The Week In Review


May 18, 2012
U.S. stocks opened with limited gains Friday as the market attempted to bounce back from its week of losses, with shares of Facebook to begin trading on the Nasdaq in about an hour. The Dow industrials rose 7 points to 12,449. The S&P 500 added 2 points to 1,306. The Nasdaq Composite fell 5 points to 2,808. The hype over Facebook is overshadowing an ugly close yesterday that pushed down the major averages to four month lows. The Asian markets dropped dramatically last night, but the European markets held in there allowing our averages to open flat. The news is quite ahead of the Facebook IPO. On the earnings front the techs look good. is jumping 10% on earnings. Marvell, Intuit, and Applied Materials are also higher on earnings. Marvell, not to be confused with Marvel, is initiating a dividend and raising their share buyback. Apple is finally catching a bid. Google is higher as well. The dog in the tech space is Autodesk down 15% following disappointing earnings. The financials are floundering as JP Morgan's blunder continues to get worse. The stock is down a percent this morning. Donaldson is higher by 2% following earnings. Morgan Stanley is higher on an upgrade. In the retail space, Foot Locker is jumping 10% on earnings. Gamestop is jumping even though the stock was downgraded. The energy and materials are trying to bounce with limited success. The defensive space like telecom and utilities are catching a bid. Following yesterday, investors are very wary. Through the first hour the averages held on to modest gains. The financials are the worst performing sector so far this morning. Everyone is awaiting Facebook which finally came public around 11:30am. The stock opened much lower than expectations around $42 a share. The stock proceeded to decline falling all the way back to the IPO price of $38 a share. All eyes seem to be on Facebook as the ticker for everything else has slowed. Luckily for new shareholders, Facebook's stock held bouncing off the $38 a share level. During the lunch hour, Facebook's stock moved back above $40 a share as trading for the broader market went back to normal. As the afternoon progressed the averages moved lower once again. In the last hour the selling accelerated including Facebook which moved back toward the IPO price of $38 a share. Here we go again. U.S. stocks declined Friday, with the Dow and S&P falling for a third week, on concerns about Europe's debt troubles and prospects for global growth. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 73 points to 12,369. The S&P 500 Index fell 9 points to 1,295. The Nasdaq Composite shed 34 points, or 1.2%, to 2,778.

May 17, 2012
U.S. stocks quickly erased opening gains Thursday as better-than-expected results from Wal-Mart Stores and others failed to assuage investors worried about the ongoing crisis in Europe. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 18 points to 12,579. The S&P 500 Index shed nearly 2 points to 1,322. The Nasdaq Composite declined 5 points to 2,868. Investors are getting very cautious among the markets. Very few bulls left. One sector that continues to hold up is technology. Google keeps pushing higher up another half a percent today while Apple can't seem to catch a bid. is jumping 7% on earnings. Dell is higher on an upgrade while Chinese firm, Dangdang is down 9% on earnings. The retail space is also holding up well. Walmart is the diamond in the Dow up 4% on earnings. Buckle is jumping 6% on earnings while Children's Place is higher by 4% on earnings. Sears is higher by 10% on earnings although Sears is a very volatile stock. To the downside, Dollar Tree, Gamestop, and Advance Auto Parts are all lower by more than 4%. Tiffany upped their dividend, but the stock is modestly lower. Outside the techs and retail, the other sectors are succumbing to selling pressure. Financials had held up well of late, but are selling off since the JP Morgan bad hedge fiasco. JP Morgan is down another 3% as their trading lower grows. Visa is lower on a downgrade. The materials and industrials keep going lower. Caterpillar is down 2% after disclosing their dealer stats. Deere is down another 2% today following earnings yesterday. After the first half an hour, a weak manufacturing number sent the averages lower. The Dow dropped 79 points while the Nasdaq declined 23 points before rebounding. The volatility is back. Through the morning into the afternoon the averages remain in the red. The Nasdaq is weak thanks to a 2% drop in Apple. The Dow is getting hit by a number of industrials like Caterpillar, Boeing, and United Technologies. Surprisingly, the energy stocks have been holding up today. Gold is performing well as well. In the last hour the averages accelerated to the downside. The bulls are in hiding. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished lower for an 11th out of 12 sessions, declining156 points, or 1.2%, to 12,442. The S&P 500 shed 19 points, or 1.5% to 1,304, a four-month low. The Nasdaq Composite fell 60 points, or 2.1%, to 2,813.

