The Week In Review


January 30, 2009
The markets are breathing a sigh of relief this morning as the fourth-quarter gross domestic production fell just 3.8%. A bad number, but much less than expected. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 30 points to 8,176. Honeywell is up 3% after reaffirming 2009 earnings. P&G is down 3% on a cautious outlook. The S&P 500 index gained 3 points to 848, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 12 points to 1,520. The earnings keep flooding in. The list within the tech sector includes Amazon, Rambus, Juniper, Computer Associates, Sunpower, KLA-Tencor, and Broadcom. Broadcom and Juniper are the only two trading lower. The real winner is Amazon jumping 18% on strong earnings. Not many can say that. Research in Motion is higher on an upgrade while Cisco is lower on a downgrade. The financials are quiet this morning. American Express is modestly higher following insider buying. JP Morgan is up 2% after the CEO said they don't need to sell any assets to a government run bad bank. Visa and Mastercard are higher. Visa was upgraded. Allstate is down 6% following poor earnings yesterday and a downgrade this morning. In the commodity space, Chevron and Exxon Mobil are higher following earnings. The steel stocks are lower on a Goldman Sachs downgrade. After the first half an hour the averages pushed lower. It doesn't look like a good end to the month. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages remained weak with the Dow dropping as much as 140 points before rebounding. Very few stocks are in the green. Within the Dow, Boeing, Exxon Mobil, and JP Morgan look good and that's about it. In the middle of the afternoon the averages sold back off towards the lows of the day on news the government's good bank bad bank plan had hit a snag. In the last hour, a little recovery only to sell off to new lows. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 148 points, or 1.8%, at 8,000. For January, the blue-chip index fell 8.8%. The S&P 500 index fell 19 points, or 2.3%, to 825. For the month, the broad index fell 8.6%, its worst performance on record. The Nasdaq Composite lost 31 points, or 2%, to close at 1,476. The technology heavy index fell 6.4% during the month.

January 29, 2009
The four day rally looks like it's coming to an end thanks to more disappointing earnings and bad economic data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 96 points to 8,278. The S&P 500 declined 13 points to 860 and the Nasdaq Composite shed 24 points to 1,533. The selling is broad based. The financials are selling off after a nice one day rally yesterday. The insurance stocks are getting walloped including Allstate down 20% after missing by a wide margin. Plenty of earnings in the tech sector including Western Digital, Lam Research, Symantec, LSI Logic, and Qualcomm. Western Digital and Symantec look good, but the others are lower. Other companies reporting earnings include Starbucks, U.S. Airways, Jetblue, Fortune Brands, 3M, Black and Decker, Colgate, Auto Nation, Raytheon, Textron, Altria, Kodak, Eli Lilly, and many more. Very few are trading higher. Auto Nation is up 10%, but Black & Decker is down 15%, Textron is down 24%, and Kodak is down 21%. Kodak is laying off 4,500 people. That's not good for Rochester. After the first hour, the Dow was down 120 points. The Nasdaq declined 28 points. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages remained weak making new lows. The financials and insurance stocks remain weak. Charles Schwab is down 12% on cautious comments. In the last hour, more selling pushed the averages to new lows. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 227 points, or 2.7%, to 8,147. The S&P 500 dropped 28 points, or 3.3%, to 845, while the Nasdaq Composite shed 50 points, or 3.2%, to 1,507.

January, 28, 2009
U.S. stocks open higher once again as all eyes are on the government stimulus programs and what will happen to the financials. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 105 points to 8,280. Boeing is up after losing money in the fourth quarter while AT&T is down even though they keep making money. The S&P 500 gained 15 points to 861 while the Nasdaq Composite rose 28 points to 1,532. Congress inches closer to a vote on a $825 billion stimulus plan, but more importantly, the government is warming to a bad bank proposal run by the FDIC to get the bad assets off the troubled banks. All the financials and insurance stocks are jumping on this news. Wells Fargo is up 16% due to earnings that were not as bad as investors feared. Franklin Resources is up 2% on earnings. Legg Mason is down 8% after losing $1.4 billion. One financial or REIT down sharply is Allied Capital on concerns the company is running out of money. Outside the financials, the earnings keep flooding in. In the tech sector, Yahoo, Altera, and Sun Micro are higher on earnings. Gilead Sciences is up 3% on earnings. Tyco Electronics is down 9% after reporting a quarterly loss. Wellpoint is up 5% even though profits dropped 61%. After the first hour the averages remained strong led by the financials. I haven't been able to say that in a while. Through the morning and into the afternoon, the averages remained strong near the highs of the day. The Fed, which no one was talking about, left rates unchanged. The averages didn't budge. No volatility today. In the last hour the averages held their gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 201 points, or 2.5%, at 8,375. The S&P 500 rallied for a fourth straight day climbing 28 points, or 3.4%, to 874. The Nasdaq Composite added 53 points, or 3.6%, to finish at 1,558.

January 27, 2009
U.S. stocks opened mildly higher on Tuesday, extending the prior sessions modest gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 21 points to 8,137. Verizon is leading the blue chip average higher on better than expected earnings. DuPont and Verizon are lower following earnings. The S&P 500 gained 3 points to 839 while the Nasdaq Composite added 5 points to 1,495. Plenty of earnings last night and this morning. In the tech sector Qlogic, VMware, Texas Instruments, EMC, Corning, Lexmark, and Tellabs all reported. Texas Instruments, Tellabs, and Lexmark are higher, but VMware and Corning are lower. In the commodity space, Nucor, AK Steel, U.S. Steel, Valero, DuPont, and Freeport McMoRan all reported. The stocks are mixed. The financials are modestly higher. Travelers is up 6% on solid earnings. Other companies reporting earnings include Amgen, Hershey, Delta Airlines, and Bristol Myers. Bristol is up 3% while Delta is down 18%. After the first half an hour and hour, the averages were back to the unchanged level. Oil and commodities reversed course. Entering the lunch hour the averages were back in the green and remained in the green in the afternoon. The steel stocks look good. The big cap techs look pretty good. A select number of financials look good. A regional bank, Zions Bancorp is up 16% on earnings. In the last hour, the averages were able to remain in the green similar to yesterday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 58 points at 8,174. The S&P 500 added 9 points to 845, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 15 points to 1,504.

January 26, 2009
U.S. stocks edged slightly higher on the open even though the corporate and economic news only gets worse. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 8 points to 8,086. The S&P 500 climbed 4 points to 836 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 2 points to 1,479. The rumored merger between Pfizer and Wyeth came true today. Wyeth is modestly higher while Pfizer is down 6% as they will slash the dividend and lay off workers to pay for the deal. While one merger gets down, another falls apart. Dow Chemical said they can't complete the merger with Rohm & Haas. Rohm & Haas is down 15%. McDonalds topped estimates, but the stock is down 2%. The job cuts keep coming. Home Depot is laying off 7,000 people, Sprint is laying off 8,000 workers, and Caterpillar is laying off people following a plunge in earnings. Caterpillar dropped 10% to a new low on the open. Other disappointing earnings include Tyson Foods, Kimberly Clark, Weatherford, and Halliburton. After the first half an hour the Dow jumped 100 points on housing data that wasn't entirely awful. The Nasdaq rose 30 points. Through the morning the averages remained strong. Hopefully it lasts. In the afternoon, the rally started to fizzle. The insurance and financials pulled back sending the averages into the red. Entering the last hour, the averages were back in the green, but not by much. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 38 points at 8,116. The S&P 500 climbed 4 points to 836. The Nasdaq Composite added 12 points to close at 1,489.