The Week In Review


Jan 16, 2009
U.S. stocks are set to bounce on Friday, continuing the prior session's bounce back as investors hope the government's moves to shore up two of the country's biggest banks will work. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 126 points to 8,339. The S&P 500 advanced 14 points to 857. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 19 points to 1,531. Bank of America is modestly higher after receiving $20 billion more in TARP money. The dividend is down to a penny. Citigroup is modestly higher after losing $8.3 billion. Charles Schwab beat by a penny and continues to make money. All the banks opened higher, but soon reversed course. HSBC is lower on a downgrade. JP Morgan and Wells Fargo are in the red. Are they next to receive more TARP money? The insurance stocks are actually performing well. Outside the financials, things look much better. The techs look good. Intel is modestly higher on in-line earnings. The commodities look good. After the first half an hour, the averages remained in the green, but off the highs.
The financials look precarious. Through the morning the averages remained in the green even as more banks like Bank of America, HSBC, JP Morgan, American Express, Barclays, and Wells Fargo move lower. Visa and Mastercard are both down over 5% on downgrades. Entering the lunch hour, the rally started to fizzle. Many commodities have turned lower. A number of the big banks are making new lows. During the lunch hour, all the major averages moved into the red. It's not looking good. Plenty of layoffs. Circuit City will be liquidated with 35,000 employees losing their jobs. Best Buy is up on this news. GE Capital is cutting 11,000 jobs. AMD and Hertz are also cutting jobs. Entering the last hour, the averages were back in the green, but not the financials. In the last hour the averages kept improving. One financial acting better is Barclays. The company came out and said they would beat estimates causing the stock to rally. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 68 points at 8,281, leaving the index down 3.7% for the week. The S&P 500 gained 6 points to 850, leaving the broad market index with a weekly loss of 4.5%. The Nasdaq Composite added 17 points, or 1.2%, to 1,529, but down 2.7% on the week.

Jan 15, 2009
As bad as things are, the news just keeps getting worse. The major averages opened modestly lower. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 5 points to 8,194. The S&P 500 fell 2 points to 840 while the Nasdaq Composite fell fractionally to 1,489. After the open, the selling accelerated to the downside. Citigroup is down 16%, but the biggest concern is with Bank of America down 21%. The Wallstreet Journal wrote an article indicating that Bank of America went to the Treasury in December looking for more TARP money. That's not good. M&T Bank is down 8% on a downgrade. J.P. Morgan Chase opened higher after beating estimates thanks in part to tax benefits from the Washington Mutual merger, but when the market moved lower so did JP Morgan. Government data indicated that foreclosures fell 81% last year. The low interest rates should help, but Fannie and Freddie put out a report indicating 70% of their borrowers don't qualify for loans or refinancing. In the tech sector, Apple is down 5% as Steve Jobs will leave the firm for health reasons. Disney is also lower as Steve Jobs is the largest shareholder of that entertainment company. Autodesk is down 14% after lowering guidance. Google is down 4% as one analyst expects lay-offs, first time in the company's history. One bright spot, a few retailers are higher, but that's about it for the good news. After the first hour the Dow fell 163 points to the 8000 level. S&P is breaking support levels and the Nasdaq is down 30 points. Through the morning the averages remained weak led by the financials. Wells Fargo is selling off, now down 17%. I don't think any big bank is safe. During the lunch hour the Dow dipped below 8000 first time since November. Bank of America is off the lows on news or rumors they're expected to receive another $15 billion in TARP money. The techs and retailers are improving. Entering the last hour, all the major averages moved into the green. The
big banks are still weak. Now the rumor on Bank of America is they will get a Citigroup type bailout which means the dividend will probably go away. Then why do the Merrill Lynch deal? The rally in the Dow didn't last as the big banks went lower once again. Then in the last hour, a US Airway plane crashed into the Hudson River. Hopefully, everyone is safe. The averages did recover into the close.The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 12 points at 8,212. The S&P 500 gained a point to 843, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 22 points to 1,511.

