The Week In Review


December 30, 2011

U.S. stocks began the final trading day of the year mildly lower with Europe's troubles in view. Ahead of Friday's opening bell, Spain's new government unveiled austerity measures and said it expects a 2011 budget gap of nearly 8%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 12 points to 12,274. The S&P 500 shed nearly a point to 1,262. The Nasdaq Composite fell almost 2 points to 2,612. A quiet end to one of the most volatile years in history. The news wires are stagnate this morning. Airline company, AMR is down 28% on news they will be delisted from the NYSE Exchange. Little surprise there except for the timing. The other transports like the rails look much better. The financials are lower which seems appropriate since they were the worse performing sector this year. Most sectors are flat to slightly lower. The Material sector is acting the best so far this morning. Within the sector, Freeport McMoran and Hess are trading higher by a percent. The techs opened lower except for Google. Google is up a half a percent just under it's' 52 week high thanks to an upgrade from an analyst at RW Baird with a whopping $760 price target. The rest of the techs perked up after the open. Through the first hour the averages improved along with most sectors except for the financials. Through the morning the Dow fell back into the red while the Nasdaq held up. In the afternoon the sellers stepped up pushing the Dow lower. The S&P 500 is moving back to the unchanged level for the year and some say the market isn't manipulated. In the last hour the averages drifted lower closing on the lows. The Dow industrials finished down 69 points at 12,217, leaving it up 5.5% for 2011, its second straight annual advance. The S&P 500 shed 4 points to end the day at 1,257.60, just slightly below its 2010 closing level of 1,257.64. The Nasdaq Composite fell 8 points to 2,605, leaving it down 1.8% from its 2010 closing level. Crazy year.

December 29, 2011

U.S. stocks opened higher Thursday, recovering some of the prior day's losses, thanks to a dip in Italian borrowing costs at a debt auction and U.S. jobless claims came in at 381,000, up from 366,000 the prior week. After dropping 139 points on Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 54 points to 12,205. The only Dow component trading lower is United Technology on a downgrade. The S&P 500 Index rose 5 points to 1,254. The Nasdaq Composite gained 6 points to 2,596. The markets are following the recent pattern of selling off one day only to recover the next day as the bad news subsides. Most stocks and sectors are trading higher including the financials. The government is conducting another stress test on the big banks with results coming out in a couple weeks. First Niagara is up 2% on an upgrade. The commodity sector continues to limp into the year end. Gold keeps moving lower wiping out a lot its' gains for the year. The retail sector remains fixed. The disappointing guidance from Sears the other day has shaken the sector. Amazon remains weak trading down 3% this morning on cautious comments from Goldman. Goldman has made a lot of cautious comments about the market fundamentals and the world economies. That's not a good sign for the first half of the year. Fossil is down 2% on a downgrade this morning. Through the first hour the Dow rose 70 points. The Nasdaq inched up 5 points as Google and Apple traded into the red. Every sector remains in the green. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages crept higher. The Dow rose over 100 points. The Nasdaq rose 18 points as Amazon, Google, and Apple have turned around. In the last hour the Dow recovered all of the losses from yesterday. Funny how that happens. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 135 points, or 1.1%, at 12,287, leaving the blue chips up 6.1% since the end of 2010. The S&P 500 advanced 13 points, or 1.1%, to 1,263, back in the black for the year. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 23 points to end at 2,613, still in the red for the year.

December 28, 2011

U.S. stocks opened mildly lower Wednesday as the end of year draws to a close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 19 points to 12,271. The S&P 500 Index shed 3 points to 1,262. The Nasdaq Composite declined 10 points to 2,615. Shortly after the open, the Euro sold off pushing the averages lower. Italy had a successful shorter-term maturity auction this morning, but awaits a longer-dated debt offering tomorrow. Light volume could push the averages around pretty easily. Yesterday's dog of the day, Sears is down once again this morning following a downgrade from Goldman Sachs. Whirlpool is higher this morning after getting dragged down yesterday on the disappointing sales number out of Sears. Dunken Brands and Valspar are higher on upgrades. The consumer staples sector is higher this morning as investors blindly pile more money into what has worked. The tech sector is lower for the most part except for Apple and Google. Google actually made a new 52 week high this morning. A small networking firm, Cavium Networks is lower after reducing guidance, but it looks like investors were expecting the bad news. The chip stocks are also lower. Broadcom received positive comments, however the stock is lower. The commodity and energy space is lower. Kodiak Oil & Gas is down 4% on a downgrade. Positive comments on Noble Energy is not helping that stock. Rare earth stocks have certainly lost their luster. Molycorp is down 10% on a downgrade. Through the morning the averages kept pushing lower with the Dow falling over 100 points while the Nasdaq dropped 30 points. Not many stocks are left in the green. The financials are lower once again. No support for the banks into year end. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages remained weak near the lows of the day. All the volatility occurs in the first and last hour. However today's last hour only brought more selling. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 139 points, or 1.1%, at 12,151. The S&P 500 lost 15 points, or 1.3%, to end at 1,249, now down for the year. The Nasdaq Composite shed 35 points, or 1.3%, to 2,589, down 2.4% for 2011.

December 27, 2011

A quiet start to the last week of the year following the extended holiday weekend. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 19 points to 12,274. The S&P 500 Index dropped 2 points to 1,262. The Nasdaq Composite shed 7 points to 2,611. The averages are set to close pretty much flat for one of the most volatile years in history. "The market remains undervalued on a historical basis, which offers support to the downside, but does little to initiate inspiration to the upside," said Marc Pado, U.S. market strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald. The stock and sectors that have performed well all year continue to perform well. Healthcare, utilities, and consumer staples look good. In fact, virtually all the top stocks in each sector are hitting new 52 week highs this morning. Mead Johnson Nutrition is jumping 5% on optimism the company will be able to sell their popular kids Enfamil formula once again following an exhausting safety review. The techs are perking up with Apple and Google trading close to their 52 week highs. VMware is up 3% on an upgrade. and KLA-Tencor are also higher on upgrades. The financials remain the weakest sector. All the big banks are lower. Visa and MasterCard are two financials trading higher. Goldman upped estimates for Visa. MetLife is up a percent as they decided to sell off their retail deposit business to GE Capital. MetLife desperately wants to get out from under the banking regulations. A few blow ups in the retail space this morning. Whirlpool is down 6% on a downgrade. Sears is the dog of the day down 20% following disappointing same store sales and the admission they will close 100-120 Kmart and Sears stores. Not a good sign. Through the morning the averages snuck into the green. Through the morning and afternoon the averages moved sideways on light volume. Pretty boring day as we limped into the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 2 points to close at 12291. The S&P 500 added a penny to close at 1,265 while the Nasdaq Composite tacked on 6 points to close at 2,625.

December 26, 2011

Closed for the Holidays.