The Week In Review


February 20, 2009
The foreign markets and the U.S. markets keep pushing lower. No solution in sight for the financials or the housing market. The Dow dropped 135 points to 7330 after closing at a six year low in the prior session. Verizon and AT&T are both up 3% on upgrades from Goldman Sachs. The S&P 500 dropped 14 points to 764 while the Nasdaq Composite fell 18 points to 1,424. Citigroup and Bank of America keep dropping on fears of nationalization. Other financials like Wells Fargo, GE, US Bancorp, UBS, and many others are making new lows. Mastercard is unchanged on an upgrade. On the earnings front, Lowes is down 3% after missing estimates. JCPenney is unchanged even though profits dropped 51% year over year. At least they're still making money. Crocs and Barrick Gold are also lower following earnings. Intuit, Mylan, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, and Tim Hortons are four diamonds trading higher after earnings. Gold is one of the few commodities higher, topping and closing above the $1,000 mark. After the first hour the averages remained weak, but off the lows. The Dow remained down 90 points. The Nasdaq down 6 points. Through the morning, the averages sold back off led by the financials. All the major banks are now below $10 a share. US Bancorp broke below $10 yet its market cap is bigger than Citigroup and Bank of America. Goldman Sachs is worth more than the combined market caps of Citigroup and Bank of America. In the middle of the afternoon, the Dow dropped over 200 points to new lows for the year. The Dow is now down 49% from the highs set in 2007. The drumbeat for nationalization for the big banks is growing. Senator Dodd even made hints of nationalization. The averages started to recover after Bank of America defended their company and the White House tried to ease concerns of nationaliztion. Entering the last hour the averages were unchanged, but then sold off once again. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 100 points at 7,365, down 6.2% for the week, its worst since October. The S&P 500 shed 8 points to 770, off 6.9% for the week, while the Nasdaq Composite dropped a point to 1,441.23, giving it a weekly loss of 6.1%.

February 19, 2009
U.S. stocks open modestly higher once again as the major averages sit precariously above the November bear market lows. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 35 points to 7,591. The S&P 500 climbed 6 points to 795 while the Nasdaq Composite gained 13 points to stand at 1,481. The Dow is holding in there even though HP lowered guidance last night. The stock is down 7%. Dell is down 3% in sympathy. Baidu is higher on solid earnings, helping lift Google and Yahoo. CNBC's Cramer recommended IBM, but it isn't helping. CBS reported dismal earnings last night and cut the dividend, but the stock is higher this morning. Sprint/Nextel, CVS, Avon, Hormel, Noble Energy, Gamestop, Whole Foods, and Pride International are higher following earnings. Whole Foods is jumping 33%. The best we can say about the financials is they opened unchanged or a little higher. However, after the open, Citigroup and Bank of America pushed lower, heading to zero. That's bad. Rumors are surfacing that JP Morgan wants to give back their TARP money. Can't blame them. After the first half an hour the averages hadn't budged from where they opened. After the first hour, the averages had drifted back to the unchanged level. Through the morning the averages drifted into the red. During the lunch hour the Dow dropped 50 points. The Nasdaq declined 10 points. Most of the financials are now in the red. Bank of America is down 11%. American Express made a new low. Insurance stocks are selling off. Prudential is down 12% on concerns with their commerical paper market. Hartford is down 20%. The commodities are performing well and select retailers are trading higher. And that's about it. Entering the last hour, the averages hovered just above the lows of the year. In the last hour, the Dow broke to new lows as GE fell below $10 a share. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 89 points, or 1.2%, to end at 7,465. The S&P 500 Index fell 9 points, or 1.2%, to 778 while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 25 points, or 1.7%, to end at 1,442.

February 18, 2009
U.S. stocks started modestly higher following a 4% decline yesterday, retesting the November lows. President Obama's plan to help struggling homeowners is adding a little support to the markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 18 points to 7,570. The S&P 500 added 3 points to 792. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 7 points to stand at 1,478. The financials opened higher on the news to prevent foreclosures. Bond insurer, MBIA is up 25% after announcing plans to split the company into two separate companies. After the open, the modest rally fizzled. ING is down 8% following a dismal quarter. More bad earnings keep coming in. Agilent, Chesapeake Energy, Jack in the Box, Rogers Communication, and Jakks Pacific are all down 6% or more after missing estimates. Deere and Goodyear are also lower on earnings. In the tech sector, Amazon and Intel were upgraded. The stocks opened higher, but sold off. The commodities are weak once again. Gold looks the best, unchanged. After the first hour, the selling accelerated led by the financials. The Dow dropped 50 points inching closer to the bear market lows from November. The Nasdaq declined 7 points. Through the morning the Dow bounced off the lows, but remained in the red thanks to the financials. American Express made a new low. Bank of America and GE are within pennies of new lows. The techs are rebounding moving into the green. Intel, Cisco Systems, Google, Yahoo, Netgear, and IBM look good. During the lunch hour, all the major averages moved into the green. The financials are not rallying. As the afternoon progressed, the averages moved sideways near the unchanged level. The new lows are outpacing the new highs by 33 to 1. The list is full of banks, insurance, and REITS stocks. In the last hour the averages moved to the mean or the unchanged level. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 3 points at 7,555. The S&P 500 fell a point to 788, while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 2 points to 1,467.

February 17, 2009
U.S. stocks sank at Tuesday's start, with Wall Street tracking earlier action in Asia and Europe as investors around the globe see economic activity rapidly deteriorating. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 183 points to 7,667. Walmart is the lone component trading higher after beating estimates. The S&P 500 declined 24 points to 802. The Nasdaq Composite shed 43 points to 1,491. Look out below. The averages quickly pushed lower led by the financials. President Obama is expected to sign the stimulus bill into law today, but Wallstreet is losing faith in the new administration and the new Treasury Secretary. Nothing really looks good other than gold which is up 2.7%. In the tech sector, Google and Baidu are both lower by 4% due to downgrades. Transocean and Daimler are both down 6% on earnings. HP, Dreamworks, and Corning were upgraded, but all three are lower. Trump Entertainment is down 44% after filing for Chapter 11. Sirius Satellite is higher after Liberty Media stepped in to prevent a Chapter 11. The diamond of the day goes to Medtronic, up 6%, on better than expected earnings. After the first half an hour, the Dow was down 250 points. The Nasdaq declined 50 points. Through the morning and into the afternoon, the averages remained weak. The Dow is within 150 points of the November lows. The S&P 500 is below 800 for the first time since November. Nothing looks good. In the last hour, the President signed into law the stimulus bill which did caused a small bounce. But the bounced was ephemeral. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished near the lows of the day down 297 points at 7,552.60 holding just above the November 20th close of 7,552.29. The S&P 500 dropped 37 points, or 4.6%, to 789 while the Nasdaq Composite fell 63 points, or 4.2%, to 1,470.

February 16, 2009

Closed for Presidents Day