The Week In Review


December 24, 2010
U.S. markets are closed Friday for the Christmas holiday.

December 23, 2010
U.S. stocks open modestly lower on this last trading day before Christmas. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose fractionally to 11,559. The Standard & Poor's Index declined a point to 1,257. The Nasdaq Composite fell 3 points to 2,668. Last night Micron and Bed Bath & Beyond reported earnings. Micron is down 3% after missing estimates while Bed Bath & Beyond is up 6% after easily beating estimates. Bed Bath & Beyond also received an upgrade this morning. One merger before the holiday. Jo-Ann Stores is the diamond this morning, jumping 32% after agreeing to be taken private. Finish Line is modestly higher on an upgrade. Croc's is down 5% after the CFO stepped down to take another job. Elsewhere, the financials are modestly lower. The techs are mixed. Apple and Google are lower, but Research in Motion is higher. The commodities opened lower, but then traded higher. Rowan is up a percent on an upgrade. Alcoa is up 2.5% after CNBC's Jim Cramer recommended it last night. The fertilizers look good. After the first hour the Dow was up 10 points. The Nasdaq declined 7 points. Through the morning the averages remained quiet. Not much business is getting down. In the afternoon the averages drifted into the red. A number of commodities are higher, but that's about it. In the last hour the averages fought back to the unchanged level. The financials are one of the weakest sectors. Back to reality. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 14 points at 11,573, led by Alcoa. The Dow rallied 0.7% for the week. The S&P 500 lost 2 points to 1,256, breaking a streak of five straight session gains, although it did end up a percent for the week. The Nasdaq Composite fell 5 points to 2,665 for the session and rose 0.9% for the week, its fifth week of gains. The Dow and S&P 500 have rallied four straight weeks. Crazy.

December 22, 2010
U.S. stocks wavered from opening gains as Wall Street tried to extend a winning streak that has the Standard & Poor's 500 up for a fifth consecutive session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped a point to 11,531. The S&P 500 inched up a point to 1,255. The Nasdaq Composite added 2 points to 2,669. Plenty of earnings last night and this morning. In the tech and retail space Nike, Red Hat, and Finish Line are down over 3% following disappointing guidance. Chipmaker, Xilinx is down 4% after lowering guidance last night. Most of the chips are trading lower. Micron is modestly higher on an upgrade ahead of earnings tonight. One chip stock acting great is ARM Holdings up 5% to new highs. Microsoft said they would use their chip in a new Windows based software next year. Not great news for Intel which is down a percent. A number of stocks are higher following earnings including Progressive Software, American Greetings, and Walgreens. All three are up 8%. Not bad. The financials are acting great once again. US Bancorp upgraded the sector. State Street and Bank of New York were also upgraded. An analyst made positive comments on Visa and Mastercard this morning. The Dow Jones Transportation Average remains on a tear. Railroad company Genesee Wyoming is higher on an upgrade. Carnival Cruise keeps pushing higher following strong earnings the other day. The stock is up 3% today on an upgrade. After the first hour the averages remain modestly in the green. This market does not want to go down. Through the morning and into the afternoon the Dow improved thanks to the financials and in particular the big banks. The commodities are in the red, I forgot they could go down. In the last hour more stocks lost their gains except for the financials. They're holding up like champs.

December 21, 2010
U.S. stocks opened higher on Tuesday with sentiment bolstered by a round of corporate deals, including Toronto-Dominion Bank's $6.3 billion purchase of Chrysler Financial. It's getting a little crazy now that we go up every day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 38 points to 11,516. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 4 points to 1,251 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 9 points to 2,658. Toronto-Dominion is trading up 2.5% following their acquisition. The financials in general are performing well. All the big banks are up over a percent. Paychex is up a percent on an upgrade. Mastercard is unchanged on an upgrade. On the earnings front Adobe and Jabil Circuit are up over 4% following strong numbers. Sandisk is jumping 5% on an upgrade. Micron and Microsoft are higher on upgrades. Apple and Google are higher. Shocker. In the retail space, Darden Restaurants is down 5% on in line numbers. CarMax is dropping 9% following earnings. Skechers is down 8% on a downgrade. Urban Outfitters is lower on a downgrade. A couple of retailers are higher. Carnival is up 3% following strong guidance. Papa Johns is also higher following quarterly guidance. Crocs is higher on an upgrade. After the first hour the averages remain strong with very few stocks lower. One sector trading lower are the corporate bond funds. The big transition from bonds to stocks seems to be underway. Through the morning the averages remained strong inching higher. No sellers out there. In the afternoon, more of the same. The averages remained strong, actually improving in the last hour. I guess we're never going down again. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 55 points at 11,533, lifted by shares of Bank of America. The S&P 500 ended up 7 points to 1,254, led by more than 1% gains in its financials and materials sectors. The Nasdaq Composite ended up 18 points at 2,667.

December 20, 2010
U.S. stocks opened higher on Monday as investors looked to extend its' three-week advance into this holiday-shortened week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 18 points to 11,510. The S&P 500 Index rose 3 points to 1,247. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 8 points to 2,651. One merger to announce this morning. Applied Signal is jumping 8% after Raytheon agreed to buy them. AT&T is spending $1.9 billion on 4G spectrum from Qualcomm. Nether stock is reacting much. On the earnings front Jefferies is down 2% following disappointing earnings. Bank of Montreal is down 2% on a downgrade following lousy earnings last week. The rest of the financials are holding up better. Huntington Bancshares is up 4% on an upgrade. Sallie Mae is jumping 6% following a positive article in Barrons. The commodities are mixed this morning. Freeport McMoran and Cliffs Natural Resources are both up over a percent. The fertilizers and oils are lower. Halliburton, Suncor Energy, and Rowan were upgraded, but it doesn't seem to be helping. After the first half an hour the rally fizzled. The techs fell into the red. Redhat and Amazon are modestly higher on upgrades. The heavy weights Apple and Google are lower. Research in Motion is down 3% even though they reported better than expected earnings last week. The Dow also fell into the red after the first half an hour. Boeing is down 3% even though they said they will expand production of their 777 planes. Through the morning the averages remained in the red with some of the financials and a couple commodity stocks remaining in the green. During the lunch hour the averages rebounded with the Nasdaq moving back to the unchanged. The financials are improving. A couple of commodities continue to perform well. In the afternoon the averages pulled back a little bit. Two interesting news stories, Medtronic and 3M are up over 1.5% as their CEOs are retiring or stepping down. That can't be good for their egos. In the last hour the averages rebounded once again. This market does not want to go down. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 13 points at 11478 thanks in part to a 3.4% drop in American Express. The S&P 500 ended up 3 points at 1,247, led by rising energy and homebuilding stocks. The Nasdaq Composite gained 6 points to 2,649.