The Week In Review


September 25, 2009
U.S. stocks on Friday opened lower after the Commerce Department reported a disappointing decline in August orders for durable goods. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 25 points to 9,682. The S&P 500 Index dropped 3 points to 1,046. The Nasdaq Composite shed 11 points to 2,095. Besides the disappointing economic data, Research in Motion is adding to the weakness following last night's earnings and lower than expected guidance. Research in Motion is down 14% on the open, dragging the techs with it. HP is modestly lower after offering in line guidance, but LSI Logic is up 2% on an upgrade. Palm is modestly higher after reaffirming guidance. After the first half an hour the techs rebounded along with the averages thanks to better than expected consumer sentiment data. The financials are holding firm this morning. Home builder, KB Homes is down 7% on disappointing earnings. The commodities opened lower, but then rebounded with the averages. In the retail space, Finish Line is up 8% on earnings. Christopher & Banks is unchanged after beating estimates. McDonalds is up a percent after raising their dividend. Lowes is lower on a downgrade. Through the morning the averages moved back down. It looks like some profit-taking heading into the end of the quarter. Entering the last hour the averages tried to get back to the unchanged level, but failed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 42 points at 9,665, giving it a weekly loss of 1.6%. The S&P 500 declined 6 points to 1,044, off 2.2% from the week-ago close. The Nasdaq Composite slumped 16 points to 2,090, a weekly loss of 2%.

September 24, 2009
U.S. stocks started higher on Thursday, with investors heartened by better-than-expected news on the employment front. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 40 points to 9,789. The S&P 500 Index gained 2 points to 1,063. The Nasdaq Composite rose 5 points to 2,136. The earnings keep flooding in. A couple of earnings reports from the likes of Redhat, Paychex, Vail Resorts, 3Com, Rite Aid, Scholastic, and Bed Bath Bath & Beyond. Rite Aid is down 10% while Redhat is jumping 13%. The techs in general look good. 3Com is up 4% on earnings. Apple, Google, and National Semi are all higher on upgrades this morning. The financials are all modestly higher, but commodities are lower. After the first half an hour the averages remain in the green not far from the highs of the day, but that was it for the rally. After the first hour the averages were in the red. Through the morning and into the afternoon, the averages remained in the red. In the last hour, no rally, but we did close off the lows. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 41 points at 9,707. The S&P 500 declined 10 points, or 1%, to 1,050. The Nasdaq Composite slumped 23 points, or 1.1%, to 2,107.

September 23, 2009
U.S. stocks on Wednesday opened tentatively higher, with investors reluctant to move ahead of the Federal Reserve's interest-rate decision in the afternoon. The central bank is widely expected to keep benchmark rates near zero, but its statement could yield clues on future moves. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2 points to 9,832. The S&P 500 Index climbed less than a point to 1,072 while the Nasdaq Composite added 5 points to 2,151. Every day now we see more upgrades and companies raising guidance. General Mills is up 4% after beating earnings estimates and then raising guidance. Both Seagate and chipmaker Xilinx have raised guidance. Seagate is unchanged, but Xilinx is up 4%. The chipmakers and the techs in general are performing great. Palm is up 4%, Apple is higher on an upgrade, Google is higher on an upgrade, and Electronic Arts is up 4% on rumors Microsoft is interested in buying the firm. The financials are higher once again on a number of upgrades. The financial stocks upgraded this morning include Bank of America, JP Morgan, Blackrock, and Suntrust. Blackrock is up 5%. After the first hour, the averages remain near the unchanged level, but plenty of individual stocks are performing great. In the retail space, Lowes and Carnival are higher on upgrades. Ford is up 5% after their CEO made positive comments on future sales. Autzone, however, is down 4% after missing earnings estimates. Through the morning the averages hovered around the unchanged level. The financials and a select number of techs like Apple, Research in Motion, and the chipmakers continue to perform well. In the afternoon, the averages recovered their losses, moving into the green ahead of the Fed meeting announcement. The Fed announcement said everything the bulls wanted to hear, the economy is recovering and inflation is expected to remain low for quite some time. The Dow shot up 80 points to 9900. The Nasdaq improved by 20 points. Entering the last hour the averages cut the gains in half due to weakness in commodities and transportation stocks. In the last hour the averages kept selling off. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 81 points at 9,748. The S&P 500 Index declined 10 points to 1,060, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 14 points to 2,131.

September 22, 2009
U.S. stocks on Tuesday began higher, following a one day pullback. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 40 points to 9,819. The S&P 500 gained 5 points to 1,069 while the technology-laden Nasdaq Composite climbed 9.19 points to 2,147. The U.S. dollar is dropping once again lifting the commodity sector. U.S. Steel is up 3% on an upgrade. Plenty of upgrades once again. In the financial sector Bank of America was upgraded with a $25 price target. The stock is up 2%. Mastercard and Goldman Sachs were also upgraded. A REIT firm Annaly Capital is up 3% after raising their dividend 15%. In the tech sector EMC, Research in Motion, and HP were upgraded. Google crossed $500 a share for the first time in over a year. In the retail space Macys, Wynn Resorts, Las Vegas Sands, Office Max, and Gymboree were all upgraded. Only Office Max is lower. Carnival and CarMax are both up 9% or more after beating earnings estimates. After the first hour the averages remain in the green. So far so good. Through the morning and into the afternoon the Dow remained in the green back above 9800. The Nasdaq remained in the green, but not by much. The techs, commodities, and financials are performing well. Entering the last hour, the Dow averages were near the highs of the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 51 points to stand at 9,829. The S&P 500 Index added 7 points to 1,071 while the Nasdaq Composite rose 8 points to 2,146.

September 21, 2009
U.S. stocks opened lower on Monday, with investors stepping back after a lengthy run higher toward 10,000. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 75 points to 9,745. The S&P 500 Index shed 9 points to 1,058. The Nasdaq Composite fell 13 points to 2,119. The commodities are fronting the drop as crude drops below $70 a barrel and gold drops below a $1000 thanks in part to the strong dollar. In the fertilizer space, Potash is down 5% after lowering guidance due to weak demand. Plenty of upgrades this morning, but most are not helping. In the financial space Regions Financial, Wells Fargo, Legg Mason, and Charles Schwab were upgraded. Only Legg Mason is lower. The REIT sector was upgraded, but most are lower. Aflac is lower on an upgrade. Other upgrades this morning include FedEx, Research in Motion, Lorillard, and Reynolds America. All four are lower. After the first hour, the averages remain weak with the Dow down 60 points. The Nasdaq declined just 6 points. One deal to speak of this morning. Dell is buying Perot Systems this morning for $3.9 billion in cash. Dell is modestly lower, but Perot Systems is up 65%. Not bad. Through the morning the averages improved, particularly the techs. The Nasdaq moved into the green thanks to strength in Google, Apple, Research in Motion, Cisco Systems, and Intel. A number of financials have turned around as well. In the afternoon, the Dow remained in the red with the techs still performing well. Nothing changed in the last hour. The Dow Jones Industrials Average sank 41 points to close at 9,779. The S&P 500 fell nearly 4 points to 1,065. The Nasdaq rose 5 points to 2,138, its highest close in a year.