Independent, Fee-Only Financial Advisor

Independent, Fee-Only Financial Advisor

Monday, July 31, 2006

Almost August

It's the last day of July. Markets dipped slightly, as we wait for the next Fed meeting. Everyone seems to be reading the signs, trying to decide if a rate increase will be announced. The expectation is that this would be the last for a while. More importantly than the increase will be the wording of the press release. Will the Fed signal the end of their activity? If so, the final quarter of the year should give us much-needed relief. If you need relief from the market volatility, consider sticking to dividend paying stocks. Nice, fat dividends help to ease the pain of market fluctuations! Dow -34.02 NASDAQ -2.67 S&P 500 -1.89

Friday, July 28, 2006

Finishing With A Bang!

After yesterday's see-saw act, it seems the "high hopes" from earlier this week prevailed today. A weaker-than-expected GDP Report for the second quarter came out today. Hopes were raised again that this would be a continued reason for the Fed to put a halt on rates increases. This was especially good news to financial stocks like American Express and Citigroup, which were up. I'm glad to end the week on a good note, as it seems this gloomy weather will be much harder to beat! DJIA: +119.27 Nasdaq: +39.67 S&P 500: +15.35

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Thursday See-Saw

The market bumped down from an almost-green day today in the final hours of trading - AGAIN. It seems that last hour is a sure-fire downer. The cause of the dip? A balancing act. Investors weighed on one side the hopes of an end to rates increases by the Fed, while fears of an economic slow-down were on the opposite end. The basis of these factors: a June report showing solid demand for durable goods vs. a slowing housing market. Nonetheless, we keep driving around looking at houses for sale in our spare time - my new favorite form of "free" entertainment! DJIA: -2.08 Nasdaq: -15.99 S&P 500: -5.20

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Close, But No Cigar

We came so close to having three "green" days in a row. The market was up this afternoon (the Dow was up almost 50 points) until the last couple of hours. Its the transportation stocks that investors are worried about, particularly after today, when both Boeing and GM reported low earnings reports. GM reported a net loss of $3.18 billion (despite a 12% revenue increase) and the market dipped. I've been thinking about personally helping GM buy purchasing a new car, but I've had so much fun shopping, I might never make a decision!

DJIA: -1.20 Nasdaq: -3.44 S&P 500: -0.48

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

High Hopes

Investors are keeping a close eye on the oil market, and they must have seen something today that they liked. With the high hope that the Middle East crisis won't sread to the oil-rich regions, oil prices dropped and trading shot up in the last hour. Amazon had a so-so day, with their net dropping but still managing to increase revenue. And HP announced they will buy the software company Mercury Interactive. Despite the gloomy rain, its a good day! DJIA: +52.66 Nasdaq: +12.06 S&P 500: +7.97

Monday, July 24, 2006

Out of the Shoot with a Bang!

Markets took off first thing this morning and didn't let up all day. What's all the optimism about? Mergers and buyouts. HCA is being bought out in one of the biggest. Several other mergers hit the news. Merger news is BIG news for Wall Street. It means business execs are optimistic about the future economy and the current pricing of companies. The fact that this big event occurred in the health care industry is great news. Along with this, the poor downtrodden big pharma stocks witnessed upticks today. Merck was the big winner on the day, but the entire group benefitted. Oil is still front and center, but you may want to try a cheaper substitute in your car!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Friday Drag

Microsoft had big news today. The computer giant is working on a portable music player and line of music that will give the iPod and iTunes a run for their money. Despite this news and high earnings for Google, Dell's earnings forecast did enough damage to make the drag. Add this to concerns about a possible economic slow-down, and the result is negative. But it seems no matter the threats of the economy nor the growing concerns over the Middle East, we Americans are deteremined to take our summer vacations. Since the summer is quickly coming to a close, check out these affordable but exotic destinations. And happy Friday! DJIA: -59.72 Nasdaq: -19.03 S&P 500: -8.84

Thursday, July 20, 2006

What Rally?

Yesterday's trend of a slight increase did not continue today, despite our best and highest hopes. Apparently, earnings reports are what caused investors to pull back today, mainly Intel's earnings, which were so low it caused Intel to drop 7.5%. Other than Intel, techonology stocks were mostly high, with Apple Computer surging 12% and Motorola coming up to 7%. The situation in the Middle East is getting scarier, and the markets have felt it, too. Crude oil rose again today, topping out at $73.08 per barrel. DJIA: -83.32 Nasdaq: -41.29 S&P 500: -10.68

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Thanks, Ben!!

