Independent, Fee-Only Financial Advisor

Independent, Fee-Only Financial Advisor

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Mid-Week Romp

Markets took off today, with the announcement from the Fed that rates will remain the same. I guess no news is good news. Of course, one bit of good news has to do with Google. These days, at my house, if we don't have an answer to a question, we just say, "Google it!" I think everyone is doing the same, because Google's earnings tripled. It didn't help the stock, though. Go figure! You have to remember that the market is always looking forward. Forget what you did yesterday. What can you do tomorrow? All indexes showed good gains on this last day of January. DJIA +98.38 NASDAQ +15.29 S&P 500 +9.42

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Tuesday Watch

Markets showed some life after a couple of up and down weeks. All eyes are on the Fed, as we wait for their next move. The guess is that they will leave well enough alone, maybe for the entire year. Merck's earnings report was dismal, but not unexpected. Gains were limited on the day. DJIA +32.53 NASDAQ +7.55 S&P 500 +8.20

Monday, January 29, 2007

Monday Report

Today's the big day for Vista, Microsoft's new operating system. I haven't figured out Windows 98 yet. How am I supposed to get proficient on this new one? Technology is great... if you can make it work for you. That's my problem these days. I have a new cellphone. Correction. This is my 4th new cellphone in as many weeks. I'm trying to upgrade, but I can't get the silly thing to work. Maybe, it's operator error. Maybe. But when the techies can't get it going after hours of trying everything under the sun, maybe it's the technology. The only thing I like on this new phone? I can make the ring sound like the phones of my growing up days! Ahh, sweet memories. Markets treaded water today. DJIA +3.76 NASDAQ +5.60 S&P 500 -1.56

Friday, January 26, 2007


It's the end of the trading week for stocks. Yesterday's big drop was followed by slight declines in large-caps. NASDAQ managed to eke out a small gain for the day. Dell is planning to be the first to use Microsoft's much-awaited Vista operating system. Being first can be great or it can be a nightmare, if you haven't worked out the bugs yet! Dow -15.54 NASDAQ +1.25 S&P 500 -1.72

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Technical Bliss

The Nasdaq closed today at 2466.28. The Dow ended at 12621.77, a new record high. Why such big numbers? The tech stocks. Yahoo and Sun Microsystems led the way, with Yahoo's new advertising technology and Sun's higher-than-expected profits. EBay also had good news, with sales continuing to climb. Its shares climbed 9% after trading hours.
While we're in the "tech department," I found a cool, new product. HP has recently introduced the TouchSmart PC, a computer designed especially for the kitchen. If your kitchen stays as busy as mine, this new organization tool might deserve a second glance. If nothing else, its features will leave you open-mouthed and wide-eyed in awe.
DJIA: +87.97 Nasdaq: +34.87 S&P 500: +12.14

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Anxiously Awaiting

Investors loaded up on crude oil today, in preparation for the State of the Union Address tonight. The President is expected to ask Congress for an increase in the nation's petroleum reserve, which would mean a crude oil buying binge for the U.S. goverment. As a result, crude oil ended the day at a whopping $55.04 a barrel. Sun Microsystems has a new face on their board. Private equity firm KKR made a $7 million investment in the server maker, making Sun's shares jump 8.5% after trading hours. Yahoo was the other big winner today. The internet giant reported a 13% increase in revenue, thanks to an upgrade in its online advertising system. DJIA: +56.64 Nasdaq: +0.34 S&P 500: +5.04

Monday, January 22, 2007

Don't Fall In The Gap

GAP made headlines today, with the announcement that Paul Pressler is stepping down as CEO. Sales at Christmas were below the retail giant's hopes, and now there is an increased urgency to find a new direction. Boeing will also need a new direction. Analysts downgraded it today, causing it to bring the Nasdaq down 0.8%. Speaking of falls, there seems to be a renewed vigor for credit card spending. American Express saw a 24% gain in its net income, due to record card-holder spending and an increase in loan amounts. That credit card debt is out! DJIA: -88.37 Nasdaq: -20.24 S&P 500: -7.55

Friday, January 19, 2007


It may have been the effects of gloomy weather, but this has seemed like a long week. Maybe its the up, down, and "barely" moments of the market. Today was a "barely" day. GE and IBM slowed things down, and the numbers didn't close far from where they started the trading day. The Dow was "barely" down, and the Nasdaq was "barely" up. Next week promises to be a bit more interesting, with the State of the Union address on Tuesday. And oil prices are predicted to drop, as consumption reports showed a decrease - the first in 20 years. I'll just be glad I can afford a road trip! DJIA: -2.40 Nasdaq: +8.10 S&P 500: +4.13

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Apple NOT the Star

I've been "oohing" and "aahing" over Apple all week. Investors agreed with me, forecasting a strong upcoming quarter for the tech giant. But Apple has lower expectations; their forecast was significantly lower than Wall Street's, and Apple took a hard fall to $89.07 (a 6.2% decrease - ouch!). But Apple wasn't the only tech stock that's doing sommersaults. The Nasdaq took the hardest hit today, falling over 1%. Thankfully, analysts are calling this a "short-term correction." Whew! GE is expanding into the health care department with their acquistion of two diagnostic businesses from Abbott Labs. And Merrill Lynch boosted its net income a whopping 68%. Last, and very saddly, the North American chief of Ford is giving up his much-criticized free use of a company plane to fly home on weekends. I just hate it when that happens... DJIA: -9.22 Nasdaq: -36.21 S&P 500: -4.25

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Apple A Star

Apple is the star of the month, it seems. It announced a surge in profit and revenue, as iPod's were shipped all over the world (21 million shipments) as Christmas presents. I know several were shipped to Clinton, came to my house! The Dow reached an all-time intraday high, but traders backed off at the end of trading, leaving us just slightly behind. The Fed's beige-book report is to thank. J.P. Morgan posted a 68% increase in quarterly net income, and AMR had its first "good" year since 2000. Despite the nasty weather, it's feeling good on Wall Street. Now, if I can just figure out how to use my iPod... DJIA: -5.44 Nasdaq: -18.36 S&P 500: -1.28

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

When is Tuesday Monday?

