The Week In Review
5/21-5/25/12May 25, 2012
U.S. stocks tallied slight losses Friday with Wall Street on shaky ground ahead of consumer-confidence data and on European uncertainty ahead of the long U.S. holiday weekend. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 24 points to 12,505. The S&P 500 Index rose a point to 1,322. The Nasdaq Composite rose 4 points to 2,843. A quiet day ahead of a long weekend. On the earnings front, Frontline and Verifone Systems are lower on disappointing earnings. The diamond today is Tempur-Pedic up 6% on strong April sales. All the mattress stocks are trading higher. In fact, the retail space has been on fire. A better than expected consumer sentiment number out at 10 o'clock verified such results. The broader market continues to struggle. In the tech space Apple and Google are trading lower. NetApp is lower on a downgrade. Salesforce.com, Nviida, EMC, and ARM Holdings are modestly higher on upgrades. The financials are quiet this morning. JP Morgan is the weakest big banks. Not a great number of weeks for the tarnished bank. Materials and industrials are the weakest sectors. Energy is trying to hold up. Agrium is lower on a downgrade. Through the first hour the averages pushed lower on weakness in the Euro. All eyes are on Europe. All the major averages over there are down over 10% with the Spanish Index down 25%, Italy's down 21%, Portugal down 17%, and the Greek Index is down 38% since February and down 80% in the last three years. Not good. Through the morning the averages remained stuck in the red, but not by much. On light volume days the averages move with the currencies. When the Euro drops and the US Dollar rises, the major averages decline. Expect more of this in the future. In the afternoon the averages remained in the red. IBM, Google, and Apple are particularly weak. Industrials, materials, and transports remain weak as well. In the last hour the averages pushed lower with the Dow falling over 100 points only to recover into the close. Short covering? The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 74 points at 12,454, leaving it 0.7% higher for the week, the first up week for May. The S&P 500 lost 2 points to 1,317, giving it a 1.7% rise from the week-ago close. The Nasdaq Composite shed a point to 2,837, but rallying 1.7% on the week.
May 24, 2012
U.S. stocks edged mostly lower Thursday, with Hewlett-Packard rallying a day after the personal-computer company said it would cut about 8% of its workforce over the next couple of years. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 19 points to 12,476. The S&P 500 Index fell a fraction to 1,318. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 10 points to 2,840. A quiet day following a nice turnaround yesterday. HP is leading the strength in the Dow, however rival IBM is lower. NetApp is leading the weakness in the Nasdaq down 12% following disappointing earnings. All the networkers and clouding computing stocks are lower. Even Apple and Google are modestly lower. Pandora Media is a diamond jumping 17% on earnings last night. The retail space continues to shine. A clothing conglomerate, PVH is jumping 7% on earnings. Costco is higher on earnings. Walmart made another new 52 week high. Tiffany is a dog in the retail space down 8% on earnings. Heinz is modestly lower on earnings. The materials are up for a second straight day. Dow Chemical is up 3% after winning a $2 billion arbitration case. Industrial, Toro is jumping 5% on earnings. The rest of the industrials and energy space are struggling this morning. Duke Energy is higher on an upgrade while Arch Coal is lower on an upgrade. The more defensive spaces like utilities, consumer staples, and healthcare are performing well. Teva Pharmaceuticals is higher by 2% after reiterating guidance. After the first hour the averages remained stuck near the unchanged level. The financials are under a little bit of pressure. Toronto Dominion is higher by a percent after beating earnings estimates. Eaton Vance is higher on an upgrade. After the first hour the averages put in a bit of a rally only to give it back during the lunch hour. We have a combination of cautious buyers with the Greek issues along with traders taking off ahead of the long weekend. In the afternoon the averages drifted lower only to rebound in the last hour on comments from Italy regarding a Euro bond. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 33 points at 12,529, led by Hewlett-Packard. The S&P 500 rose a point to 1,320. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 10 points to 2,839.
May 23, 2012
U.S. stocks began sharply lower on Wednesday, echoing a slide in equities around the globe, on intensifying concern Greece could exit the euro and as the region's leaders gathered in Brussels. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 87 points to 12,415. The S&P 500 declined 8 points to 1,307. The Nasdaq Composite retreated 26 points to 2,812. The Asia markets held up, but the weakness and uncertainty in Europe is not helping investors over here. A few bright spots include retail and housing. Housing stocks performed well yesterday thanks to better than expected housing numbers. Today, Toll Brothers is up a percent on better than expected earnings. In the retail space Petsmart, Movado Group, Guess, and Hormel are higher on earnings. Petsmart is jumping 10%. Cracker Barrel, Big Lots, Starbucks, and Aeropostale are higher on upgrades. American Eagle and Big Lots are unchanged on earnings. Activision Blizzard is up 2% thanks to strong video games sales. Walmart is higher at a 12 year high. Wow. Nike and Best Buy are lower on cautious comments. Outside housing and retail, the broader market is ugly. In the tech space, Dell is down 17% on disappointing earnings. That's hurting the rest of the PC chain. Analog Devices and NetApp are down 2% on earnings. Even Apple is lower as one analyst downgraded its' price target. The financials are getting hit due to the European weakness. The European banks are all lower, most by 2% or more. Eaton Vance is down 2% after missing earnings. MetLife is down 3% on a federal investigation into their mortgage business. Blackrock and Blackstone are lower this morning. The energy, materials, and industrials are all getting hit. Through the morning the averages pushed lower with the Dow dropping over 150 points and the Nasdaq declining over 40 points. It's all about Europe and the European leaders' meeting tonight. In the afternoon the averages started to battle back. Apple and Google look good. Even Facebook is higher for once. Ford and GM are higher on debt upgrades. Heading into the last hour the Dow had recovered over 100 points. The financials have improved dramatically. A number of materials, energy, and industrials are moving into the green. An impressive turnaround, but it feels more like short covering and not real buying. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down just 6 points at 12,496, after falling as much as 191 points. The S&P 500 Index gained 2 points to 1,318. The Nasdaq Composite rose 11 points to 2,850.