Jan 14, 2009
U.S. stocks opened sharply lower once again, this time due to December retail sales falling twice as much as forecasted. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 142 points to 8,305. The S&P 500 declined 17 points to 854. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 24 points to 1,522. In the retail space, Tiffanys and Under Armour both lowered guidance. Both stocks are down over 6%. Amazon was upgraded, however, the stock is down 4%. The financials are moving straight down once again. Citigroup is down 13%. Barclays is down 13% on rumors of job cuts. HSBC is down 8% after a Morgan Stanley analyst said the firm may have to raise as much as $30 billion in new capital. Deutsche Bank is down 8% after announcing a $6.4 billion loss. Blackrock was upgraded, however, the stock is down 3%. In the tech sector, more downgrades. Intel and AMD were downgraded. Nobody downgraded Nortel today as the company filed for bankruptcy. Analysts believe Yahoo will eventually do a partnership with Microsoft, but the stock is not reacting well. All the commodities are lower. Bunge is down 15% after lowering guidance. Nothing is working. After the first hour, the Dow fell 240 points to new recent lows. The Nasdaq declined 40 points. Through the morning the Dow fell as much as 300 points before rebounding a little. JP Morgan economist put out a note indicating that first quarter GDP will be as bad as the fourth quarter. Ugly market. In the afternoon the averages remained weak. The Dow remained down over 200 points. Citigroup is leading the blue chip average lower by 22%. Monsanto made news by actually raising their dividend. But did the stock do? You guessed it, it went down 3%. In the last hour, the best thing we can say is the averages closed off their lows.

Jan 13, 2009
U.S. stocks headed for a fifth straight session of losses at Tuesday's open, with disappointing earnings from Alcoa and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's warning of further economic weakness. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 33 points to 8,444. Alcoa is down 4% following earnings. The S&P 500 index fell 2 points to 868, while the Nasdaq Composite lost a point to 1,538. The financials, particularly the big banks, remain in focus. Citigroup is down 6% and Bank of America is off 4% on worries of their earnings outlook. Yesterday there were plenty of downgrades and guidance being lowered. Today is no different. In the tech sector, Applied Materials, KLA-Tencor, Nvidia, Amazon, Google, Corning, Adobe, and Lexmark were either downgraded or lowered their guidance. Outside the tech sector, Marathon Oil and Rogers Communication both lowered guidance. Deere is down 50% from its highs within the last year. Today, JP Morgan indicated farm sales may have already peaked. Gee, you think? After the first half an hour the averages started to improve, but not the financials. GE is down 5% on a dowgrade and rumors of a possible debt downgrade. Best Buy is lower after Barrons Online wrote a negative article. After the first hour the Nasdaq and commodities started to improve. The financials remain the weakest sector. Entering the lunch hour the averages nudged into the green. Even the financials are modestly in the green including Citigroup. Citigroup is expected to announce a deal with Morgan Stanley regarding the brokerage division tonight and possibly another restructuring plan. In the afternoon the Dow fell back in the red. Nothing really looks good anymore. Cigna came out and said their capital position remains strong. The stock, however, is down 6%. Entering the last hour the averages battled back to the unchanged level, then sold off, only to rebound once again. Let's see what Citigroup has to say. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 25 points to 8,448. The S&P 500 gained a point to 871, while the Nasdaq Composite climbed 7 points to 1,546.

Jan 12, 2009
U.S. stocks opened lower on Monday as earnings season is about to begin. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 16 points to 8,582. Alcoa is down 6% ahead of their earnings tonight. The S&P 500 declined 3 points to 887. The Nasdaq Composite fell 2 points to 1,568. Ahead of the earnings season, plenty of downgrades and estimate cuts. Pfizer and Harley Davidson were downgraded. Amtech is downgrading virtually all the big cap techs. A few are trading higher including Google, IBM, and Research in Motion. Palm is up 5% on an upgrade. The financials are mostly lower. Citigroup and Morgan Stanley are inching closer to a deal on their brokerage divisions. Citigroup is down 8% while Morgan is up 5%. The U.S. dollar is up causing gold and oil to move lower. Most of the commodities are lower. Aetna reaffirmed numbers, but it isn't helping. Lennar is fighting more rumors of accounting problems. The diamond so far goes to Advance Optics, up 145%. Abbott Labs is buying out the firm for $2.8 billion. After the first half an hour the Dow fell 60 points. The Nasdaq declined 14 points. Through the morning the averages remained weak with more stocks moving into the red. Unitedhealth Group reaffirmed numbers for 2009 expecting to make $3 a share. Good news, right? The stock is down 2%. Tough market. In the afternoon the averages remained weak. The big banks are getting weaker. Investors seem to be getting nervous about possible new regulations being proposed for the big banks coming from the new administration. The insurance stocks are selling off. Metlife is down 8% while Hartford is down 15%. Corning is down 14% on a downgrade. Sony is expected to report a operating loss for the first time in 14 years. Oil closed lower for a fifth straight day. Gold closed at a one month low. Not a lot of good news out there. In the last hour more selling. It's starting to look like the old market from last fall. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 125 points, or 1.5%, to 8,474. The S&P 500 shed 20 points, or 2.3%, to end at 870 while the Nasdaq Composite declined 32 points, or 2.1%, to 1,538.