The Week In Review


March 19, 2010
U.S. stocks rose towards new 17-month highs at the open on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 15 points to 10,796, led by a 3% advance in shares of Boeing. The aerospace giant said it will boost production rates of its two major commercial jet programs. The S&P 500 index rose a point to 1,167, while the Nasdaq Composite inched up 30 cents to 2,391. A number of disappointing earnings are hurting the market. SunPower is down 15% after beating estimates by a penny. Palm is down 25% after missing estimates by 19 cents. One analyst lowered his price target to zero for Palm today. Ouch. After the open the averages moved lower. Plenty of upgrades, but most stocks are lower., Research in Motion, Agrium, and U.S. Steel were upgraded, but all are lower. AT&T and Verizon are unchanged on upgrades. Staples, Kellogg, Gamestop, Best Buy, and Kohls were all upgraded and are all modestly higher. JP Morgan made positive comments on a number of transportation stocks, however, they are all lower. The financials are modestly lower. Goldman Sachs lowered estimates for a number of the big investment banks. Corning is one of the few techs trading higher. Corning received a number of upgrades this week. Google is lower as they are indicating that they will pull out of China next week. As the morning progressed the averages moved lower. In the afternoon the Dow dropped 60 points. The Nasdaq declined 19 points. Very few stocks are in the green. In the last hour the averages recovered a little. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 37 points at 10,741. It rose 1.1% for the week. The S&P 500 fell 5 points to 1,159.9 points, while adding 0.9% for the week. The Nasdaq Composite fell 16 points to 2,374. It lagged the other indexes with a 0.3% weekly rise.

March 18, 2010
U.S. stocks struggled at the start on Thursday with investors hesitating after an extended run higher. Early data showed inflation remained tame last month and new claims for jobless benefits fell last week. Extending gains into an eighth day in a row, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 16 points to 10,750. Alcoa and DuPont are leading the blue chip average. The S&P 500 Index rose fractionally to 1,166, while the Nasdaq Composite rose fractionally as well to 2,389. A number of earnings from the retail sector this morning. GameStop and Nike are up over 5% following earnings. Guess is up 3% after beating estimates. Burger King and JC Penney are higher on upgrades. In the tech sector the chips continue to perform well. Intel, LSI, Broadcom, and Qualcomm are higher thanks to positive analyst comments. Corning, Research in Motion, and Cisco are higher as well thanks to upgrades. The financials are quiet this morning following a nice run up. Goldman Sachs and GE are two financials that continue to push higher. After the first hour the Dow remained in the green while the Nasdaq declined a point. As the morning progressed not much changed. The averages remain quiet on light volume. In the afternoon, when the NCAA tournment began, more of the same. The Dow is performing well. In the last hour more money flooded into the blue chips. The Dow average finished up 45 points at 10,779 points. The S&P 500 ended down 38 cents at 1,165. The Nasdaq Composite added 2 points to 2,391.

March 17, 2010
Happy St. Patrick's Day. U.S. stocks opened higher on Wednesday amid ongoing cheer over the Federal Reserve maintaining its stance that should keep interest rates at record lows for much of the year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 30 points to 10,716. The S&P 500 Index added 4 points to 1,163 while the Nasdaq Composite gained 6 points to 2,384. Everything looks pretty good this morning. The analysts are in a good mood this morning. This is the closest the markets been to a break out in some time. The financials keep pushing higher. Hartford is up 4% on news they are ready to pay back their TARP funds. CIT Group is up 4% on pro forma earnings which excludes all the bad stuff earnings. Discover is up a percent on in line earnings. Credit Suisse upgraded the firm. Blackrock is jumping 5% on an upgrade. GE continues to push higher thanks in part to an upgrade. Genworth was downgraded, but the stock is higher. In the tech sector, the chips continue to perform well. LSI is jumping 11% after raising guidance. The stock is at a new high. Intel is also at a new high on an upgrade. Micron was upgraded as well. Google is higher after having their estimates raised. Garmin is up 4% after announcing a one time dividend and moving their headquarters from the Cayman Islands to Switzerland. I'm not a big fan of moving the headquarters around to avoid taxes. In the retail space AnnTaylor and Abercrombie & Fitch are higher on upgrades. Staples is modestly lower as the company announced a small acquisition this morning. After the first hour the averages remained right where they started the day. As the morning progressed the averages inched higher. The insurance stocks are performing well. Hartford and Lincoln Financial are both up 4%. Prudential and Metlife are higher by 1.5%. A lot of new highs in the financials and techs. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages pushed higher. This is a slow motion bull market. The Dow rose as much as 70 points before pulling back in the law hour. The Nasdaq rose 22 points before pulling back in the last hour.

