The Week In Review


February 17, 2012

U.S. stocks opened with marginal gains on Friday on hope Greece would get another round of rescue funds after a meeting of European finance ministers early next week. And U.S. economic data supported the Federal Reserve's view that inflation remains in check. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 28 points to 12,932. The S&P 500 gained 3 points to 1,361. The Nasdaq Composite fell 4 points to 2,955. After such a phenomenal rally yesterday, it may be hard for the major averages to break about 13,000 in the Dow and 3000 in the Nasdaq today. The earnings keep coming in better than expected. In the tech space Applied Materials and are higher thanks to earnings. Apple continues its' bounce from Wednesdays' sell off. Another analyst upgraded the stock with a $570 price target. The chip stocks look good. Arm Holding is higher on an upgrade. Intel broke out to a new 52 week high. Dell is modestly lower on a downgrade. The financials continue to shine. Northstar Realty is higher following earnings. Bank of America is one of few financials lower. The rest of the sectors are mixed. In the retail space K-Swiss, Nordstrom, and General Mills are lower following earnings and or lowered guidance. Heinz, Pilgrim Pride, Finish Line, and Campbell Soup are higher on earnings. The energy space is modestly higher. Chesapeake Energy is jumping 3% on earnings. Suncor is higher thanks to an upgrade. Through the first hour the Dow crept a little higher as the Nasdaq remained in the red. A number of techs have sold off except for Apple. The dog of the day goes to Gilead Sciences down 15% after the biotech company reported disappointing results from a study for its experimental hepatitis C drug. Through the morning into the afternoon more of the same. The Dow held up well as the Nasdaq remained stuck in the red. The price of oil remains stubbornly high at a 9 month high hurting the transports and the transportation average. In the last hour the averages crept higher with the Dow nudging toward 13,000. The Nasdaq still remains struck in the red. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 45 points at 12,949, its highest close since May 19, 2008. The blue chips gained 1.2% on the week. The S&P 500 Index added 3 points to 1,361, a weekly rise of 1.4%. The Nasdaq Composite fell 8 points to 2,951, leaving it 1.7% ahead of last Friday's close.

February 16, 2012

U.S. stocks on Thursday drew an opening lift after jobless claims fell to a near four-year low last week. But the initial rise proved fleeting, with benchmark indexes struggling to remain in positive turf amid ongoing worries about Greece and a Moody's Investors Service warning about global banks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 20 points to 12,801. The S&P 500 Index opened flat at 1,343. The Nasdaq Composite fell almost 2 points to 2,914. First the bad news. The financials are all trading lower on rumors of Moodys will downgrade 17 global banks. In the tech space Apple is down following the reversal yesterday. Nvidia is lower following earnings. The rest of the techs are holding up better. Dell is higher even though it was downgraded. Outside, financials and techs, things are much better. The defensive plays Utilities, Healthcare, and Consumer Staples are all higher. Progress Energy and Duke Energy are higher following earnings. In the retail space the news is good. Polo, Red Robin Gourmet, Advance Auto, Cabelas, GM, Molson Coors, PF Chang, and Hyatt Hotel are all higher on earnings. Advance Auto is jumping 7%. Through the first hour the averages pushed higher. Only the techs, financials, and energy stocks are struggling so far this morning. Cliffs Natural Resources is down 3% following earnings. Through the morning the Dow held up with only Boeing trading modestly lower. The Nasdaq is being held down by Apple's weakness. Heading into the lunch hour the Dow rose over 100 points as the Euro sold off. The Nasdaq rose 25 points even with Apple still in the red. In the afternoon the averages kept pushing higher dragging Apple with it. Very few stocks are in the red. In the last hour the averages held up trading just under or at its' 52 week highs. The Dow Industrials finished up 23 points, or 1%, at 12,904, their best since May 2008 and less than 100 points from 13,000. The Nasdaq rose 44 points, or 1.5%, at 2,959, its best level since December 2000 and about 40 points from 3,000. The S&P 500 Index gained 14 points, or 1.1%, to 1,358.

