Independent, Fee-Only Financial Advisor

Independent, Fee-Only Financial Advisor

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Thursday Breather

Markets ticked up today, after two down days. Overseas tension between Iran and Britain still has the pot stirred a bit, but the Dow managed to add nearly 1/2%. Techs were, mainly, flat. Numbers were released for economic growth, and the report was better than expected. We are growing at a 2.5% rate, faster than predicted. Maybe, this is the calm AFTER the storm. DJIA +48.39 NASDAQ +0.78 S&P 500 +5.30

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Rising Prices??

Bernanke testifed before Congress today and spooked Wall Street with his talk of possible inflationary pressures. Of course, investors seemed to miss his claim that the problems in the subprime lending market are nothing to worry about. He also spoke about continued economic growth in the last half of '07. Apparently, the good news got lost among the "i" word news. Oil tipped over $64 a barrel. All of this led to a decline in overall markets of about 3/4%. DJIA -96.93 NASDAQ -20.33 S&P 500 -11.38

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Home Sweet Home

It was all about the state of real estate today. January's numbers on housing were released, and they painted a grim picture of the real estate market. This, combined with the concerns about the subprime lending market, led to a decline on Wall Street. Lennar issued earnings that were not "sweet" but were in line with analysts expectations. The Fed still estimates a better second half for the housing market. All indexes responded negatively to this news.
DJIA -71.78 NASDAQ -18.20 S&P 500 -8.89

Thursday, March 22, 2007

YouTube... Going down the tube?

NBC is jumping into the fray and will begin offering an alternative to YouTube. Google may rue the day they paid big bucks for this internet phenom. Markets took a breather today, with the Dow adding slightly to gains. NASDAQ and the S&P 500 slipped, but only slightly. Oracle is suing SAP, accusing them of corporate spying. Ahh, the high-tech world is getting down and dirty, as competition heats up. DJIA +13.62 NASDAQ -4.18 S&P 500 -0.50

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Up, Up and Away!

Stocks responded with glee to the Fed's announcement that rates would remain the same. Surely, there was no surpise with this one, but markets breathed a sigh of relief, nonetheless. Techs added nearly 2%, while the Dow added about 1 1/2%. Fed comments were still cautioning about inflation, but Wall Street didn't seem to notice those remarks. DJIA +159.42 NASDAQ +47.71 S&P 500 +24.10

Monday, March 19, 2007

Go Figure

Markets suddenly took off today, but it's difficult to tell what the catalyst was. Homebuilders are still in the doldrums, pointing to the problems in the subprime area. The Federal Reserve is meeting this week. Doesn't that mean uncertainty? There is news of a few mergers swirling about, but there doesn't seem to be any one thing that caused the buying spree. Of course, that's the same way I felt when things were tanking just a few weeks ago. Maybe, we're just in a period of volatility, but the markets are displaying strength throughout it all. I don't care WHY it went up. I'm just delighted it did. All indexes added almost 1%. DJIA +115.76 NASDAQ +21.75 S&P 500 15.11

Friday, March 16, 2007

A Run

There was a lot of trading on Wall Street today. While all indexes posted lower numbers, they were limited. The heavy volume could be a good sign. Let's hope it's not a run. Options expiration had something to do with the activity. One bit of news... Wal Mart has decided to stay out of the banking business, for now. There was a time when I thought Wal Mart would rule the world. Now, I think they're just floundering. DJIA -49.27 NASDAQ -6.04 S&P 500 -5.33

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Good News, Bad News

You know the old line... I have good news and bad news. Which do you want to hear first? That was the order of the day. Economists expect the problems in the subprime lending area to spread. Apparently, the excesses in real estate will affect more people. Now, for the good news... But this shouldn't lead us into recession. Great! I think? The real estate market has certainly felt pain lately, but, it looks like to me, things are stabilizing. I'm actually looking for ways to invest in homebuilding, on the hopes that the worst has been built into prices. Markets actually posted positive numbers on this good news, bad news report. DJIA +26.28 NASDAQ +6.96 S&P 500 +5.11

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A Break in the Action

Whew! Markets ticked up today, bringing a sigh of relief to many investors. GM was the savior, believe it or not! The old line auto company has finally turned it around, reporting a profit for the most recent quarter. The account deficit also showed positive signs. The combination gave much needed good news to Wall Street. Large caps added about 1/2%, while NASDAQ managed nearly 1% today. Ahh, we live to invest another day! DJIA +57.44 NASDAQ +21.17 S&P 500 +9.22

