The Week In Review


May 15, 2009
A quiet open to this option expiration day. Investors are not overly cheerful about economic reports indicating that consumer prices are holding steady or that the Empire Manufacturing Index is slowly improving. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 27 points higher to 8,358. The S&P 500 Index rose 2 points to 895. The Nasdaq Composite gained 4 points to 1,694. Quiet day on the news front. Insurance stocks are performing well after receiving access to government TARP money. Hartford is jumping 10%. Lincoln Financials is up 7%. The banks are opening unchanged. Bank of America is unchanged on news the government is putting pressure on the company to revamp their board of directors. SunTrust is jumping 4% after announcing plans to cut their dividend and raise capital. The retail sector is mixed this morning. Nordstrom is up 5% on earnings while JCPenney and Abercrombie & Fitch are lower following earnings. The techs are modestly higher after getting hit with selling pressure the last couple of days. Red Hat and Sandisk are higher following upgrades. Adobe is unchanged on cautious comments from Amtech. IBM and Google are higher. After the first half an hour the averages remain modestly in the green, picking up speed after the first hour. Through the morning, entering the lunch hour, the averages gravitated back to the unchanged level. The financials are in the red. In the afternoon the averages dropped into the red. No buyers today. Entering the last hour, the Dow was down 90 points. The Nasdaq declined 9 points. Only a select number of techs are in the green. In the last hour the averages recovered a little off their lows. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 62 points to 8,268, leaving the blue chip average down 3.6% on the week. The S&P 500 declined 10 points, or 1.1%, to 882, off 5% from the week-ago close. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 9 points to end at 1,680, with the technology-laden index snapping a nine-week winning streak.

May 14, 2009
U.S. stocks offered a tepid rise at Thursday's start, with consumer discretionary shares fronting the gains, as investors digested another round of mostly disappointing economic data. "The economy appears to be in a bottoming process and we will most likely see several more months of spotty economic news before the data point to a sustainable recovery," said Fred Dickson, chief market strategist, Davidson Companies. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 53 points to 8,338. The S&P 500 Index rose 5 points to 889, while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 16 points to 1,680. The financials are trying to stabilize themselves after three down days. The insurance stocks are performing well. The retailers are rebounding this morning. Kohls, Sony, Whole Foods, Jack in the Box, and Urban Outfitters are all up 3% or more following earnings reports. Home Depot, American Eagle, Best Buy, Ann Taylor, and Aeropostale are all higher thanks to upgrades. Walmart is lower following in line earnings. Most of the techs are performing well. Intel is higher on positive comments from Amtech. Computer Associates is higher by 5% after beating estimates. Among the big caps, only IBM and Google are lower. Within the first hour the averages pulled back only to rebound once again. Through the morning the averages remained in the green. In the afternoon, the averages remained in the green. Moodys upgraded some of their debt ratings on Wells Fargo helping lift that stock and the financial sector. In the last hour the averages held on to their gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 46 points at 8,331. The Nasdaq Composite rose 25 points, or 1.5%, to 1,689. The S&P 500 gained 9 points, or 1%, to close at 893.

May 13, 2009
The pullback continues. U.S. stocks started lower on Wednesday after the government said retail sales fell in April, defying the expectations of analysts who had expected positive data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 129 points to 8,339. The S&P 500 Index declined 14 points to 893. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 18 points to 1,697. Nothing really looks good this morning. The retail sector is succumbing to profit-taking. Macys is down 6% after posting a small loss. Liz Clairborne is down 22% after posting a wider loss. Home Depot and Abercrombie & Fitch are unchanged following upgrades. Dr. Pepper Snapple is up 5% on earnings and Ann Taylor is up 6% on encouraging comments about their business. The financials keep pulling back due in part to more banks announcing plans to raise more capital. ING is down 11% after reporting a quarterly loss. State Street is one of the few financials trading higher thanks to an upgrade. The techs had some encouraging comments, but the sector is lower. IBM is down 2% even though they are comfortable with consensus 2010 estimates. Research in Motion is down 2% on an upgrade. Intel is unchanged on comments that the second quarter is better than expected. Seagate is down 4% after laying off a 1000 workers. The commodities are lower except for Potash. That stock is jumping 2% on an upgrade. The stock is up 100% since December. Following the first hour, the averages remained near the lows of the day. Through the morning the averages pushed lower. A select number of drug stocks like Pfizer and Merck are higher and that's about it. In the afternoon, more of the same. The financials are weak due in part to a new wrinkle coming out of Washington concerning legislation or Fed moves to curb compensation practices. In the last hour, no improvement. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 184 points, or 2.2%, at 8,284. The S&P 500 Index shed 24 points, or 2.7%, to stand at 883, while the Nasdaq Composite declined 51 points, or 3%, to 1,664.

May 12, 2009
U.S. stocks opened higher on Tuesday after a 2% sell off yesterday. Investors are warmings up to the idea that the economy and the financial system are slowly improving. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 16 points to 8,436. The S&P 500 index rose 80 cents to 910. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 20 points to 1,731. The financials opened higher, then pulled back. The banks are due for some more consolidation especially with all the capital that is being raised. National Financial Partners is down 28% after missing estimates. Goldman Sachs is higher following an upgrade from Dick Bove. The retail sector is mixed this morning. Gap and Chicos were upgraded, however, the stocks are unchanged. Winn-Dixie is up 19% after beating earnings estimates by 18 cents. Fossil is up 12% after beating estimates by 10 cents. Abercrombie & Fitch is higher by 2% thanks to an upgrade. Nike is lower by 3% on a downgrade. The rest of the market is quiet. The techs and commodities are near the unchanged level like the broader averages. After the first hour, the Dow was down 29 points. The Nasdaq declined 20 points. The correction continues. GE is down 4% on rumors they will have to raise more capital. In the afternoon the averages remained in the red. Capital raises are keeping the averages under pressure. By late afternoon, Cramer on CNBC indicated a couple stocks looked like they were bottoming ollowing announcing capital raises. That helped turn the major averages around entering the last hour. The Dow moved into the green by 40 points. The Nasdaq inched closer to the unchanged level. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 50 points at 8,469. The S&P 500 index fell 89 cents to 908, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 15 points to 1,715.

May 11, 2009
U.S. stocks pointed lower at Monday's start as investors stepped back from last week's huge rally. A handful of large banks this morning said they would sell common stock to repay funds drawn from the government's bailout program. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 104 points to 8,470. The S&P 500 Index shed 14 points to 915, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 25 points to 1,713. Understandably, financials are pulling back from a great run last week. KeyCorp, Capital One, and BB&T announced plans this morning to raise capital to pay back TARP. All are trading lower. Allied Capital is down 18% after reporting a quarterly loss. HSBC reported a quarterly profit, however, the stock is lower. The retail sector is also succumbing to profit-taking. Home Depot, Lowes, Costco, and William Sonoma are lower following downgrades. American Eagle is modestly higher following two upgrades. Walmart is also modestly higher. After the first hour, the averages remained weak near the lows of the day. A few techs like IBM are creeping into the green. As the morning progressed, the averages tried to improved led by the techs. IBM, Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Intel moved into the green. Apple received a couple of upgrades. In the afternoon, the averages remained weak with the financials under selling pressure. Entering the last hour, the Dow remained down over 100 points. The Nasdaq moved into the green thanks to the strength in the financials. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished near the lows down 155 points, or 1.8%, at 8,418. The S&P 500 Index shed 19 points, or 2.2%, at 909, while the Nasdaq Composite stumbled 7 points to 1,731.