The Week In Review

2/2/09 - 2/6/09

February 6, 2009
The markets open higher even though the U.S. lost 598,000 jobs in January, the highest number since 1974. Unemployment jumped to 7.6%, the highest level since 1992. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 82 points to 8,145. The S&P 500 climbed 8 points to 854, while the Nasdaq Composite climbed 8 points to 1,554. The financials look good ahead of a major announcement on Monday from the Treasury department regarding helping the major banks. Bank of America is up 15% on an upgrade from Dick Bove. GE is modestly higher even though JP Morgan warned of a credit downgrade and a dividend cut. The insurance stocks are lower following bad earnings from Hartford Financial. Hartford is down 25%. Metlife is lower on a downgrade. The techs continue to perform well. Corning is up 6% on an upbeat forecast for the second half of the year. The commodities are looking great even as oil pushes lower. After the first half an hour, the Dow rose 140 points. The Nasdaq improved by 28 points. After the first hour, the averages remained strong near the highs of the day. Most stocks are trading in the green. Even Toyota is higher even though they will report a loss for the first time in a decade. So far so good. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages remained strong. The financials still look good including Bank of America which is up 28%. CEO Ken Lewis came on T.V. to calm investors fears. He was emphatic that the bank doesn't need any more government money. That's good. Very few stocks are in the red. A couple oil companies and the insurance stocks and that's about it. By the middle of the afternoon, the Dow jumped as much as 250 points before pulling back. GE gave up most of its' gains after making conciliatory remarks that they may have to lower the dividend in the future. In the last hour, the averages held firm. The Nasdaq is actually up for the year. Unbelievable. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
finished up 217 points at 8,280, up 3.5% for the week. The S&P 500 climbed 22 points, or 2.7%, at 868, up 5.2% on the week. The Nasdaq Composite rose 45 points, or 2.9%, to 1,591, up 7.8% on the week and up 14 points on the year.

February 5, 2009
U.S. stocks tumble out of the start thanks to a plethora of bad news starting with a jump in jobless claims, bad January retailers sales, and a warning from Cisco Systems. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 43 points to 7,913. The S&P 500 shed 5 points to 826 while the tech-laden Nasdaq Composite dropped 14 points to 1,500. The selling accelerated particular among the financials. Bank of America dropped over 15% and Wells Fargo is down 12%. Both are at new lows. GE is down 5% to new lows. Deutsche Bank is down 5% after confirming a fourth quarter loss. The few financial related companies performing well are Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Visa, Mastercard, and the insurance stocks. Goldman and Morgan are at 3 month highs. Outside the financials, things are a little better. The retailers reported dismal numbers, but the stocks are seeing a lift. Cisco is modestly lower, but a number of techs are higher like Google, Texas Instruments, Apple, and Research in Motion. BMC Software, Atmel, and Akamai are higher following earnings. Cardinal Health is jumping 12% on better than expected earnings. After the first hour, the Dow was off the lows, but still down 90 points. The Nasdaq's decline was only 5 points. After the first hour the averages started to improve. The Nasdaq moved into the green. The Dow even moved into the green. Only the big banks remain weak. Through the morning the rally accelerated on rumors of new developments surrounding the stimulus package and a way to help the banks by possibly suspending or easing the mark to mark accounting standard. During the lunch hour, the Dow jumped over 100 points. The Nasdaq improved by 25 points. Most sectors are performing well except for the big banks. Through the afternoon the averages remained strong. Tomorrow we'll get the monthly unemployment jobless claims for January. That won't be good. In the last hour, the averages remained strong. Bank of America moved into the green on insider buying. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 106 points, or 1.3%, at 8,063. The S&P 500 climbed 13 points to 845 while the Nasdaq Composite rose 31 points, or 2.1%, to end at 1,546.

