The Week In Review


May 7, 2010
U.S. stocks turned higher on Friday after an opening slide, with Wall Street looking at weekly losses of as much as 5%, and investors on shaky ground after the prior session's wild action. Although at some point today the markets will probably try to scare us. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 26 points to 10,546. The S&P 500 Index added 2 points to 1,130. The Nasdaq Composite held steady at 2,319. The monthly unemployment data came in better than expected this morning. Typically that would cause the market to rally, but the fundamentals are thrown out the window in times like this as investors trade on emotion. The averages remained quiet in the first half an hour with financials in the lead. The calm waters did not last long as the averages started to dive in reaction to a sell off in Europe. The Dow dropped over 200 points pushing the Dow into negative territory for the year. The Nasdaq declined as much as 80 points into negative territory for the year. Apple is down 3% after Nokia sued them for patent infringement. Couldn't they wait a day or two. As the morning
progressed the European market recovered and so did the U.S. markets. The Dow actually rallied into the green briefly before selling back off by 100 points. Once the European markets closed the U.S. breathed a sigh of relief. Through the lunch hour the averages remain quiet, but then sold off once again on concerns of a bomb scare in Time Square. Here we go again. A few stocks are performing well today. Many of the oils are higher. Kraft is the best Dow component up 2.5% thanks to better than expected earnings. There is one stock trading on fundamentals. AIG is up 7% on questionable earnings. More accounting tricks. Washington Post is down 2.5% on earnings. After a volatile day like yesterday, you'd expect a number of upgrades, but I counted only about five upgrades. It's human nature to step back when volatility hits the market and wait for the dust to settle. In the afternoon the Dow remained down 50 to 100 points. A few stocks remain in the green. The oils, Kraft, and a couple of financials like Goldman. Goldman had their annual meeting today. Great timing. Goldman hinted to a possible dividend hike. In the last hour the averages sold off then rebounded a little. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 140 points, or 1.3%, to end at 10,379, bringing its weekly point loss to the worst since October 2008. The S&P 500 index fell 17 points, or 1.5%, to close at 1,110. The Nasdaq Composite ended down 54 points, or 2.3%, to 2,265. For the week, the Dow industrials fell 5.7%, the S&P 500 lost 6.4%, it worst drop since March 2009, and the Nasdaq dropped 8%. An ugly two weeks.

May 6, 2010
U.S. stocks opened lower on Thursday, extending losses into a third day, as investors weighed the ongoing financial trouble in Europe. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 10 points to 10,857. The S&P 500 Index declined 2 points to 1,163. The Nasdaq Composite was off 4 points to 2,398.
The retail sector is reporting April same store sales that are coming in more or less in-line with expectations. Most of the retailers are lower. Aeropostale, Target, Big Lots, and Costco are down 3% or more. Dress Barn is jumping 5%. On the earnings front Dr Pepper Snapple, El Paso, Cigna, Diageo, MGM Mirage, Cedar Fair, and Vale are higher following numbers. Sara Lee, Liz Claiborne, Urban Outfitters, Alcatel Lucent, Cablevision, Pinnacle West Frontier are modestly lower following earnings. After the first half an hour the averages started to recover lead by the techs. Google, Apple, IBM, and Cisco are modestly higher. As the morning progressed the averages sold back off. The Dow fell 65 points to 10800. The Nasdaq declined 14 points. During the lunch hour the Dow fell 100 points. The Nasdaq declined 30 points. Very few stocks are in the green. In the tech space IBM and Google are in the green. As the afternoon progressed the averages pushed lower. The Dow sank 170 points. The Nasdaq fell 50 points. The financials are getting wholloped on fears of more banking regulation. Then between 2 o'clock and 3 o'clock we had the weirdest hour in my career. The Dow dropped 700 points in 15 minutes, then recovered 600 points in 20 minutes. So the Dow fell over 200 points and accelerated dropping nearly 1000 points before recovering due to a human trading error. Crazy. In the last hour the market remained jittery as investors tried to figure out what had just happened. The Dow finished down 347 points, or 3.2%, at 10,520. The S&P 500 Index shed 37 points, or 3.2%, to 1,128. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 82 points, or 3.4%, to 2,319.64.