May 22, 2012
U.S. stocks held near steady Tuesday after opening slightly higher on thinking China and Europe might move to stimulate global economic growth. The Dow Jones Industrial Average erased gains to fall 15 points to 12,489. The S&P 500 added more than a point to 1,317. The Nasdaq Composite fell a point to 2,845. Initial weakness didn't last. Better than expected housing numbers sent the averages higher. The financials for once are performing well. JP Morgan is up 6% as executives go in front of Congress today to explain their trading plunder. Visa is up 2% on an upgrade. PNC is higher as well on an upgrade. Blackstone is jumping 4% as they agree to acquire Motel 6 from a French investment company. Moody's is up 2% even though they were downgraded. In the retail sector things are mixed. DSW is jumping 10% on earnings while Express is down 25% on earnings. William Sonoma, AutoZone, Urban Outfitter, and Polo are higher following earnings. Cracker Barrel is lower on earnings. Best Buy is higher after reaffirming earnings. Gap and Aeropostale are higher on upgrades. After the first hour the averages remained strong with the Dow up 60 points. Walmart is at a new 52 week high while AT&T and Verizon trade just under their all-time highs. The Nasdaq rising 15 points. Most sectors are performing well. Techs are lagging following the Nasdaq's best one day rally yesterday. Facebook is down another 3% today. Intel, IBM, Google, and Microsoft are modestly lower while Apple is up another 1% following yesterday's 5% rally. Apple is back. During the lunch hour the averages dipped led by materials and the energy space. The dog of the day goes to Patriot Coal down now 45% on concerns of a pending bankruptcy. Patriot Coal is dragging down all the coal stocks. After the lunch hour the averages bounced back although the Nasdaq is only up 6 points. Google is down 2% on rumors of improper business practices. The energy and materials remain weak. In the last hour, the former Greek Prime Minister made comments that Greece leaving the Euro is a real possibility. That caused the Euro to sell off, the US dollar jumped and the major averages did a 180. The Nasdaq was first to push into the red as even Apple sold off. The Dow went from up 50 to down 50 points in less than an hour. All because of a change in the currency. The Dow Jones Industrial Average recovered into the close finishing down 2 points to close at 12,502. The S&P 500 inched up a point to 1,316. The Nasdaq Composite declined 8 points to 2,839.
May 21, 2012
U.S. stocks started mildly higher on Monday, with Wall Street attempting to bounce back from the worst week of the year. The Dow industrials rose 40 points to 12,409. The S&P 500 Index added 5 points to 1,300. The Nasdaq Composite rose 11 points to 2,790. The broader market looks good except for Facebook. Facebook opened down 10% well below the IPO price of $38 a share. The other techs are performing much better. Facebook's loss is Apple's gain. Apple is trading up 3% this morning. Google also looks good. Yahoo is modestly higher after agreeing to sell half their stake in Alibaba.com. The three weakest sectors of late energy, industrials, and materials all look great today. Hess and Newmont Mining are higher by 2% on positive Barron's articles. The diamond of the day is Cooper Industries jumping 26% after agreeing to be bought out by Eaton for $11.8 billion. Boeing is higher by 2% on an upgrade. Caterpillar is higher by 3%. The financials are performing well outside JP Morgan. JP Morgan is lower by 2% after announcing they will halt their share buyback, but maintain the dividend. My, how the mighty have fallen. Goldman Sachs is higher on an upgrade. In the retail space, Lowes is down 9% following better than expected earnings, but weak guidance. TJX and Best Buy are lower on downgrades while American Eagle is jumping 10% after cleaning house, dropping their 77kids stores. Through the first hour the averages remained strong up 50 points in the Dow while the Nasdaq rallied 25 points thanks to Apple. Through the morning the averages pushed higher with the Dow jumping 100 points and the Nasdaq improving by 36 points. The defensive utility space is weak. It's a risk on day. In the afternoon more of the same. The Dow dipped a few times only to bounce above the 100 points level entering the last hour. A drop in the US dollar is lending support to the rally. The Nasdaq is up 60 points or 2% thanks to 5% jump in Apple. In the afternoon the averages remained strong, rallying into the close. A nice bounce following last weeks' correction. The Dow Jones Industrial Average broke a six-session losing streak, rallying 135 points, or 1.1%, to 12,504. The S&P 500 had its' best day in two months, rallying 20 points, or 1.6%, to 1,315. The Nasdaq Composite added 68 points, or 2.5%, to 2,857, its best day this year.