on an upgrade to new recent highs. The commodities are acting great. Dow Chemical is up 8% following earnings. Goldcorp and Barrick Gold are higher following earnings. Even a steel stock, Reliance Steel is up 2% after beating estimates. International Paper is up 6% following earnings. Agrium and Mosaic are higher on upgrades. Valero is up 4% after raising their dividend. Exxon Mobil is struggling even though they beat estimates. A mild pullback only sent the averages higher through the morning. By the afternoon the Dow was up 300 points while the Nasdaq rose 83 points. What a rally to end the month October. Through the afternoon the averages kept climbing. Entering the last hour, the Dow rose 350 points while the Nasdaq jumped 90 points. Wow. In the last hour the Dow rose over 400 points only to pull back into the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 339 points, or 2.9%, at 12,208, its first close above 12,000 since August 1st. The S&P 500 gained 42 points, or 3.4%, to 1,284. The Nasdaq Composite rose 87 points, or 3.3%, to 2,738. For the nearly ended month, the major indexes have advanced more than 11%.

October 26, 2011
U.S. stocks opened higher on Wednesday on reports that German lawmakers had approved a measure effectively granting Chancellor Angela Merkel permission to work towards a plan to boost the lending power of the regional rescue fund. The vote came as European leaders readied for another crisis summit to talk about a second bailout for Greece and the recapitalization of regional banks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 160 points to 11,867. The S&P 500 Index added 14 points to 1,243. The Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 27 points to 2,665. It's a morning of the haves and have nots. Stocks trading up on earnings include F5 Networks, Corning, Praxair, Wyndham Worldwide, WellPoint, Allegheny Tech, Boeing, Itron, Tupperware, Roger Communication, and Medco Health Solutions. F5 Networks is jumping 13% while Boeing is leading the Dow higher up 5%. Plenty of stocks however are trading lower this morning following earnings. JetBlue, Nabors, Southern Union, Brinker, Dr. Pepper Snapple, Hess, Automatic Data, Ford, Broadcom, Lockheed Martin, Amazon, and TJX are all lower on earnings news. Amazon is down 11% following a disappointing report while Ford is down 5%. After the first hour the rally started to dissipate with news out of Europe that any deal announced today will not be enough to appease investors. Following the first hour the Nasdaq was solidly in the red while the Dow gave up most of its gains. Through the morning the Dow rebounded while the Nasdaq remained stuck in the red. The financials are trading higher for the most part. The commodities are rebounding as well. In the afternoon the averages pushed higher once again. No new news out of Europe, but investors seem to be expecting good things. Plenty of stocks that traded sharply lower this morning have reversed course. MetLife opened down 4%, but is going to finish in the green. The financials have improved. Goldman Sachs is trading up 6%. In the last hour the averages pushed higher. Nice reversal. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 162 points, or 1.4%, at 11,869. Boeing Co. (BA) shares led gainers, up 4.5%, after the aircraft maker reported quarterly results. The S&P 500 rose 12 points, or 1.1%, to 1,242, led by energy and financial stocks. The Nasdaq Composite gained 12 points, or 0.5%, to 2,650.

October 25, 2011
U.S. stocks fell sharply Tuesday on cautious comments following earnings from 3M and Cummins Engines, coupled with reports that Europe's debt-crisis meeting had been cancelled. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 133 points to 11,780. The S&P 500 Index declined 19 points to 1,234. The Nasdaq Composite shed 38 points to 2,660. The earnings keep flooding in but most stocks are lower following their reports. Amgen, Veeco Instruments, Texas Instruments, Peabody Energy, Illinois Tools, Ryder, Deutsche Bank, Reynolds America, Ranger Resources, Lexmark, CIT Group, and NBT Bank are all trading lower following earnings. Netflix is getting clobbered down 36% after lower guidance for the fourth quarter and for 2012. Steel stocks, AK Steel and US Steel are down 12% and 6% respectively following earnings. Oil driller, Weatherford is down 4% following earnings while BP is higher after earnings. 3M, T Rowe Price, and Cummins Engine are down 6%. MF Gobal is down 35% this morning. In other words, nothing is working well. Through the morning the averages stabilized near the lows of the day. A few stocks are trading higher. In the tech space, Fortinet is jumping 8% after beating estimates. The company was featured on the cover of Barrons. ARM Holdings is up 3% on in line earnings. Cisco Systems and Intel are modestly higher. IBM briefly moved into the green after raising their share buyback plan by $7 billion. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages remained weak. Sallie Mae or SLM Corp is down 10% following earnings and concerns the government may intervene and disrupt the current industry. In the last hour the averages accelerated to the downside. Here we go again. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 207 points, or 1.7%, to close at 11,706. The S&P 500 lost 25 points, or 2%, to 1,229. The weakness was led by a 3.1% drop in financials although all 10 industries declined on the day. The Nasdaq Composite slid 61 points, or 2.3%, to 2,638. The day's decline put the composite back into a loss for the year.

October 24, 2011
U.S. stocks opened higher on Monday on cautious optimism over signs of progress toward a debt deal in Europe and strong results from Caterpillar. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 35 points to 11,846. Caterpillar is jumping 4%. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 4 points to 1,242. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 15 points to 2,652. Many were expecting a pull back this morning, but thanks to a couple mergers, plenty of upgrades, and solid earnings, the averages are pushing higher. HealthSpring is jumping 33% after Cigna agreed to buy out the firm. The whole healthcare space is acting well. Rightnow Tech is jumping 20% after Oracle agreed to acquire the firm. The techs look good. Xilinx is jumping 3% on an upgrade. The chips are acting well. Intel is butting up against its' 52 week high. Agilent is up 3% on an upgrade. The commodities are acting great once again. Freeport is jumping 6% on a positive article in Barrons. Noble Energy and Molycorp are higher on upgrades. Potlatch is higher following earnings. The financials keep creeping higher. FBR made positive comments on Wells Fargo and PNC. Keycorp, Duke Realty, BB&T, and LPL Investment are all higher on upgrades. Through the first hour the averages pushed higher. The Dow rose 70 points while the Nasdaq improved by 33 points. We're starting to break out of the upper part of the range. In the retail space, VF Corp is up 5% after beating estimates and raising their dividend. Ralph Lauren Polo, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Limited all made new highs this morning. Petsmart and Amazon are higher on upgrades. Very few stocks are trading lower. IBM, P&G, and Exxon Mobil are trading lower within the Dow. Kimberly Clark is down 4% following disappointing earnings. Through the morning the averages moved sideways only to rally into the lunch hour. The bulls are back. Through the afternoon the averages moved sideways losing a little bit of momentum in the last hour. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up104 points at 11,913. The S&P 500 rose 15 points, or 1.3%, to 1,254, led by natural-resource stocks and financials. The Nasdaq Composite gained 61 points, or 2.4%, to 2,699.