The Week In Review


October 21, 2008
U.S. stocks bounce on the open after a sharp sell-off that had equities sinking to a 11-year low yesterday. All eyes remained on Citigroup as that stock sinks lower. Management is considering all their options to get the stock higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 128 points to 7,681. The S&P 500 climbed 14 points to 767 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 24 points to 1,340. Plenty of earnings last night and today including Brocade, Autodesk, Dell, Gap, and AnnTaylor. Only Gap is trading higher. Autodesk is down 24%. Citigroup opened higher. One analyst, Dick Bove said there is no reason for the bank to fail, yet it didn't take long for the stock to move lower. KeyCorp is down 12% after cutting their dividend and doing another restructuring. Through the first hour the rally slowly deteriorated. Many of the financials are in the red. Citigroup is down 16%. A select number of techs are higher. Dell beat estimates last night. The stock opened higher, but is now down 5%. Google is modestly higher even
though one analyst intiated the stock with a sell. The commodities are modestly higher. The solar power stocks are higher. After the first hour the averages tried to rebound. By 11 o'clock the averages were in the red. During the lunch hour the averages moved back into the green. The financials remain weak. In the afternoon very little movement. Entering the last hour, the averages were not far from the unchanged level. But the broader averages are masking real weakness in the financials and other sectors. To start the last hour NBC broke the news that Tim Geithner will become the next Treasury Secretary. The Dow jumped a quick 200 points and actually kept improving through the last hour. Thank goodness. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 494 points, or 6.5%, to stand at 8,046. That still left the blue-chip index down 5.3% for the week. The S&P 500 advanced 47 points, or 6.3%, to 800, an 8.4% slide from last Friday's close. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 68 points, or 5.2%, to end at 1,384, off 8.7% for the week.

October 20, 2008
U.S. stocks opened sharply lower on Thursday, with concerns about the economy and the ailing financial and auto sectors leading the market to fresh five-year lows. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 160 points, or 2%, to 7,837. The S&P 500 index fell 19 points to 787, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 23 points to 1,363. The Saudi Prince Alaweed said it would raise his stake in Citigroup back to 5% because he has confidence in the bank and managment, but no one else does. The stock is down 14% to new lows. Most of the financials are making new lows. It's a full scale meltdown. Another Dow component, GM is down 19% as investors debate whether the company will survive. A couple of earnings reports from Barnes & Noble, Gamestop, and Dicks. Only Dicks Sporting Goods is higher for now. After the first half an hour the averages pushed to new lows for the year with the Dow falling below 7800. The averages are closing in on the 2002 lows following the tech bubble and 9/11. After the first hour the averages tried to rebound. The Nasdaq was still down 25 points even though the big blue chip techs are holding in there. At 11 o'clock, the averages had recovered all the loses. The financials remain weak, but off the lows. The commodities remain weak. During the lunch hour, rumors surfaced that the Senate has come to an agreement to aid the automakers. Whether it's true to not, the averages rallied on that news including GM and Ford. The Dow rose as much as 185 points before pulling back. The averages were back in the red within half an hour. Volatile market. The averages moved lower through the afternoon as it turned out the rumor was wrong regarding the automakers. GM and Ford are still in the green, but the financials are heading back down. Local bank, M&T Bank received approval for TARP money which sent the stock up $4 and then right back down. The commodities remain weak. Entering the last hour, the Dow was down 100 points. The Nasdaq declined 21 points. In the last hour, the floor was pulled from under the market. We're heading toward capitulation. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 444 points, or 5.6%, to end at 7,552. The S&P 500 index fell 54 points, or 6.7%, to 752, after breaking through its 2002 bear-market closing low of 776 to close at its lowest level in more than 11 years. The Nasdaq Composite lost 70 points, or 5%, to end at 1,316.

