The Week In Review


January 13, 2012

U.S. stocks opened sharply lower on Friday on reports of coming downgrades of euro-zone nations by rating agency Standard & Poor's and disappointing earnings at JP Morgan. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 98 points to 12,373. The S&P 500 lost 9 points to 1,285. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 17 points to 2,706. Today is a day of profit-taking particularly within the financials. JP Morgan opened down 4% on mixed earning results. All the big banks are trading sharply lower. Bank of America is also down 4%. The homebuilders are also taking it on the chin after a nice run up to start the year. Beazer Homes is down 5% while Pulte Homes is lower by 3%. Metlife is down 5% on a downgrade. Through the first hour the averages pushed lower. The Dow fell over 100 points as every component is trading lower. The Nasdaq declined 30 points. Every sector is trading lower this morning as the buyers seem to be taking the day off. Plenty of upgrades including Google, AT&T, Novellus, Chevron, Johnson Controls, and Stanley Black & Decker yet all six stocks are lower. VMware and UPS are lower by 2% on downgrades. Eastman Kodak is down 24% on bankruptcy concerns. At the end of the first hour the averages pushed lower on rumors of a debt downgrade of France by the Standard and Poor's. Through the morning the averages lifted off the lows as a few stocks including financials improved. Visa and US Bancorp are in the green and for some reason Jefferies is jumping 7%. That's interesting. Two Dow components, Dow Chemical and Caterpillar, are now in the green. In the afternoon the averages slowly recovered on light volume. A few more stocks moved into the green. The fertilizer stocks are performing particularly well. In the last hour the averages improved to their best levels of the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 48 points at 12,422, recovering after falling 150 points. The S&P 500 fell 6 points to 1,289. The Nasdaq Composite lost 14 points to 2,710. For the week, the Dow gained 0.5%, the S&P 500 rose 0.9%, and the Nasdaq rose 1.4%.

January 12, 2012

U .S. stocks opened modestly lower on tepid retail sales in December and comments out of European regarding the risk of increased financial tensions. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 8 points to 12,440. The S&P 500 fell a fraction to 1,292. The Nasdaq Composite inched up a point to 2,711. Most sectors are trading lower including the financials and the tech space. Invesco is one of the few finanicials trading higher on an upgrade. Blackrock was upgraded, but the stock is lower. In the tech space EMC, Ebay, and Google are higher on positive comments. Atmel was upgraded, but the stock is lower. Microsoft received cautious comments, but the stock is now in the green. In the energy space Chevron is down 2% on lowered guidance. The whole oil space is trading lower along with the other energy stocks. Walter Energy is bucking the trend on takeover speculation. The two sectors performing well this morning are the Materials and Industrial space. Dow Chemical is up nearly 3% this morning. For a third straight day the retail space is showing the most volatility. Big 5 Sports is down 15% this morning following dismal guidance last night. Rival, Dicks Sporting Goods, on the other hand, is jumping 9% after raising guidance and issuing a $200 million share buyback. Tractor Supply is jumping 6% after raising guidance last night. But William Sonoma is down 12% after lowering guidance this morning. Wolverine Worldwide is also down after lowering guidance. Sears is lower by 5% after CIT halted loans to the company. Target is modestly higher after issuing a $5 billion share buyback. Through the morning the averages drifted lower. The Dow fell over 50 points while the Nasdaq declined 11 points. Most investors remain on the sidelines. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages slowly recovered. The financials once again are in the lead, a new theme as well. JP Morgan crawled back to the unchanged level ahead of earnings tomorrow morning. Most sectors have improved with only the utilities and the energy space still showing weakness. In the last hour the major averages made it back into the green. A good sign. So far I'm liking 2012. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 21 points at 12,471. The S&P 500 advanced 3 points to 1,295, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 13 points to 2,724.