Monday was the MLK holiday, so this is the first trading day of a shortened week. Markets were mixed. Intel's earnings report was bleak. The company is off 39%. While Intel is the elephant in computer processing, it has been slashing prices to fend off the fly around its ear, AMD. I think we will see that situation stabilizing, as technology (namely wireless devices) leads the way in 2007. The consumer electronics show in Vegas displayed some of the new gadgets for this year. My husband is pushing for a new television at home. I hope he doesn't see this television best in show! Dow +26.51 NASDAQ -5.04 S&P 500 +1.17

Friday, January 12, 2007

Friday report

Markets ended the week on an up note. As oil prices have fallen during the week, stock prices have risen. I don't understand how oil can drop, but I still pay high prices at the pump! We are below pre-Katrina levels. This is adding fuel to the fire of the stock market rise. How low can they go? Or maybe the question is how long will they stay at this level? China is still forging ahead with double digit growth. We're still eating up our fair share of energy. Hmmm... I STILL may need to consider a hybrid.
Dow +40.13 NASDAQ +17.97 S&P 500 +6.91

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Happy Thursday to You

Some analysts claimed that the market's performance for the first week of the year predicted how the rest of the month would go. This month might throw those statistics off. Today, the blue chips closed at a new all-time high, with the Dow ending at 12514.98. Tech stocks led the climb, with Microsoft up 3.5%. Their shares were up higher than they've been in four years. Also helping today's happy ending were low oil prices. Traders finally had a dramatic reaction to the drop in crude oil prices. Not enough to make you smile? Several traders took comfort in jobless claims dropping to a six-month low, indicating the economy isn't slowing too quickly. Happy Thursday to us! DJIA: +72.82 Nasdaq: +25.52 S&P 500: +8.97

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Give Me an "A!"

Alcoa joined Apple in boosting the market up a few notches. After announcing a 60% jump in profits, Alcoa surged 6%. And Apple is still going strong after its leap yesterday, headed by the announcement of their own fancy cell phone, the iPhone. Energy prices were less exciting, as we watched oil prices tumble. But nothing could stop traders in today's mid-week trading flurry. The Dow ended up almost a quarter of a point! DJIA: +25.56 Nasdaq: +15.50 S&P 500: +2.74

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

An Apple A Day...

Apple saved the day today with its announcement to launch the iPhone, a spin-off of the iPod. The iPhone will be a cell phone able to download music and browse the internet. It will be interesting to see how well the iPhone performs, particularly since both Blackberry and Palm have seen slight drops these past few days. Tech stocks were generally up, mostly thanks to Apple. The Nasdaq closed up almost a quarter of a point; however, blue chips were slightly down. DJIA: -6.89 Nasdaq: 5.63 S&P 500: -0.73

Monday, January 08, 2007


The Detroit Auto Show is going on, and U.S. carmakers are trying to show they can compete with foreign competition. It's always fun to look at the concept cars to see glimpses of the future. Speaking of the future, I joined it today with the purchase of a smartphone. I'm e-mailing and cruising the web via phone. Amazing. The Fed is saying "no" to interest rate decreases, but I don't think Wall Street quite believes them. Wal Mart is still shaking things up in the executive suite. The Gap may be sold... a strange Monday. Dow +25.48 NASDAQ +3.95 S&P 500 +3.13

Friday, January 05, 2007


Markets retreated today, even though the news was good. The jobs report was good, and the concern swapped over to inflation. It's always a balancing act. Too much good news, and the Fed may raise rates. Not enough, and profits get hurt. This seesaw act may actually prove a good thing for 2007-- as long as we don't tip in one direction or the other. Motorola's news wasn't good, despite the success of the Razr. Dow -82.68 NASDAQ -19.18 S&P 500 -8.63

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Strange Thursday

It's a rainy day in Mississippi. Retailers had clouds over them today, as most reported less than stellar sales for the holidays. Target appears to be a bright spot, while Wal Mart is ho-hum. Large caps barely eked out gains today, but techs soared. NASDAQ added more than 1% today, with Intel being a big winner-- finally! The big U.S. automakers are still crying the blues, and Toyota is still making headway among U.S. consumers. Toyota plans to build another plant in the South, giving new meaning to American made. Dow +6.17 NASDAQ +30.17 S&P 500 +1.74

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


The day started out with a bang, with the Dow gaining more than 100 points. The Fed put a wet blanket on things by releasing the minutes of their last meeting. The governors are not so sure about the prospects for the economy in 2007. With that, the rally fizzled. Despite their opinions, business news was good on all fronts. Even airlines are "in the money." This, after 6 losing years! Forget the Fed! I say it's a Happy New Year! Dow +11.37 NASDAQ +7.87 S&P 500 -1.53

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A New Year

We've had things shut down for the holidays but are now gearing up for a frenzied reporting season. I'm trying to get used to "2007," but I'm still wondering what happened to "2006." The year ended well, and economists are guessing what the new year will bring. Housing looks like it has stabilized, with inventory down and prices settling down. I hate to be the bearer of even more good news, but I think 2007 will bring positive returns for investors. Note, I THINK... no guarantees here! If you want a few good tips for making the year a profitable one, try this link-- The first day of '07 saw negative numbers across the board, but it's early yet! Dow -38.37 NASDAQ -10.28 S&P 500 -6.43