February 4, 2009
U.S. stocks on Wednesday opened flat to mostly lower, with investors contending with gloomy earnings and economic data while grasping at opting to focus on hopes for fiscal stimulus from Washington. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 20 points to 8,058. Disney is down 5% after missing estimates. The newest Dow component, Kraft is down 9% after missing estimates. Being a Dow component is now the kiss of death. The S&P 500 rose fractionally to 838 while the Nasdaq Composite fell nearly a point to 1,515. After the open, the averages pushed higher. Even the financials are up except for Bank of America which can't get out of its own way. Lazard reported profits down dramatically yet the stock is up 11%. Suntrust is up 7% on an upgrade. Wells Fargo is up 4% after calling off a company trip to Las Vegas. Metlife is up 4% on solid earnings. Two former investment banks, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are performing well. Goldman made a bullish case for their business prospects at a conference today. After the first hour the averages still looked good. The Dow was up 65 points. The Nasdaq rose 28 points. In the retail sector more pain. Polo, Sara Lee, and Costco are lower on bad earnings and disappointing guidance. Ryder is down 3% as profits shrink. Textron is down 20% after drawing down their remaining credit line. That's not good. Even a defensive play like Philip Morris is down 3.6% after lowering guidance. Through the morning the averages remained in the green. In the afternoon, the Dow slipped in the red led by Bank of America which is breaking down to new lows. A number of key Merrill Lynch executives keep fleeing the company. Disney remains weak. Not many Dow components look good. Entering the last hour, the Dow was down by triple digits. The Nasdaq is unchanged.

February 3, 2009
U.S. stocks open modestly higher as the earnings were not as bad this morning. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 50 points to 7,987. Dow component, Merck is up 2.5% on earnings. The S&P 500 advanced 5 points to 830 while the Nasdaq Composite added 6 points to 1,500. Plenty of earnings this morning. A number of companies are trading higher on earnings including Northrop Grumman, Cummins, UPS, Aflac, ADP, DR Horton, Avon, Schering Plough, and Tyco. The techs quickly turned south after the open. Sandisk is down 22% on disappointing earnings. Motorola is down 14% on bad earnings. Cisco System was upgraded this morning ahead of earnings tomorrow, but the stock is lower. After the first hour, all three averages were in the red. Regional bank, PNC Financial is down 14% after missing estimates by a wide margin. Bank of America is down once again and GE touched it's 52 week low. After the first hour, the averages moved back into the green except for the big banks. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages clung to positive territory, but the financials are weak. Wells Fargo is down 5% on heavy put volume. In the middle of the afternoon a rally kicked in, but not for the financials. The regional banks like PNC, Suntrust, US Bancorp, Keycorp, and M&T Bank are all getting hit. In the last hour, more of the same. The Dow held strong with triple digit gains. The financials are getting no bounce. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 141 points at 8,078. The S&P 500 added 13 points to end at 838 while the Nasdaq Composite rose 21 points, or 1.5%, to 1,516.

February 2, 2009
The markets open lower once again thanks to a worse-than-anticipated decline in personal spending fueling worries about the ailing economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 94 points to 7,903. The S&P 500 declined 12 points to 813 while the Nasdaq Composite fell 14 points to 1,462. Very little news to start the week. The President contends that the financial stimulus package is on track, but investors aren't listening. GE is leading the financials lower, down 5% to a new multi-decade low. Piper Jaffray is down 16% after reporting a quarterly loss. Bank of America is down 6% on a NY Post article indicating more and more shareholders want the CEO, Ken Lewis to leave. One financial slash insurance stock trading higher is Hartford on a positive article in Barrons. Allstate is down 2% on concerns they may have to raise more capital. The healthcare sector is performing well this morning. Humana is up 3.5% after reaffirming earnings. Unitedhealth Group is trading higher as well. A number of techs are modestly higher. Applied Materials is higher even though they reported a quarterly loss. After the first half an hour the averages tried to rebound. The Nasdaq moved into the green, but the Dow remained weak. Through the morning, not much changed. The Dow remained weak while the Nasdaq clung to positive territory. During the lunch hour, the Treasury announced more plans for a financial crisis package to be laid out next week. The markets like the news, but the financials are not responding. Macys is down 14% after announcing a major restructuring. Best Buy is down 2% on cautious comments in Barrons. After the lunch hour the selling reaccelerated. Entering the last hour the Dow was down over 100 points. The Nasdaq was up a point, but improved through the hour. The Dow tried to claw its way back with little success. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 64 points at 7,936. The S&P 500 lost half a point to 825, while the Nasdaq advanced 18 points to finish at 1,494.