The Week In Review


November 18, 2011

U.S. stocks opened mostly higher on Friday after a two-day slide, with investors relieved over falling bond yields in Spain and Italy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 42 points to 11,813. The S&P 500 Index added 2 points to 1,218. The Nasdaq Composite fell 4 points to 2,583. The earnings keep coming in. Marvell looks good up 5% on better than expected earnings. Software developer, Blue Coat is jumping 11% on earnings. Intuit is higher as well following earnings, but is down 8% after disappointing earnings. Seagate and Intel are lower after having their numbers cut due to the Thailand flood while HP is jumping 3% ahead of earnings on Monday. Cree is jumping 3% on an upgrade. In the retail space Foot Locker is higher following earnings. Nike is higher on a dividend hike. McDonalds is higher on positive comments from Barrons. Gap is down 2% following earnings even though they will initiate a share buyback. Heinz is lower following earnings. In the commodity space the materials look good. The fertilizers like Agrium, Potash, and CF Industries are all higher on upgrades and positive comments. Through the first hour the Dow remained in the green, but off the highs. The Nasdaq is in the red. Through the morning the averages rebounded with the Dow rising as much as 80 points only to give up most of the gains once again. A lot of volatility this week with no volume. Scary scenario. The Nasdaq is still in the red. The techs are mixed. The energy stocks are lower, but the defensive positions like utilities and consumer stables look good. In these volatile times, investors want safety and security. Through the afternoon not much changed. Even in the last hour, the averages did not vacillate much. Phillip Morris is the diamond of the day making a new all time high to end the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 25 points to end at 11,796. Despite closing in the black Friday, the Dow posted weekly losses of 2.9%. The S&P declined half a point to 1,215, notching a weekly lose of 3.8%. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite ended 15 points lower at 2,572. On the week, the Nasdaq declined 4%.

November 17, 2011

U.S. stocks opened lower Thursday, extending declines into another day, as worries about European debt again overcame better-than-expected domestic reports on the economy. Data included a drop in jobless claims that had last week's level at a seven-month low. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 43 points to 11,852. The S&P 500 fell 6 points to 1,230. The Nasdaq Composite declined 12 points to 2,626. Technology shares lead declines among the 10 sectors with Apple, Google, Cisco, and Intel all trading lower. Apple was actually downgraded. NetApp is down 10% following earnings. Applied Materials is down 5% following earnings. Autodesk, Fairchild Semi, and Research in Motion were upgraded, but all three are lower. Micron was upgraded, but after a big run up yesterday, the stock is lower. Rambus is up 18% after falling 60% late in the day yesterday. Marvell is down 3% on a downgrade. is one of the few techs that looks good trading up 5%. Things are mixed in the retail sector. Children's Place is jumping 14% on earnings. Hot Topic is jumping 8% on earnings. William Sonoma is higher as well following earnings. However a number of retailers are lower following earnings including Sears, Guess, Buckle, JM Smuckers, Ross Stores, Gamestop, and Dollar Tree. The financials are quiet after getting hit yesterday. Donaldson is lower following earnings. Stifel is up a percent on an upgrade. Citigroup is lower even though Oppenheimer has it as a top pick. Legg Mason is lower as Bill Miller is stepping down as manager from at least one of his funds. In the commodity space, Mosaic is up 2% on an upgrade. Cliffs Natural Resources and the oils look good as well. After the first hour the Dow had battled back to the unchanged level. The Nasdaq remains stuck in the red. Through the morning the averages remained quiet until the lunch hour. During the lunch hour the European bonds spiked once again in Spain and France. The averages here sold off breaking through support causing acceleration to the downside. The Dow dropped nearly 200 points within half an hour. The Nasdaq fell 50 points or 2%. The volatility is back. Phillip Morris remains one of the few stocks still in the green after making a new all time high this morning. Through the afternoon the averages remained weak only recovering into the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 134 points, or 1.1%, to 11,770, with Alcoa dropping 3.5% leading declines in 28 of 30 components. The S&P 500 fell 20 points, or 1.7%, to 1,216. The Nasdaq Composite lost 51 points, or 2%, to 2,587.

