The Week In Review


April 6, 2012

Closed for Good Friday although the March employment data wasn't good to the economy. U.S. stock futures turned sharply lower on Friday, while Treasury prices surged after data showed a much smaller-than-expected growth in U.S. nonfarm payrolls in March. The U.S. economy added 120,000 jobs in March, the smallest increase in five months, the government reported Friday.

April 5, 2012

U.S. stocks opened lower Thursday, following yesterdays declines which included the worst session of the year for the Nasdaq. The fall came as a decline in Spanish bond yields furthered worries about Europe's ability to stem its debt crisis. China was the lone stand out this morning, rallying nearly 2% following their better than expected PMI number earlier in the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 59 points to 13,015. The S&P 500 shed 5 points to 1,393. The Nasdaq Composite lost 6 points to 3,061. Limited news to end this abbreviated week. The retail sector is in the news reporting same store sales however, most stocks are muted after a nice run up. TJX is up 3% on their sales report. Ross Stores and Gap are also modestly higher. Macys is modestly lower. Panera Bread is higher on an upgrade. CarMax is down 2% on earnings. Pier 1 is unchanged on earnings. Ruby Tuesday is down 12% on earnings while Bed Bath & Beyond is the diamond of the day up 8% on strong earnings.The financials are modestly lower. Visa, MasterCard, and Western Union are bucking the trend up a percent on upgrades. The techs are under pressure as well. Even Apple can't seem to get going. Telecom equipment maker, Polycom is the dog of the day down 18% after lowering guidance. Through the first hour the averages firmed up led by the material and energy sectors. However, the rally is muted. After the first hour the Dow remained down, but by just 20 points. The Nasdaq is only down a point. Tomorrow is the monthly unemployment number however the market is closed until Monday. Goldman Sachs raised their estimate for new jobs to 200,000 ahead of the news. Through the morning the averages crept into the green in a slow motion rally. Nothing is really standing out although Apple is perking up. Shocker. In the afternoon the Dow dipped back in the red along with the energy and material sectors. Apple is keeping the Nasdaq in the green. Through the afternoon the Dow clawed back to the unchanged level while the Nasdaq thanks to Apple held strong. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 14 points at 13,060, down 1.2% on the week. The S&P 500 Index lost nearly a point to close at 1,398, leaving it off 0.7% for the week. The Nasdaq Composite rose 12 points to 3,080, with the index posting a 0.4% loss for the week.

April 4, 2012

U.S. stocks opened with steep declines Wednesday after another upbeat report on the American labor market failed to curb concerns about Europe, highlighted by a disappointing Spanish bond auction. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 121 points to 13,077. The S&P 500 declined 11 points to 1,401. The Nasdaq Composite shed 29 points to 3,084. The financials in Europe are under pressure as are the U.S. financials. Blackstone was upgraded, but the stock is lower. GE is lower after having their debt downgraded. AIG is bucking the trend on an upgrade. The tech space is under pressure as well. Sandisk is down 9% after lowering guidance. The whole chip space is trading lower. Even Apple is lower as I haven't seen an upgrade yet this morning. Amazing. IBM is lower on a downgrade. EMC, Qualcomm, Tibco Software, and Seagate were upgraded, but are both lower. Akamai is higher on an upgrade. In the retail space plenty of upgraded for the likes of Gap, Starbucks, Tiffany, Red Robin, and Dicks, but the results are mixed. Bed Bath & Beyond is lower ahead of earnings tonight. Under Armour is lower on a downgrade. Through the first hour the averages remained weak with only a few consumer staples trading higher. Philip Morris is up a percent at an all time high. In the afternoon the averages tried to rebound with limited success. The financials are getting weaker. In the last hour the averages put in a nice rebound into the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 124 points, or 1%, at 13,074. The S&P 500 lost 14 points, or 1%, to 1,398. The Nasdaq Composite shed 45 points, or 1.5%, to 3,068, capping its worst session so far in 2012.

