The Week In Review


July 30, 2010
U.S. stocks fell sharply at Friday's start after the government said economic growth was slower than estimated in the second quarter. "We don't foresee a double-dip, but we do expected growth to slow even more markedly, to a 1.6% annualized rate in the second half of the year," Bart van Ark, chief economist at the Conference Board, wrote in a note. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 78 points to 10,388. The S&P 500 declined 9 points to 1,091. The Nasdaq Composite was off 24 points to 2,227. A number of stocks are trading lower following earnings including Genworth, Merck, Fortune Brands, Louisiana Pacific, First Solar, Wynn Resorts, KLA-Tencor, Chevron, and Pilgrims Pride. Pilgrims Pride and Genworth are both down over 8%. Within the first half an hour the averages did battle back thanks to better than expected consumer sentiment and the Chicago PMI number. The commodities, an economic sensitive sector, are leading the charge. That's a good sign. The fertilizer stocks are performing well. Potash is higher after receiving two upgrades. Freeport McMoRan opened lower, but battled back, rallying into the green. That's another good sign. Metlife is up 2% following better than expected earnings last night. Prudential is higher on an upgrade. McAfee is up 4% after better than expected earnings. McAfee and Symantec are going in different directions. After the first hour the averages remained in the red, but way off the lows. Through the morning the averages briefly moved into the green only to pull back once again. The leading sectors include financials and commodities. A couple techs look good including Research in Motion and IBM. The chip stocks remain weak due to growing concerns of building inventories. In the afternoon the averages sold off and then rallied once again in the last hour. Commodities, financials, and a number of techs look good. The fact that the market was resilient to bad economic data this week and the commodities and transportation stocks outperformed is a good sign for things to come. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down a point at 10,465. The S&P 500 index inched up 7 cents to 1,101. while the Nasdaq Composite gained 3 points to 2,254. For the week, the Dow rose 0.4%, the S&P 500 fell 0.1%, and the Nasdaq was down 0.7%. For the month, the Dow gained 7.1%, and both the S&P and Nasdaq rose 6.9%.

July 29, 2010
U.S. stocks on Thursday opened with solid gains, with the S&P 500 bouncing back after two down days. The jobless claims were not great, the corporate earnings were not spectacular, but investors are feeling better about the markets. A big boost to the optimism may be due to improving economic fundamentals in Europe and Asia. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 80 points to 10,576. The S&P 500 Index climbed 7 points to 1,114. The Nasdaq Composite rose 16 points to 2,280. The averages are surprisingly strong given all the luke warm news. A number of stocks are trading lower following earnings including Symantec, Dr Pepper, Nvidia, Colgate, ADP, Raytheon, Akamai, Visa, and LSI. Kelloggs is down 4% after the company cut their outlook, yet the averages are higher. Visa is lower by 3% following earnings, yet the financials are higher. Franklin Resources is up 3% following earnings. Ameriprise is jumping 9% following earnings. The commodity stocks look good. Cliffs Natural Resources is up 4% even though they actually missed earnings estimates. Investors seem to be making a bet that the economy is about to rebound. The stocks trading higher following earnings include Goodyear, Exxon Mobil, Southwest Airlines, Motorola, Radio Shack, Potash, Sony, Imax, Lincoln Financial, and Moodys. After the first hour the Dow was only up 30 points. The Nasdaq gave up all its gains. Through the morning the averages moved lower. I guess those lackluster earnings are winning out. Colgate is trading down 8%. Only a few stocks remain in the green including Corning, Goldman Sachs, and a number of the commodities. In the afternoon the averages slowly improved. Surprisingly, the commodity stocks are performing well. Entering the last hour the averages were back to the unchanged level. Goldman Sachs is performing well up 3%. Research in Motion popped as well. In the last hour the averages rallied, then sold off. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 30 points at 10,467. The S&P 500 index dropped 4 points to 2,251. The utilities and consumer staples sectors weighed the most, losing 1.6% and 1.1% respectively, while financials rose the most. The Nasdaq Composite fell 12 points to 2,251.

