The Week In Review


September 4, 2009
U.S. stocks open modestly higher following mixed economic data. In the month of August, job losses were less than expected, but the unemployment number rose to 9.7%, a 26 year high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 24 points to 9,369. The S&P 500 Index added 3 points to 1,007, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 6 points to 1,989. Very little news other than the economic data this morning. Most people will head out early for the long Labor Day weekend. The financials are modestly higher on no news. H&R Block is down a percent after missing quarterly estimates. In the tech sector, Apple and Research in Motion are both higher. Novellus is higher after the company raised earnings guidance. Symantec is unchanged following management comments that the worst is over, at least in their business. In the retail space, Abercrombie & Fitch is lower by 5% on a downgrade. Aeropostale is unchanged on an upgrade. After the first half an hour, the averages were unchanged with the financials modestly in the green. Through the morning the averages nudged into the green on quiet trading. In the afternoon, more of the same. The Dow rose 80 points. The Nasdaq rose 30 points on quiet volume. In the last hour, no sell off. So long to summer. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 96 points, or 1%, to end at 9,441, leaving the blue chips with a 1.1% decline for the week. The S&P 500 Index climbed 13 points, or 1.3%, to 1,016, but off 1.2% for the week. The Nasdaq Composite rose 35 points, or 1.8%, to end at 2,018, leaving it 0.5% lower on the week.

September 3, 2009
U.S. stocks on Thursday opened higher after a four-day run of losses. Retailers are reporting mixed August same store sales results while the economic data showed jobless claims exceeded expectations. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 39 points to 9,320. The S&P 500 added 5 points to 1,000 while the Nasdaq Composite climbed 12 points to 1,979. A majority of the retail stocks are higher on those mixed August sales results. Costco is up 8%, American Eagle is up 7%, and Saks is up 4%. Abercrombie & Fitch is lower on disappointing sales while Family Dollar is down 7%. Del Monte is up 7% after beating estimates while Deere is lower on a downgrade. The financials are higher. Citigroup is up 3% after shareholders approved to expand the equity share count to allow for the government's new position. Like they had a choice. Genworth is up 3% on an upgrade. The commodities are performing well. Gold inches closer to 1000. Pilgrim Pride is getting bought out of bankruptcy by a Brazilian firm. Freeport McMoRan is up 2% on an upgrade. At 10 o'clock the averages jumped on better than expected manufacturing data, then sold off. The techs are holding firm. Apple, Research in Motion, and Cisco are higher on upgrades. Ciena is up 5% after beating earnings estimates. After the first hour the averages were unchanged with the financials in the lead. Through the morning and into the afternoon, the Dow nudged into the green with the financials still performing well.

September 2, 2009
U.S. stocks slumped at the start on Wednesday, extending the market's longest losing streak since late June into a fourth consecutive day. News that U.S. companies cut more jobs than expected in August didn't help sentiment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 3 points to 9,307. The S&P 500 fell a point to 996, while the Nasdaq Composite declined 4 points to 1,964. Not much news moving the markets. The healthcare stocks are performing well on easing government concerns of major new regulations. Unitedhealth Group is up 4% and Wellpoint it higher by 3%. A few earning reports this morning. Jos. A Bank is higher by 4% on better than expected earnings. A number of retailers like Gap and American Eagle are higher on upgrades. A number of techs are higher like Apple and Research in Motion. Amtech raised earnings estimates on Research in Motion. Most of the financials are lower. Wells Fargo is modestly higher on positive comments they can pay back TARP without diluting their stock. After the first hour the averages remained in the red, but not by much. During the lunch hour the averages nudged into the green, but things are quiet. How quiet. At 2 0'clock, the Fed minutes were released indicating that the Fed felt more comfortable that the recession was over. What did the market do? Nothing. In the last hour we saw a modest rally followed by selling into the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 29 points to 9,280. The S&P 500 Index shed 3 points to 994 while the Nasdaq Composite dropped a point to rest at 1,967.

September 1, 2009
U.S. stocks started on the defensive on Tuesday, kicking off what historically has been the worst month for equities. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 25 points to 9,470. The S&P 500 shed 2 points to 1,018, while the Nasdaq Composite declined fractionally to 2,008. The techs are holding in there on plenty of upgrades. Research in Motion, Motorola, Apple, and Nvidia all received upgrades. All four are higher. Ebay is up 3% on news the company is selling it's Skype phone division. Nokia is modestly lower on a downgrade. The commodity space is bouncing back following a number of down days. The Brazilian oil giant, Petrobras is up 2% on an upgrade. The steel stocks are higher after an analyst raised prices for the industry and the commodity. The averages turned around following the first half an hour thanks to better than expected economic data. The Dow rose 50 points. The Nasdaq rose 20 points. The financials turned around. Ameritrade is up 2% on an upgrade. Metlife is down 2% on a downgrade. Bank of America is modestly higher on news the company wants to start paying back a portion of their TARP money. Good luck with that. After the first hour the rally fizzled, but the averages did remain in positive territory. Through the morning the selling accelerated. Something we haven't seen in quite some time. The Dow dropped 160 points. The Nasdaq declined 27 points. In the afternoon, the averages remained weak not far from the lows of the day. In the last hour, no improvement. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 185 points, or 2%, at 9,310, its worst daily hit in two weeks. The S&P 500 Index fell 22 points, or 2.2%, to end at 998, the index's first close below 1,000 since August 20th. The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 40 points, or 2%, to close at 1,968.

August 31, 2009
U.S. stocks start the last day of the month to the downside in the wake of a sharp decline in Chinese equities. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 68 points to 9,475. The S&P 500 Index declined 9 points to 1,019 while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 17 points to 2,011. A couple of mergers to start the day. Mickey Mouse is buying Spiderman or Disney is buying Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion. Marvel is jumping 26%. The competitors are also performing well like Dreamworks up 6%. In the oil patch, Baker Hughes is buying BJ Services. BJ is up 7% and Baker Hughes is down 7%. Besides the two mergers, not much is going on. The financials are lower. Morgan Stanley received a downgrade. UBS is modestly lower on news a company called Capital Group has acquired a 4% stake in the bank. Plenty of positive news in the tech sector doesn't seem to be helping. Intel and Texas Instruments were upgraded, but the stocks are lower. Marvell Tech and VMware both won new business contracts, but both are lower. Sun Micro is unchanged on earnings. In the retail sector Ethan Allen, Pier One, and William Sonoma were all upgraded, but only Ethan Allen is higher. Activision Blizzard is modestly lower on a positive piece in Barrons. A better than expected manufacturing number actually had the reverse effect, sending the averages lower. The Dow dropped 100 points. The Nasdaq declined 25 points. Through the morning and into the afternoon, the averages remained weak, but off the lows, and quiet. It's the last week of the summer. In the last hour, in the last few minutes, the averages were able to recover half the losses for the day. Not bad. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 47 points to end at 9,496. The Dow finished up 3.5% for the month. The S&P 500 Index declined 8 points to stand at 1,020, leaving it with a 3.4% advance for August. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 19 points, or 1%, to rest at 2,009, a level that leaves the technology-laden index with a 1.5% monthly gain.