April 3, 2012

U.S. stocks began mostly lower on Tuesday ahead of a Commerce Department report on factory orders in February and the Fed comments out this afternoon. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 12 points to 13,251. The S&P 500 Index dipped 2 points to 1,417. The Nasdaq Composite gained 5 points to 3,124. A quiet start to the day with limited news. We'll start will Apple as we could every day. A couple upgrades with a second price target of $1000 has the stock trading at another new all time high. IBM is also trading at a new high. The other techs are quiet. F5 Networks is higher on an upgrade. Google was upgraded and Qualcomm hiked their dividend, but both stocks are modestly lower. Netflix is lower on a downgrade. The financials are all modestly lower. Fifth Third is modestly higher on an upgrade. US Bancorp is lower on a downgrade. The Royal Bank of Canada is taking a hit on news of an investigation into improper trading. The energy, utilities, consumer staples, and material sectors are all lower this morning. Utility firm, Dominion lowered guidance due to the warm winter, but the stock is only modestly lower. Another defensive stock, Philip Morris is lower on a downgrade. Schlumberger is higher on an upgrade. In the retail space Ford reported strong March sales, but the stock is barley higher. GM is down 4% after reporting their numbers. Autozone is up 2% on an upgrade. Urban Outfitter is up 4% after raising guidance in an 8-K. Best Buy is higher even though it was downgraded. Coke is modestly lower on a downgrade. Through the first hour the averages held up with the Nasdaq moving into the green thanks to Apple. The Dow is only modestly in the red. Heading into the lunch hour the averages drifted lower. Consumer Discretionary is holding up, but most sectors are falling further into the red. At 2 o'clock, the Fed minutes were released implying there would be no further Fed easing. The US dollar rose causing the averages to sell off. The Dow fell as much as 130 points before rebounding. The Nasdaq fell 30 points before rebounding. In the last hour the averages recovered a lot of the losses. One stock not selling off is Apple. Amazing stock. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 64 points to 13,199. The S&P 500 Index lost 5 points to 1,413. The Nasdaq Composite fell 6 points to 3,113.

April 2, 2012

U.S. stocks opened mildly lower on Monday, the first trading day of the second quarter, after capping a stellar start to the year that has the S&P 500 up 12% for the first three months. The benchmark indexes took a cautious stance ahead of the Institute for Supply Management's factory index and a separate report on construction spending. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 53 points to 13,156. The S&P 500 fell 3 points to 1,404. The Nasdaq Composite declined 11 points to 3,080. A quiet day to start the second quarter. Better than expected manufacturing numbers out of China over the weekend seems to be helping the industrials, materials, and the energy space. Rio Tinto is higher on an upgrade. Rare earth stock, Molycorp is higher by 4% on analyst comments and take over chatter. The financials and techs are modestly lower for now. Hartford is higher on positive comments. Apple received another new upgrade with a new price target of $1001. Not bad. The chips are modestly lower. Texas Instruments is lower on a downgrade. Qualcomm was upgraded, but the stock is modestly lower. In the retail space Gap and Kohls are higher on upgrades, but Sherwin Williams is lower on a downgrade. Through the first hour the Nasdaq moved into the green along with the techs led by Apple. The Dow is moving back toward the unchanged level. The diamond of the day so far goes to Avon Products up 19% on a buy out offer. Groupon is down 11% after lowering guidance Friday night. Through the morning the Nasdaq remained in the green thanks to Apple. The Dow is hovering around the unchanged level. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages pushed higher. The Dow over 70 points while the Nasdaq improved by 32 points before pulling back in the last hour. Volume wasn't much more than average. More of seller strike today. A real bull market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 52 points to 13,264, with Chevron and International Business Machines contributing the most to the gains. The S&P 500 gained 10 points to 1,418, led by resource and tech stocks. The Nasdaq Composite gained 28 points to 3,119. A great to the new quarter.