May 5, 2010
U.S. stocks opened lower on Wednesday, extending the prior session's sharp decline, as investors worried about the escalating trouble in Europe. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 85 points to 10,841. The S&P 500 Index dropped 11 points to 1,162. The Nasdaq Composite shed 33 points to 2,391. Everyone on T.V. went from bullish to bearish overnight. The commodities continue to get hit. Freeport is down as copper prices drop to a 3 month low. Fertilizer, Agrium is down 2% after missing estimates by 37 cents. A couple of oil stocks are higher. Devon Energy is up 2% following earnings and a share buyback. BP is actually higher once again after stopping one of their leaks. The financials are modestly lower once again except for Goldman which is modestly higher. The Intecontinental Exchange is higher after beating earnings estimates. A number of techs are trying to rebound. Intel is modestly lower on a downgrade. Within the first hour the Dow fell over 100 points and Nasdaq fell 41 points before rebounding. A couple of drug companies Myriad Genetics and Intermune are down 25% and 75% respectively following negative news from the FDA regarding their drugs. News Corp and Time Warner are both lower even though both beat expectations. Through the morning the averages tried to get back to the unchanged level. A number of financials have moved into the green. XL Capital is up 6% following earnings. A number of techs are trying to rebound. Google is higher after touching $500 a share on the open. During the lunch hour the Dow rallied into the green thanks in part to the financials. After the lunch hour the averages fell back into the red, but no heavy selling. In the last hour the averages sold off and then recovered a little bit. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 59 points, or 0.6%, at 10,866. The S&P 500 index lost 7 points, or 0.7%, to end at 1,165, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 21
points, or 1%, to 2,402.

May 4, 2010
U.S. stocks opened sharply lower as worries reignited over European national debts like Greece and more recently Spain. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 147 points to 11,004. The S&P 500 Index declined 16 points to 1,185. The Nasdaq Composite declined 47 points to 2,450. Even though we were up a lot yesterday, it felt like were going to go back down today. I hate when I'm right. Plenty of earnings keep flooding in. Pfizer and Merck are the sole winners in the Dow thanks to better than expected earnings. Rival, Bristol Myers is higher on an upgrade. In the retail space Ann Taylor and Cabelas are higher following earnings. And that's about it for the good news. Mastercard, UBS, Molson Coors, Tenet Healthcare, Sirius Satellite, Duke Energy, Archer Daniels, CVS Caremark, Baker Hughes, Arcelor Mittal, Xerox, Rowan, Checkpoint Software, St Joe Company, Great Wolf, Teva Pharma, Vornado Reality, and Martin Marietta are all lower following earnings. The commodities are taking it on the chin once again. Freeport McMoRan is down 5% to new recent lows. Transocean is lower once again. BP is actually higher. The techs are weak this morning. Google is down 3% to new recent lows. That stock is not acting well at all. Even Apple is lower. The financials are lower, but not as much as the broader market. This oil spill is taking some of the heat off Goldman Sachs. After the first half an hour the averages remain weak with the Dow dropping 160 points. The Nasdaq declined 57 points. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages kept drifting lower. Not many bounces in the averages. The defensive stocks are acting well like Pfizer and Merck. Ironically, Goldman Sachs and BP, two vilified companies in the last week are trading higher. Entering the last hour the averages remain weak with the Dow down over 200 points. The Nasdaq declined 75 points or 3%. The only good thing to occur in the last hour was we didn't sell off any more. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped 225 points, or 2%, to 10,926, marking its worst point drop since February. The S&P 500 index fell 28 points, or 2.4%, to 1,173, its worst percentage drop since Feb. 4. The Nasdaq Composite fell the hardest of the major averages, dropping 74 points, or 3%, to 2,424.

May 3, 2010
U.S. stocks rebounded to start the day following a crummy end to April. Better than expected consumer spending data is helping lift the averages. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 69 points to 11,075. McDonalds is up a percent on an upgrade. The S&P 500 added 8 points to 1,195. The Nasdaq Composite was up 17 points to 2,478. Most sectors are rebounding following a lousy Friday. One sector in particular performing well thanks to an announced merger are the transports. Air carriers United and Continental agreed to merge. Neither stock is reacting much. The commodities continue to struggle due to the ever expanding oil spill in the Gulf. The culprits BP and Transocean are both down over 5%. Not surprisingly both received downgrades this morning. Most oil stocks are lower. Petrobras received a downgrade this morning. Freeport McMoran is down 4% this morning. This oil spill is taking some heat Goldman Sachs. That stock is up 2% even though it was downgraded. Warren Buffett defended Goldman at his annual shareholder meeting in Omaha. Berkshires stock is up 1% following solid earnings. CNA Financial is up 3% after beating estimates. Doral Financial is cratering 33% after not being selected to takeover any of the failed Puerto Rico banks. In the tech space Apple is up 2% after announcing they have already sold a million ipads. Most of the techs are performing well. Companies reporting earnings this morning include Clorox, Sysco, and Loews. All the numbers were good, but all three are modestly lower. After the first hour the averages remained strong with the Dow up 70 points while the Nasdaq rose 18 points. Through the morning the averages kept pushing higher. During the lunch hour the Dow rose 140 points. The Nasdaq rose 38 points. Not bad. In the middle of the afternoon rumors of BP making encouraging comments caused it's stock and Transoceans' to rebound significantly, but later BP denied the rumor. In the last hour the averages remained strong. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 143, or 1.3%, to end at 11,151, marking the biggest point gain for the blue-chip average since Feb. 16. The S&P 500 index rose 15, or 1.3%, to 1,202, with the consumer discretionary sector up 2.1%, the highest of the broad index's 10 sectors. The Nasdaq Composite rose 37 points, or 1.5%, to 2,498.