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Lending Concerns

Concerns about subprime lenders from yesterday bled over into today's session. Retail numbers were lackluster, adding to the run for the exits. All indexes dropped about 2% for the day. We are still a consumer driven economy, so some inkling that consumers may be slowing spending creates waves in the market. Investors will be looking for safe havens, as the shake-out continues. I'm thinking "Spring Sale." DJIA -242.66 NASDAQ -51.72 S&P 500 -28.65

Monday, March 12, 2007

Spring Break

It's the first day of Spring Break in my neck of the woods, but I'm working while many are lolling on the beach. This past weekend produced glorious weather and sent me into the yard to plant and till. The early change to daylight savings time is adding to my spring fever. Everything is blooming here, and I LOVE it! Surely, this change in time will do what the retailers hope-- increase our spending! Speaking of retailers, Dollar General is being bought out by a private equity group. This is one of my favoritie stops, so I'm anxious about how this will affect my shopping experience. Subprime lenders got hit today, as more and more defaults are occurring in the mortgage market. This could point to bigger concerns, but you wouldn't know it from today's results. All indexes gained about 1/2%. DJIA +42.30 NASDAQ +14.74 S&P 500 +3.75

Friday, March 09, 2007


Today markets responded well to the jobs report. We added 97000 jobs- not great but not too shabby. The employment rate fell to 4.5%. If you are looking for economic growth, that is good news. If you are concerned about inflation .. that may not be such good news. Overall Wall Street responded with a yawn. DJIA +15.62 NASDAQ -0.18 S&P 500 + 0.96

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Adding Back

Markets ticked up significantly today (about 1/2%) on all fronts. The retail picture is still not great, with Wal Mart's results looking puny. Maybe Wal Mart is no longer the economic signal of choice?? Overseas markets were the drivers on Wall Street. It seems that U.S. markets are not leading the pack so much these days, as playing follow the leader. Tomorrow will be the employment report, and that should give investors some insight into the future. DJIA +68.25 NASDAQ +13.09 S&P 500 +9.92

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A Little Breather

While yesterday saw major gains by all indexes, today was a pause in the action. The Federal Reserve is assessing data to determine the direction of the economy. They note "modest" growth. They also note "no sign" of inflation-- whew! Housing is still weak. No surprise there. The response for investors was one of caution. NASDAQ backed up the most, giving up almost 1/2%, but large-caps just dipped slightly. Slight movements in either direction are welcome sights after the previous week's roller coaster ride. DJIA -15.14 NASDAQ -10.50 S&P 500 -3.44

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Happy Days Are Here Again!!

I have more than one reason to celebrate. Asian markets gained ground overnight, and the good news spilled on to Wall Street. All U.S. markets responded well today, sending a collective sigh through investors. We haven't digested all economic data, though, and the picture is still mixed. The economy MAY be slowing. Inflation MAY be rearing its head. The Fed has quite a bag of signals to sort through. Despite these, I am optimistic about our economy and markets. My other celebratory cheer arose when I received word that I passed my written comprehensive test on my Ph.D. program. Ahh, sweet relief on two fronts!

DJIA +157.18 NASDAQ +44.46 S&P 500 +21.29

Monday, March 05, 2007

End of Day Blues

Markets held nicely all day long-- until the last few trading hours. The same thing happened last week. Before the work week had started, news was coming out of Asia of further declines. The question was, "How would this affect U.S. markets?" Buyers were limited, so the numbers were never able to hold. By the end of the day, the market took another dip. It's a question of which came first-- the chicken or the egg-- and which will stop the round of dips. My bet is on U.S. markets! DJIA -63.69 NASDAQ -27.32 S&P 500 -13.05

Friday, March 02, 2007


The entire day looked fine; the indexes were down slightly, but not dramatically. At the last, markets began to tumble. The tally for the week is a hit in the 5% range. So much for my nice restful weekend. What does it all mean? I can't quite put my finger on one event. Is this a "mid-cycle correction?" Is it the beginning of the end of our bull run? Signs seem to point to the former. Overheating in the Asian markets has overflowed to the U.S. and caused some minor events to be amplified. We'll wait out the weekend and hope for the trend to change next week. DJIA -120.24 NASDAQ -36.21 S&P 500 -16.00

Thursday, March 01, 2007

A "Dicey" Day

Markets dropped about 200 points, as the day started on Wall Street. Another dicey day in Asia caused nerves to be rattled, but things calmed by the end of the session. Large-caps still lost a little ground, but it was mild. Techs dropped another 1/2%, though. Dell had sour news, so expect this tech trend to continue. The shakeout continues, but I don't agree with Mr. Greenspan's assessment. Okay, so things may be slowing. By no means are we down and out! Business is just still too good.

DJIA -34.29 NASDAQ -11.94 S&P 500 -3.65