July 28, 2010
U.S. stocks wavered after Wednesday's start as corporate quarterly results supported sentiment even as orders for U.S.durable goods fell last month, countering expectations of a rise. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose fractionally to 10,537. The S&P 500 declined nearly a point to 1,113. The Nasdaq Composite added less than half a point to 2,288. The earnings keep coming in better than expected, but Wallstreet seems unimpressed so far this morning. A number of stocks are lower after beating estimates including Aflac, Hess, Southern Company, Boeing, International Paper, Corning, Lazard, Comcast, Kodak, Newmont Mining, Wellpoint, Arcelor Mittal, Aetna, Dreamworks, and Martha Stewart. The steel stocks are weak for a second consecutive day. US Steel is down 3% on a downgrade. Freeport McMoRan and fertilizer stocks are trading higher this morning. A number of stocks are higher following earnings including Broadcom, Panera Bread, Coke Enterprise, Sprint, CVS Caremark, Las Vegas Sands, and Jones Apparel. Jones Apparel is up 4%. In the tech space IBM, Research in Motion, and Cisco Systems. The financials are modestly lower expect for Metlife and Goldman Sachs. After the first hour the averages remain in the red. Quiet morning so far. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages remained stuck in the red. At 2 o'clock a weak economic forecast in the Beige book sent the averages lower. Here we go again. A few stocks remain in the green including Research in Motion, Goldman Sachs, Freeport McMoran, Agrium, Verizon, and Walmart. Entering the last hour the Dow was down 50 points. The Nasdaq declined 25 points. In the last hour not much happened. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 39 points at 10,497. The S&P 500 fell 7 points to 1,106, extending the prior session's drop, as health-care and tech stocks dragged the index lower. The Nasdaq Commposite fell 23 points, or 1%, to 2,264.

July 27, 2010
U.S. stocks open higher once again after chemical maker DuPont added its name to the list of companies reporting results that topped forecasts. As one strategist put it, "The earnings are easily beating the street, taking away that double-dip scenario." The Dow Industrials rose 35 points to 10,560. DuPont is up 4%. The S&P 500 rose 4 points to 1,119. The Nasdaq Composite gained 9 points to 2,305. The earnings keep streaming in. Stocks trading higher following eanrings include UBS, Under Armour, Lexmark, Cummins, Regions Financial, Nasdaq OMX, and Teva Pharma. At 10 o'clock weaker than expected economic and consumer sentiment numbers sent the averages into the red. The commodity stocks are weak this morning. AK Steel, US Steel, Valero Energy, Occidental, and BP are lower following earnings. BP only lost $17.2 billion during the quarter. Mosaic is lower thanks to a downgrade. A couple of other stocks trading lower following earnings include Jacobs Engineering, Tellabs, Americsource Bergen, L-3 Communications, and Level 3. What the odds L-3 and Level 3, two separate companies, report the same day. After the first hour the Dow was back in the green, but not by much. The Nasdaq was unchanged. Through the morning the averages fell back into the red led by commodities and techs. The financials are holding up. In the afternoon the Dow bounced back into the green. The Nasdaq is still in the red. Commodities remain weak. Gold closed down 2% to a 12 week low as the economic concerns start to ease.

July 26, 2010
U.S. stocks open quiet to start the week as investors step back ahead of a report on new-home sales for June. The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 3 points to 10,428. The S&P 500 Index edged fractionally up to 1,102. The Nasdaq Composite fell 2 points to 2,267. One stock not holding back this morning is FedEx. FedEx is jumping 5% after raising its profit forecast for the fiscal first quarter and full year, citing better-than-expected growth in FedEx Express and FedEx Ground volumes. This is a good sign for the economy. After a lackluster open, the averages rallied following the government reporting a jump in new-home sales for June. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 53 points to 10,477. The S&P 500 Index climbed 6 points to 1,108. The Nasdaq Composite added 9 points to 2,279. AT&T is performing well after Deutsche Bank raised the phone company's rating to a buy. Through the rest of the morning and into the afternoon the averages moved sideways near the highs of the day. In the last hour the averages accelerated once again, pushing the Dow and Nasdaq back into positive territory for the year. The bulls are back. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 100 points, or 1%, at 10,525. The S&P 500 gained 12 points, or 1.1%, to 1,115. The Nasdaq Composite closed up 26 points, or 1.2%, to close at 2,296.