The Week In Review


June 1, 2012

U.S. stocks started with more than 1% losses on Friday after a report estimating far lower-than-expected jobs growth in May, following weak Europe and Chinese manufacturing data, added to concerns about global growth. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 142 points, or 1.2%, to 12,256, with all but one component lower. The index is trading nearly flat for the year. The S&P 500 lost 17 points, or 1.3%, to 1,294. All 10 sectors were lower, led by energy. The Nasdaq Composite fell 39 points or 1.4% to 2,787. The economic is getting worse everywhere in the World. The weakness is being felt in every sector. Industrials, financials and energy are getting hit. Surprisingly, a number of materials and commodities are higher. Gold is surging as the commodity becomes a safe haven once again. Gold miner, Newmont Mining is jumping 5%, the best performer by far in the material space. Silver is higher as well. Copper is modestly lower, but Freeport is actually modestly higher. Is the stock oversold? Hopefully. In the tech space Groupon is down 9% as their lockup for insiders has expired. Is this what's next for Facebook? That stock is down 6%. VMware and Ciena were upgraded, but both stocks are lower by 2%. The retail space has held in there, but is lower today. TJX, Lululemon, and Nordstrom are lower on upgrades. Sara Lee is lower even though they are spinning off their International coffee and tea division. The financials are taking a hit. Franklin Resources is lower on a downgrade. Blackrock is lower on an upgrade. The diamond of the day goes to local firm, Beacon Federal up 45% on a takeover from Berkshire Hills Bancorp. Through the first hour the averages pushed lower. Better than expected manufacturing data out at 10 o'clock did little to support the market. Through the morning the averages remained weak with the Dow dropping 200 points and the Nasdaq falling 60 points. Not a lot of good news out there. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages moved sideways near the lows. No bounces today. In the middle of the afternoon oil closed, down 8% for the week. Wow. By late afternoon the averages started moving even lower. In the last hour the Dow almost fell 300 points wiping out all the gains for the year. The Nasdaq is doing even worse down over 70 points. Not many shorts getting covered into the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 274 points, or 2.2%, at 12,118. It's down 2.7% for the week and 0.8% for the year. The S&P 500 lost 32 points, or 2.5%, to 1,278. It's now 10% down from a closing, 52-week high reached April 2. It fell 3% in the past week. The Nasdaq Composite lost 79 points, or 2.8%, to 2,747, down 3.2% for the week.

May 31, 2012
U.S. stocks were steady at Thursday's start, with the benchmark indexes ready to close out May with losses of 6% or more. "We continue to view the equity market as problematic, but not on a cliff facing a huge free fall," noted Fred Dickson, chief investment strategist at Davidson Cos. The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 5 points to 12,428, off 5.9% for the month. The S&P 500 held flat at 1,313 down 6% from the end of April. The Nasdaq Composite fell 3 points to 2,833, leaving it down 7% for May. The news doesn't seem to be getting any better. The GDP and employment data came in disappointing once again. Retail sales came in mixed. Kohls is down 5% on disappointing same store sales. A number of other retailers are lower as well. Nike is lower on news they are selling some non-core brands. TJX is higher by a percent even though they missed guidance. Talbots is up 91% after finally agreeing to be bought out. The weakest sector this morning is industrials following disappointing earnings from Joy Global and lowered guidance. Joy Global's weakness is really hurting rival Caterpillar which is down 4%. The weakness in Cat is hitting the Dow. After the open the Dow dropped 50 points while the Nasdaq declined 30 points. The techs are trying to hold up. SAP and Zynga are higher on upgrades. Ciena is jumping 7% on earnings. Altera, Maxim Integrated, and Analog Devices are modestly lower even though they were upgraded. Facebook is down 3.5% to a new low. The energy and material space are getting hit once again. Cliffs Natural Resources is down 6% on a downgrade. Freeport and Hess are lower by 2%. Only the utilities are modestly higher. After the first hour the averages remained near the lows of the day. Not a good way to end May. By late morning the Dow had dropped 100 points, but soon rebounded on news European Union was looking into shoring up the Spanish banking issues. Joy Global and Caterpillar are experiencing nice rebounds. In the afternoon the averages battled back rallying into the green only to give up the gains once again. In the last hour the averages jumped 70 points only to pull back once again. The volatility is back. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 26 points to 12,393, off 6.2% for May. The S&P 500 Index fell 2 points to 1,310, leaving it down 6.3% for the month. The Nasdaq Composite fell 10 points to 2,827, down 7.2% for the month. May proved the worst in two years for the Dow and Nasdaq.