November 16, 2011

U.S. stocks began sharply lower Wednesday after the Bank of England said prospects for Europe's economy had worsened. Thanks Europe. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 130 points to 11,965. The S&P 500 Index retreated 11 points to 1,246. The Nasdaq Composite lost 22 points to 2,663. Yesterday's late day sell off continues into today. In the retail sector, Abercrombie & Fitch is getting hit down 10% following disappointing earnings. Walmart traded lower yesterday following disappointing earnings yesterday yet Target is up a percent thanks to better than expected earnings. TJX is lower even though the stock was upgraded. The financials are lower once again. They can't seem to catch a break. KeyCorp is bucking the trend up 2% on an upgrade. The commodities are mixed. The oil refiners like Valero, Tesoro, and others are getting hit down 6% as the spread between West Texas and Brent Crude oil widens. The rest of the oil sector looks good. Hess is trading up a percent. Exxon and Chevron are higher as well. Through the morning the averages slowly improved actually moving into the green led by tech. Intel which broke out yesterday is trading up at a new high again. IBM, Google, Apple, and Microsoft also look good. Research in Motion is higher once again as Goldman Sachs takes their sell rating off the stock. Autodesk looks great up 7% thanks to better than expected earnings. Dell is lower following earnings last night. Into the lunch hour and through the afternoon the averages drifted back into the red on light volume. A lot of investors remain on the sidelines. In the last hour the selling accelerated to the downside with the financials in the lead. Fitch put out cautious words for US Banks and exposure to the European crisis. That's all investors needed to hear as the banks nose dived dragging everything with it. Moodys also put in their 2 cents lowering the rating on 10 German banks and their exposure to the credit crisis. And you wonder why the individual doesn't want to invest in this market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 190 points, or 1.6%, to 11,905. The S&P 500 Index declined 20 points, or 1.7%, to 1,236. The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 46 points, or 1.7%, to 2,639.

November 15, 2011

U.S. stocks opened lower on Tuesday, extending losses into a second day, as rising Spanish yields heightened worry about Europe's ability to stem its debt crisis. The ongoing issues from overseas overshadow better-than-expected reports on the U.S. economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 36 points to 12,042. The S&P 500 Index declined 9 points to 2,648. The Nasdaq Composite retreated 4 points to 1,247. The story remains the same. The averages want to go higher, but the European problems are keeping plenty of investors on the sidelines. The earnings keep coming in. Dicks, TJX, Saks, and Home Depot are trading higher following earnings. Dicks is up 4% after easily beating estimates and also initiating a 50 cent dividend. A number of retailers are trading lower following earnings including Staples, Walmart, and Urban Outfitters. After the open, the averages started to rebound led by the techs. Intel, Google, Apple, and Research in Motion look good. Broadcom and Microstrategy are higher on upgrades. Seagate is lower by 2% on a downgrade. The financials are stuck at the unchanged level as investors will not touch them with all the problems in Europe. At least Visa and Mastercard are trading higher. After the first hour the averages remain in the red with only the techs trading higher. Through the morning, the averages drifted lower as the 10 year bond went back above 10% similar to Wednesday last week. Here we go again. Only a few stocks are left in the green including Intel and Apple. At the start of the lunch hour we saw a spike in the tech shares as CNBC talked up Intel. Intel jumped 2.5% making a new 52 week high dragging the rest of the techs with it. All the big cap techs look good including Research in Motion up 5%. Through the lunch hour the Dow rose 35 points while the Nasdaq rose 14 points. A nice turnaround. Through the afternoon the averages pushed higher led by the techs. The Nasdaq rose 35 points while the Dow rose 60 points. Dell reports earnings after the close. A lot of investors have warmed up to Michael Dell's stock. In the last hour our nice little rally fizzled into the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 17 points at 12,096. The S&P 500 gained 6 points to 1,257. The Nasdaq Composite added 28 points, or 1.1%, to 2,686.

November 14, 2011

U.S. stocks slipped a bit at Monday's start, with the Standard & Poor's 500 retreating after a two-session surge, as Wall Street remained fixated on European efforts to restrain its debt crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 5 points to 12,159. Caterpillar is up a percent this morning on an upgrade from Goldman Sachs. The S&P 500 fell 3 points to 1,260. The Nasdaq Composite declined 3 points to 2,675. A good end to last week's market has some investors taking profits this morning. IBM, however, is lifting the Dow thanks to news from CNBC that Warren Buffett has invested $10 billion into the blue chip since March. Good news for Big Blue shareholders. Other techs are trading higher like Google, Corning, and Research in Motion. Corning was mentioned positively in Barrons. is jumping 4% on an upgrade. Microsoft is modestly lower after having their estimates trimmed at Ticonderoga. The commodities are unchanged this morning. Molycorp is higher after getting hit last week following earnings. The company is out defending their earnings this morning. Petrobras is modestly lower following earnings. Through the first hour the averages held up only to sell back off. The financials are weak following their brethren in European. Bank of America is selling another stake in a Chinese bank to raise cash. Warren Buffett continues to like and buy Wells Fargo, but the stock is lower. Eaton Vance is lower on a downgrade. KKR is higher on a positive article in Barrons. Rival, Blackstone also looks good. On the earnings front, Lowes looks good trading up 3%. JC Penney and Dynegy are lower following earnings. Reynolds America is lower even though the company raised guidance and boosted their share buyback. The cigarette company likes Altria and Phillip Morris are doing great. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages remained weak on light volume. The financials remain the weakest sector as all eyes remain on Europe. Stocks that were strong earlier like IBM are now in the red. In the last hour the averages drifted off the lows on light, light volume. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 74 points at 12,078. The S&P 500 relinquished recently captured year-to-date gains to trade down 12 points, or 1%, at 1,251. Financials led losses shared by all 10 S&P 500 sectors. The Nasdaq Composite fell 21 points, or 0.8%, to 2,657. Quiet day.