January 11, 2012

U.S. stocks fell Wednesday, with the S&P 500 retreating from July highs, on concern Europe 's debt problems would curb the global economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 49 points to 12,413. The S&P 500 Index declined 5 points to 1,286. The Nasdaq Composite shed 4 points to 2,698. The major averages were able to rally yesterday thanks to no news out of Europe . However, today negative comments from the credit rating firm Fitch about European has brought the crisis back to the front pages. The financials are once again trading lower. UBS is lower after announcing a shelf offering. Jefferies is lower by 2% even though Oppenheimer made positive comments. Huntington Bancshares and MasterCard are lower on downgrades. MBIA is bucking the trend on positive analyst comments. Homebuilder, Lennar is up 2% even though they missed earnings estimates. The techs opened lower this morning led by Microsoft and cautious comments about PC sales due to the flooding in Thailand . The PC centric stocks are all trading lower. Cree is lower even though the firm received positive analyst comments. That stock can't get out of its' own way. Akamai, Google, and are bucking the trend trading higher on upgrades. For a second straight day, the retail sector is demonstrating a lot of volatility. Urban Outfitters is down 17% as their CEO is stepping down. Supervalu is down 10% after missing estimates. On the plus side, Decker Outdoors and Direct TV are higher on upgrades. Through the first hour the averages remained in the red, but a number of techs and financials are moving into the green. Through the rest of the morning and into the afternoon the averages slowly improved thanks to the techs and financials. The financials are getting a lift in part to the home builder stocks which are trading up 7 to 10%. Not bad. In the last hour the Nasdaq held on to gains as the Dow remained in the red. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 13 points at 12,449. The S&P 500 gained nearly half a point to 1,292. The Nasdaq Composite rose 8 points to 2,710.

January 10, 2012

U.S. stocks opened strongly higher on Tuesday a day after aluminum producer Alcoa reported results that boosted sentiment about earnings ahead. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 108 points to 12,501. Alcoa is modestly higher. The S&P 500 gained 13 points to 1,294. The Nasdaq Composite gained 31 points to 2,708. Strong markets overseas are lending support to the major averages. A rally in Europe means the financials move higher. Suntrust, Comerica, Keycorp, and Capital One are higher on upgrades. The whole regional bank sector also received positive comments. The big banks aren't doing too bad as well. Bank of America is up 3% on news of cost cutting in Asia . Citigroup and Goldman Sachs are higher by 4%. The techs are shooting higher. Intel is making a new 52 week high. Apple is higher once again. Corning is higher on positive analyst comments. The energy space and materials look great. CF Industries and Agrium are higher by 2% on upgrades. Hess is jumping 3%. In fact, most sectors are performing well. Only the retail sector is showing some hiccups. Tractor Supply and Marriott are higher thanks to upgrades. DSW is higher on sales guidance while Lululemon is jumping 14% after raising guidance. The dog of the day goes to Tiffany down 10% after lowering guidance. Through the first hour the averages remained near the highs of the day. Through the morning the Dow remained up triple digits. The Nasdaq remained up 30 points although a couple more stocks fell into the red. Google had a nice bounce on the open, but then sold off. Not a good sign. GE in the Industrial space is one of the few stocks in the red. In the afternoon more of the same. The major averages continued to perform well with the financials in the lead. It's nice to say that. In the last hour the averages drifted off the highs, but held on to a majority of their gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 69 points at 12,462, led by a 5.7% gain in Bank of America. The S&P 500 rose 11 points to 1,292. The Nasdaq Composite added 25 points, or 1%, to 2,702.

January 9, 2012

U.S. stocks started slightly higher Monday, recovering from the prior session's losses, as some pressure came off European debt markets and investors traded cautiously ahead of fourth-quarter earnings reports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 11 points to 12,371, led by a 1.3% gain in Alcoa ahead of earnings tonight. The S&P 500 opened flat at 1,277. The Nasdaq Composite rose 4 points to 2,678. The news out of Europe is not getting any better, but so far our averages are holding in there. The analysts are in a good mood this morning with plenty of upgrades. In the tech space the chips look good thanks to plenty of upgrades. Broadcom is up 3%, Fairchild Semi is up 4%, while Intel is up a percent. Arm Holding was downgraded, but the stock is higher. Apple is up a percent to a new 52 week high on an upgrade from Goldman Sachs. Google is one of the few techs under pressure following disappointing earnings from their acquirer, Motorola Mobility. Speaking of Goldman Sachs, the financials are showing a little life once again. FBR made positive comments on the sector. The multi-national banks are all up over a percent. The insurance stocks are also performing well. Travelers, Metllife, and Hartford are higher on upgrades. Aflac is down 2% on a downgrade. The energy and material sector are performing well this morning. Monsanto is up 2% on an upgrade. The consumer discretionary and healthcare sectors are under pressure this morning. Bristol Myers is down a percent after announcing a $2.5 billion acquisition. Merck is lower on a downgrade. Highflyer, MAKO Surgical is surging 8% on positive sales guidance. Through the first hour the averages improved only to settle back down around the unchanged level. Through the morning the averages moved sideways. A quiet start to the New Year. In the afternoon the averages limped along modestly in the green, improving a little bit in the last hour. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 32 points at 12,392, led by a 2.9% rise in Alcoa. The S&P 500 finished up 2 points at 1,280. The Nasdaq Composite added 2 points to 2,676.