May 30, 2012
U.S. stocks opened sharply lower on Wednesday on worries of a potential Greek exit from the euro and as Spain's default risk climbed as it attempts to recapitalize its banks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 122 points, or 1%, to 12,457. The S&P 500 shed 14 points, or 1.1%, to 1,317. The Nasdaq Composite declined 37 points, or 1.3%, to 2,833. The current markets move with European news and the Euro. Back here, the good news is limited. The diamond of the day goes to the agricultural company, Monsanto. The stock is up 3% after raising guidance at a conference last night. Monsanto's news doesn't seem to be helping any of their competitors. Coal play, Patriot Coal is down 7% on a downgrade. The rest of the materials are lower. Hess and Freeport McMoran are lower by 3% each. Basically every sector is getting hit this morning other than the defensive utilities. In the tech space, Research in Motion is lower by 10% after preannouncing a quarterly loss. My, how the mighty have fallen. The tech titans Apple, Google, and IBM are lower. Apple received an upgrade this morning. Akamai is lower by 2% on an upgrade. Cypress Semi is lower on cautious analyst comments. Surprisingly, Facebook is one of the few techs higher for once. LinkedIn is higher on an upgrade. The retail sector has been performing well, but not today. Jos A Banks is down 7% following earnings. Macys is down 3% after reporting same store sales. Finish Line is down 4% even though they upped guidance. Darden Restaurant is down 4% on an upgrade. Best Buy was upgraded, but the stock is lower. Imagine how much these stocks would be down if the analysts weren't so bullish. Sanderson Farms is modestly higher on an upgrade. Through the first hour the averages remained weak near the lows of the day. Where did all the buyers go? The best performing sector today, Treasury bonds. The 10 year Treasury fell to a new multi-year low of 1.66%. Crazy. Through the morning the Euro moved lower so the major averages moved lower. Not many stocks are higher. The utilities, a few drug stocks, Facebook, Monsanto, and AT&T are higher and that's about it. In the afternoon the Euro currency stabilized and the averages improved. The Nasdaq rebounded thanks to a 1% rebound in Apple. Apple TV seems to be the next big thing along with iphone 5. In the last hour the averages dived lower only to rebound, but with limited success. If not for Apple's 1.25% rally, the Nasdaq would've been down more. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 160 points, or 1.3%, to 12,419, with only Intel ending higher among 30 components. The S&P 500 dropped 19 points, or 1.4%, to 1,313. All 10 S&P 500 sectors ended lower, led by pullbacks in energy and financial stocks. The Nasdaq Composite lost 33 points, or 1.2%, to 2,837. For the month that ends Thursday, the benchmark indexes are down at least 6%.

May 29, 2012
U.S. stocks opened with strong gains on Tuesday with news out of Europe pointing toward a possibility of Greece staying in the EU. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 88 points to 12,543, with all of its 30 components trading higher. The S&P 500 index gained 9 points to 1,326. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 19 points to 2,856. Similar to last Monday, the major averages are off to the races. The strength is coming from the beaten down sectors like materials and the industrial space. Goldman Sachs is trying to make a call in the coal space upgrading Peabody Energy. The stock is up 5%. Arcelor Mittal is higher by 5% as well. Conoco Phillips is jumping 2% on an upgrade. Caterpillar looks great. Copper play, Freeport McMoran is jumping 3% this morning. Rare earth play, Molycorp is up 3% on upgrade. A bull market in the commodity space. The techs are trading higher. Google, Apple, and IBM look good. Research in Motion is higher on news they may eliminate 6000 jobs. Broadcom is higher on an upgrade. Intel is higher on a positive Barrons article. In fact, Barrons wrote a second positive article on the tech sector and all the companies with large cash hoards. In the retail space, William Sonoma is up 2% on an upgrade. Sanderson Farms is down 2% following earnings. Through the first hour the Dow improved rallying 140 points. The Nasdaq rose 40 points. The utilities are trading lower. It's a risk on day. The one stock not participating in the rally is Facebook. The stock is down 5% to a new 52 week low. Through the morning the averages gave up some of their gains as the Euro dropped and the US dollar rebounded. The financials are higher but underperforming the major averages. One analyst downgraded the sector saying it would be a long cold summer for the big banks. A few more stocks have dropped into the red. Facebook is now below $30 down 6% to a new low. In the afternoon the averages slowly crept higher. In the last hour the averages almost made it back to the highs of the day, but on light volume. Crazy market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 125 points, or 1%, at 12,580, led by a 4% rise in Bank of America and a 3% rally in Caterpillar. The S&P 500 rose 14 points, or 1.1%, to 1,332. Materials and tech led sector gains; all 10 S&P 500 groups were higher. The Nasdaq Composite added 33 points, or 1.2%, to 2,870.

May 28, 2012
Closed for Memorial Day.