May 16, 2012
U.S. stocks began with modest gains Wednesday after economic reports yielded better-than-anticipated results on U.S. industrial production and the housing industry. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 37 points to 12,669. The S&P 500 climbed 5 points to 1,336. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 9 points to 2,903. Weakness overseas, particularly in Asia doesn't seem to be hurting our markets this morning. The weakest sectors energy, materials, and industrials are finally getting a bid. GE is jumping 3% thanks to news GE Capital will start paying a dividend to their parent company once again. The oils look good this remaining along with the other commodity stocks. Patriot Coal is bucking the trend, down 2% on another downgrade. Rivals, Alpha Natural Resources and Peabody Energy are higher. SandRidge is higher by 7% on an upgrade. One industrial, Deere reported better than expected earnings, but the stock is lower this morning. The financials look good this morning. GE is not only helping the industrials, but also the financials and the Dow. AFLAC is higher on an upgrade. The techs opened higher, but are succumbing to profit-taking. Google is the stand out up 3%. Plenty of hedge fund managers have taken stakes in the tech titan in the last quarter. Ironically, Apple, IBM, Intel, and Microsoft opened higher, but then sold off. is lower ahead of earnings tomorrow. The retail space is once again mixed. Fossil, Xylem, Pepsi, TJX, and Ross Stores are higher on upgrades. Chicos is higher by 4% on earnings. Target is higher by 2% on earnings. Talbots is jumping 5% as they draw closer to a takeover from a private equity firm. GM is up 5% as Berkshire Hathaway buys into the auto company. On the downside, Abercrombie & Fitch is dropping 11% following earnings, but JC Penney is the dog of the day down 14% after cutting their dividend and lowering guidance. Through the first hour the averages gave up most of the gains only to rebound. By the end of the first hour the Dow rose 90 points while the Nasdaq improved by 17 points. We're getting the rally today we expected yesterday. After the first hour the averages gave up most of the gains only to rebound once again. The volatility is creeping back into the markets once again. Through the lunch hour into the afternoon the averages dipped a couple more times, fighting to stay in the green. Google is helping lift the Nasdaq while GE, P&G, IBM, and Merck are leading the Dow. At 2 o'clock, the release of the Fed minutes sent the averages higher thanks to dovish comments about QE3. Although the rebound did not last. In the last hour the Nasdaq fell into the red as Apple pushed lower. The telecom, financials, material space pushed the Dow lower. At a conference today, short specialist David Einhorn mentioned he was questioning the growth of Dicks and Martin Marietta. Both stocks dropped over 4% on those comments. Down for a 10th out of the last 11 sessions, the Dow Industrials fell 33 points to 12,598, its lowest close since January. The S&P 500 Index declined 5 points to 1,324. The Nasdaq Composite shed 19 points to 2,874.