February 15, 2012

The major averages started mostly higher on Wednesday after better-than-expected economic reports from Europe and the US . The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 22 points to 12,900. The S&P 500 rose 3 points to 1,353 while the Nasdaq Composite rose 11 points to 2,943. The earnings keep coming in better than expected. In the insurance space, MetLife is up 3% following better than expected earnings. Hartford is jumping 5% thanks to hedge fund manager, John Paulson who wants the company to split up. All the financials are higher. Capital One is up 3% following strong monthly data. One REIT, EastGroup Properties is lower on earnings. In the tech space it's all about Apple. The stock is up 3% to another new high. The stock is up over 25% to start the year. Not bad. Ebay, Fusion-IO, and Dell are higher on positive analyst comments. Oracle is lower on a downgrade. Through the first hour the Dow gave up its' gains while the Nasdaq regained in the green thanks to Apple. The Industrial sector is particularly weak following Deere's disappointing earnings. The Utilities are also struggling. In the retail space Bob Evans and Abercrombie & Fitch are jumping over 6% following earnings. Dean Foods is up 13% on earnings while Fossil is lower by 2% on a downgrade. Comcast and Conmed are up over 4% on earnings while Owens Corning is lower by 4% on earnings. Through the morning the Dow remained in the red while the Nasdaq held on to gains. During the lunch hour, Apple and the averages reversed course. Apple gave up its' 3% rally falling into the red dragging the Nasdaq with it. The Apple less Dow dropped 100 points. In the afternoon the averages tried to rally a couple times, but faltered into the close along with Apple. Apple closed on its' lower on heavy volume. Not a good sign. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 97 points at 12,780. The S&P 500 fell 7 points to 1,343. The Nasdaq Composite lost 16 points to 2,915.

February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day. U.S. stocks opened lower Tuesday after a report on U.S. retail sales showed weaker growth than expected. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 26 points to 12,847. The S&P 500 lost 3 points to 1,347. The Nasdaq Composite slid 10 points to 2,921. Even though the averages are lower, the earnings keep coming in better than expected. The financials are all lower except for Fidelity National Information Services which is up 7% on earnings. Bank of America is lower by 3% on earnings. MetLife is lower by 2% ahead of earnings tonight. Annaly is lower on a downgrade. In the retail space Michael Kors, Fossil, and Valspar are all up over 5% on earnings. Apparel company, Michael Kors is actually higher by 24%. The commodities and Materials are taking a hit this morning. Arch Coal is down again, falling 4% on a downgrade. Kodiak Oil and Gas is bucking the trend up 5% on earnings. In the tech space Apple continues to push higher still above $500 a share. Cloud computing firm, Rackspace is jumping 10% on earnings, but the rest of the sector is lower. Google and Applied Materials were both upgraded, but are both lower. Through the first hour the averages remained weak, but not far from the unchanged level. The consumer staples are holding up well. Philip Morris was upgraded, but the stock is modestly lower. The healthcare space is also holding up well. Hospira is jumping 7% on earnings. Heading into the lunch hour the averages improved thanks to the Energy, Utilities, and Consumer Staple sectors. Everything else remains weak. Through the afternoon the averages remained weak with the Dow falling over 80 points before rebounding in the last hour. Positive comments out of Greece brought the averages all the way back to the unchanged level.The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 4 points to 12,878. The S&P 500 dipped a point to 1,350. The Nasdaq Composite gained 4o cents to 2,931.

February 13, 2012

U.S. stocks started higher on Monday after Greece approved austerity measures to ensure funds needed to avoid default. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 65 points to 12,867. The S&P 500 added 8 points to 1,350. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 21 points to 2,925. Every sector is higher to start the week. In the tech space Apple made a milestone hitting $500 a share for the first time making it once again the most valuable US company by market cap. Nvidia, Baidu, AMD, and Micron are higher on upgrades. Cree and NetApp are lower on downgrades. The financials look good except for Visa which is lower on a downgrade. Allstate is higher on an upgrade. In the energy space Devon Energy, Noble Corp, Noble Energy, and ESV are higher on upgrades. Arch Coal is lower by 3% on a downgrade and disappointing earnings last week. Through the first hour the averages slowly gave up some of their gains with more stocks falling into the red. Volume is light. The Dow Jones Transportation Average is higher thanks in part to Ryder trading up 2% on an upgrade. PG, Ingersoll Rand, and Anheuser Busch InBev are also higher on upgrades. Through the morning the averages pulled back only to rebound back to the highs of the day. Apple is back above $500 a share. Amazing move. In the afternoon the averages improved pushing to new highs virtually wiping out last Friday's losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 72 points at 12,874. The S&P 500 gained 9 points to 1,351. The Nasdaq Composite added 27 points, or 1%, to close at 2,931.