March 16, 2010
U.S. stocks opened higher on Tuesday ahead of the Federal Reserve's afternoon statement in which the central bank is expected to keep interest rates at historic lows. Up for a sixth day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 5 points to 10,647. GE continues to perform well up 2% on positive analyst comments. The S&P 500 Index gained a point to 1,152. The Nasdaq Composite rose 2 points to 2,364. The financials are modestly higher this morning. Deutsche Bank is up 2% after reaffirming their net income. The insurance stocks are performing well thanks to positive analyst comments. Manulife was downgraded, but the stock is higher. The commodity stocks are performing well. Potash was upgraded. Gold is shooting higher. The retailers continue to perform well. Guess and Starbucks are higher on upgrades. Limited is up 4% after announcing a special one time dividend. DSW is one of the few retailers trading lower after missing estimates. After the first hour the averages were modestly higher on light volume. After the first hour, the U.S. dollar dropped sending the averages higher. The Nasdaq improved thanks to the semiconductors. Intel is up 3%. Google is higher even as they continue to threaten to leave China. Everything seems to be perking up a little bit. In the afternoon the averages remained quiet. The Fed left rates unchanged which did little to move the markets. In the last hour the averages crept higher. Everything looks good. GE is now up 4.5% for the day at new highs for the year. Management made bullish comments about the future including the option of raising their dividend once again next year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 43 points at 10,685. The S&P 500 Index climbed 8 points to 1,159 while the Nasdaq Composite Index added 15 points to 2,378.

March 15, 2010
Beware of the Ides of March. U.S. stocks opened modestly lower on Monday following a nice run up last week and concerns that credit risk had grown. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 8 points to 10,616. The S&P 500 Index dipped 3 points to 1,146. The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 7 points to 2,360. The weakness is in most sectors. The financials are lower ahead of the release of Senator Dodd's financial reform package. UBS is modestly higher on positive comments regarding a turnaround. Metlife is higher following a great week last week. The techs are also lower this morning. Google is down 3% after announcing the withdraw from China. Competitor, is jumping 6% on that news. Apple is weak this morning as well. Akamai and Marvell are lower on cautious analyst comments. Research in Motion are higher on an upgrade. The retail sector is getting plenty of press this morning. Phillip Van Heusen is buying out Tommy Hilfiger. Van Heusen is jumping 11%. Walmart, Saks, Nike, and Home Depot are higher on upgrades. Pepsi is higher after raising their dividend and announcing a share buyback. Best Buy is lower on a downgrade. After the first hour the averages still hadn't gone far. The commodities are lower this morning. Consol is buying a division of Dominion for $3.5 billion. Dominion is modestly higher while Consol is down 8%. The selling accelerated through the morning. Nothing really looks good. In the afternoon the averages listlessly meandered around the unchanged level. Senator Dodd released some of the specifics of his banking reform package however the financials are not reacting. In the last hour the Dow recovered thanks to GE, Walmart, Coke, Cisco, Merck and many others. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 17 points to end at 10,642. The S&P 500 Index added half a point to close at 1,150, while the Nasdaq Composite Index shed 4 points to 2,362.