May 15, 2012
U.S. stocks struggled into positive terrain after a wobbly start on Tuesday after a gauge of manufacturing in the New York region rebounded in May, but investors also contended with reports of another breakdown in attempts to form a coalition government in Greece. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 11 points to 12,706. The S&P 500 climbed a point to 1,339. The Nasdaq Composite rose 6 points to 2,908. A premarket rally has lost a lot of its' sizzle as the US dollar keeps pushing higher verse the Euro and other currencies. A number of earnings reports out this morning. Groupon is jumping 20% on better than expected earnings. The techs in general are performing well. Juniper, Amazon, Marvell, and Akamai are higher on upgrades. Google and Apple are performing well. Applied Materials is lower on a downgrade. In the retail space the earnings are mixed. TJX and Dicks are jumping 7% on earnings, but the rest of the earnings are coming in light. Home Depot is down 3% on in line earnings although the stock has performed well this year. Valspar is lower by 3% even as they beat estimates. Lowes and Sherwin Williams are lower in sympathy. Saks is down 5% on in line earnings while Artic Cat is down 16% on earnings. I guess no one is buying snowmobiles this summer. The energy space continues to struggle. Patriot Coal is down 6% after revising sales numbers. In the oil space Total, Philips 66, and Silver Wheaton were all upgraded. Philips 66 is jumping 2% on earnings. Through the first hour the averages improved a little with the Dow rising 40 points and the Nasdaq improving by 17 points. The financials are modestly higher as a number of hedge funds disclosed increased positions in a number of banks. Bank of America is jumping 2% on news David Tepper initiated a new position. Hartford Financials is up a percent as John Paulson disclosed an 8% stake. Through the morning the averages remained in the green, but by the afternoon the averages gave up most of the gains. The Dow fell to the unchanged level due to weakness in energy, materials, and some industrials. The Nasdaq and the techs are holding up much better. In the last hour the averages spiked lower as the Euro dropped and the US dollar rallied on concerning news out of Greece. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 63 points at 12,632. The Nasdaq Composite shed 8 points to 2,893. The S&P 500 declined 7 points to 1330.

May 14, 2012
U.S. stocks opened sharply lower Monday as investors worried about Greece's potential exit from the euro zone and rising Spanish and Italian bond yields. "The cost of insuring against a Spanish default is now more expensive than for Hungary," emailed Peter Boockvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 101 points to 12,719. The S&P 500 Index lost 12 points to 1,341. The Nasdaq Composite retreated 24 points to 2,090. Very little corporate news so investors are focused on Europe. The Asian markets aren't doing much better. China cut rates over the weekend which is long term bullish, but short term emphasizes the fact that global economies are slowly down. A good barometer for the slowing economies is the weakness in the energy , materials, and industrial space. The price of commodities keep pushing lower. Silver Wheaton is down 5% on earnings. Arch Coal down 45% for the year, but is modestly higher this morning on an upgrade. Louisiana Pacific was upgraded as well, but is trading lower. Chesapeake Energy is higher by 6% after acquiring a $3 billion unsecured loan. The financials keep pushing lower following news last week of JP Morgan's $2 billion fiasco. Allstate is unchanged on an upgrade. The European banks are all trading down 2% to 3%. The techs seem to be holding up better than most sectors. Cisco Systems is higher after getting hit last week. Netsuite is higher by 4% on an upgrade. Google and Apple are modestly lower. Symantec is down 2% on a downgrade. In the retail space the diamond so far is Golfsmith up 28% after agreeing to be bought out this weekend. Avon is higher by 5% due to comments they will consider a takeover offer. Dicks is lower on an upgrade. Disney's Avenger movie had another blockbuster weekend, but the stock is modestly lower. Through the first hour the averages remained weak trading right around support levels. The Dow fell as much as 150 points while the Nasdaq declined 30 points before recovering later in the morning. In the afternoon the Dow recovered half of its losses with strength in the healthcare and utility space. The transports are also performing well. The Nasdaq is recovering led by Google, Cisco, and Yahoo. Yahoo is higher on news their CEO is stepping down opening the door to more speculation of a takeover. Coming later this week, Facebook will be coming public. In the last hour the averages moved back toward the lows as the US dollar rose once again. I guess the bulls are in hibernation. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 125 points, or 1%, to 12,695, the eighth drop in nine sessions and the lowest close since Jan. 31. The S&P 500 fell 15 points, or 1.1%, to 1,338, the lowest since Feb. 2. The Nasdaq Composite fell 31 points, or 1.1%, to 2,902.