October 19, 2008
U.S. stocks set to open lower once again following more weak economic news. No inflation anymore as consumer prices continue to drop. The housing starts hit a record low. Plus the big three automakers need money from Congress to stay alive. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 41 points to 8,383. The S&P 500 declined 3 points to 856, while the Nasdaq Composite shed 5 points to 1,477. Very few stocks are higher. The commodities are hanging in there. Halliburton is positive on comments from the CEO stating they are well positioned even though oil has declined. A few select techs are higher like Adobe, Research in Motion, Apple, and Hewlett Packard. Cisco Systems is lower on a downgrade. The financials are lower once again. Citigroup made a new low and then recovered a little. After the first hour the averages were back in the green, but not by much. A number of retailers are lower like Ross Stores and Jack in the Box following earnings. LDK Solar is down 8% following earnings. First Solar is down 5% on a downgrade. Analysts met with Metlife last night and came away bullish. Credit Suisse said the stock is oversold. Fox Pitt maintained their target price of $50 a share. And where is the stock? Down 7%. It's a bear market. Through the morning and into the afternoon, the averages moved lower. Most of the financials are making new lows including Citigroup. At 2 o'clock, the Fed minutes indicated that things are not getting any better. The Dow moved to new lows on the data, but the minutes shouldn't have been that surprising. In the last hour, more selling. It's not looking good. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 426 points, or 5.1%, at 7,997, with all 30 of its components finishing in the red. The S&P 500 dropped 52 points, or 6.1%, to 806, while the Nasdaq Composite shed 96 points, or 6.5%, to end at 1,886.

October 18, 2008
The markets were headed toward another hasty open when technology titan Hewlett-Packard surprised Wall street by preannouncing upside guidance. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 26 points to 8,300. The S&P 500 rose 3 points to 845, while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 11 points to 1,493. Well, we found one Dow component not going to zero. Hewlett Packard is up 12% after raising guidance. HP's news is helping lift rival IBM, but not many other techs. Within the first half an hour, the Dow rose 80 points, then gave up all those gains. Shocker. One tech not rallying is Corning. The stock is down 13% after withdrawing guidance due to weak LCD demand. Yahoo is up 12%, not on good news, but more due to takeover talk. The CEO is stepping down providing a good opportunity to sell the firm. Home Depot beat estimates, however the firm is cautious on the future. The stock is up 5%. Saks missed estimates by 10 cents after losing $42 million. The stock is down 2%. After the first hour, the Dow had rallied once again, rising 130 points. Disney is up 4% on an upgrade. The Nasdaq rose a modest 8 points even though the techs look good. The commodities look good. The financials are trying to rally with little success. Citigroup continues to move lower. Through the morning the Dow rose as much as 200 points before pulling back. In the afternoon the averages fell back into the red. We can't keep a rally. Entering the last hour, the Dow was accelerating to the downside and that's with HP still up 11%. Many of the financials are making new lows including Citigroup. In the last hour, we looked like we were heading to another dismal close, but for once, we rallied into the close. Who knew there were any buyers left. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed finished up 151 points at 8,424. The S&P 500 gained 8 points to 859, while the Nasdaq Composite added a point to 1,483. We'll take it.

October 17, 2008
U.S. stocks open lower once again as now Japan has slipped into a recession. The summit of world leaders over the weekend produced little news to bolster the global economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 134 points to 8,363. The S&P 500 declined 15 points to 857, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 22 points to 1,494. Citigroup provided a town hall meeting this morning with slides and plenty of data to try and ease the fears of investors. So far it's not helping. The stock is down 3%. All the financials are lower. Things are so bad that Goldman Sach management said they will not take any bonuses this year. One exception, Genworth is jumping 18% after buying a bank and hoping to gain excess to the TARP money. Charles Schwab said they don't need any TARP money. Barrons wrote a positive piece on the firm and yet the stock is lower. US Bancorp is unchanged following some insider buying. Two retail companies, Lowes and Target reported dismal results yet both stocks are higher. A few select techs are higher like Texas Instruments, Research in Motion, and VMware. But that's about it for the good news. After the first hour the Dow had declined over 200 points. The Nasdaq was down 30 points. Here we go again. Through the morning the averages remained weak until the lunch hour. Entering the lunch hour the averages moved closer to the unchanged level. Citigroup is unchanged. It's sad when you root for stocks to get back to the unchanged level. During the lunch hour financials and the major averages crept into the green. The one stock not rebounding is Chinese Internet firm, Baidu. The stock is down 23%. After the lunch hour, the averages moved back into the red and remained there the rest of the day. In the last hour, the averages tried to get back to the unchanged level, but totally collapsed in the last half an hour.