What a day! While the economic news held no great promise, Mr. Bernanke gave us a gift. He indicated the Fed may temper interest rate increases in the future, and stocks took off. The gain was in the 2% range for all indexes. Ebay and Apple reported after the bell, and the numbers look good. Could this trend continue for another day? Dow +212.19 NASDAQ +37.49 S&P 500 +22.95

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Tame Tuesday

The Middle East still rages, but it seems that investors have taken it in stride. Oil settled back again, helping stocks gain on the day. Home builders are feeling less confident these days, but financial firms are flying high. Put it all in a blender and you get an all-green day on the indexes. Don't expect solid green until the summer ends, though. We'll continue to have a mixed bag on the economic front. Mr. Bernanke speaks tomorrow... hold your breath for this one! If you're looking for a place to hide, try the linked advice on safe stocks. Just don't bet the farm! Dow +51.47 NASDAQ +5.51 S&P 500 +2.37

Monday, July 17, 2006

Mild Monday

While the unrest continues in the Middle East, the tension on Wall Street eased. Oil pulled back to the $75 range, despite predicitons of $100 per barrel. The Dow and NASDAQ eked out small gains on the day. This was due, mainly, to good economic reports. Industrial sectors posted strong numbers for June. So, while the world may be going to h**l in a handbasket, business marches on! Dow +8.01 NASDAQ +0.37 S&P 500 -1.71

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Oil set another record, topping $77 a barrel. This is connected to the unrest in the Middle East. With Israel and Lebanon going at it and Iran rattling a few chains, markets could do nothing but retract. U.S. companies keep moving ahead, taking care of business. GM is one step closer to a deal with Nissan. Ford is cutting its dividend, hoping to conserve cash. Intel is laying off managers, as it streamlines its business. Major indexes gave up more than 1% today. Let's hope oil and the Middle East cools off soon. Dow -166.89 NASDAQ -36.13 S&P 500 -16.31

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Mid Week Whiplash

Markets went back into the red today. It's earnings season, and the uncertainty is causing a few jitters. Oil jumped over $75 a barrel today, and that didn't help matters. The report on the trade deficit looked mild, though. It seems U.S. business is exporting MORE. This see saw may not end until the next rate hike. It could be a long, hot summer. Dow -121.59 NASDAQ -38.62 S&P 500 -13.92

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Techs on Tuesday

The NASDAQ gained back most of yesterday's dip on news that chip makers are doing well. Maybe there's hope for my Intel stock. AMD and Intel continue to battle it out, and AMD may be losing out. After all, they are the gnat around the elephant's ear. Texas Instruments may be the company to watch, though. They are staying on the cutting edge in the wireless area. With the changes in media and communications, Nielsen is going to start issuing ratings on television ads. Cablevision is in court defending its plan to offer a recording device for its programming. The marketers are definitely running scared! Dow +31.22 NASDAQ +11.93 S&P 500 +5.18

Monday, July 10, 2006


The day started well on all fronts, but techs dragged things down. I'm still a fan of the techies, though. From my cell phone to my internet hook-up, I'm sold on technology, and I don't see any slowdown. The twenty-somethings surrounding me seem to know this better than I do. Yet, tech has yet to reestablish itself on Wall Street after the dot-com debacle. For an interesting article on technology and the up and comers, check out BusinessWeek. I'm always looking for the latest gadget. Dow +13.28 NASDAQ -13.13 S&P 500 +1.88

Friday, July 07, 2006

Friday Slump

Markets dropped around 1% today, as the jobs report revealed hiring at a low level. While this sounds like an economic slowdown, there is more to the report. Wages are up, and number of hours per worker is up. Also, unemployment is staying below 5%. All this points to a crimp in the jobs market. Hmm... a mixed bag. The consensus seems to be that the Fed will look at this as a sign of inflation, and it was "I" word that did the real damage today. Dow -134.63 NASDAQ -25.03 S&P 500 -8.60

Monday, July 03, 2006

Quiet Monday

It's the day before the 4th, and it seems we are the only ones working. The lawyers next door are nowhere to be seen... unusual for them to grant a long weekend to their staff. Even the traffic at lunch was light. We just got back from the beach, but I think everyone else is just now heading that way. It was a short day on Wall Street, with markets closing about noon our time. Despite more bad news from GM, all indexes posted gains in the 3/4% range. GM and Nissan may join up-- say it ain't so! Who could have imagined Detroit would buckle and need a hand(out) from the Japanese? Stranger still, while markets have been topsy turvy this quarter, the best returning stock has been GM, up over 50% for the year. It pays to bargain shop! Happy 4th!! Dow +77.80 NASDAQ +18.34 S&P 500 +9.99