Independent, Fee-Only Financial Advisor

Independent, Fee-Only Financial Advisor

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Another rate cut

The Federal Open Market Committee cut the federal-funds rate buy a quarter point, leaving it at 4.5%. All 3 major indexes thrived in wake of the Fed's decision, all finishing with a gain of over 1%. The announcement did not help everyone as housing stocks took a hit after the Fed noted the "intensification of the housing correction." Crude-oil futures settled at $94.53 a barrel, a new record close. DJIA +137.54 Nasdaq +42.41 S&P 500 +18.36

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Decision time

All 3 indexes took a slight fall into the red Tuesday. The Federal Reserve will announce whether or not there will be a another rate cut tomorrow, which is weighing heavily on investor's minds. Chairman and Chief Executive Stan O'Neal resigned from Merrill Lynch and is being marked as the most dramatic fallout yet from the credit crunch. I have a feeling the $161 million in benefits, he received from various pension plans and stock grants, will help ease the pain. Crude-oil futures took a $3.15 drop but are still above the $90 a barrel mark. DJIA -77.79 Nasdaq -0.73 S&P 500 -9.96

Monday, October 29, 2007

A Good Start

It was a good start to the investing week, as all indexes posted gains in the 1/2 % range. This, despite being the anniversary of the Great Crash of 1929. Merrill Lynch's CEO is out, as the big financial tries to right the ship. Talk is of another interest rate cut at the next Fed meeting. As for the price of oil... how high can it go? DJIA +63.56 NASDAQ +13.25 S&P 500 +5.69

Friday, October 26, 2007

Countrywide jumps

All three major indexes gained 1% or more Friday, and the Nasday almost gained 2%. Countrywide shares skyrocketed, ending the day up 32%, and Microsoft gained 8.4% after the company reported a surprising 23% gain in quarterly profit. On a less positve note, Crude-oil futures settled at a record close, up $1.40, or 1.6%, to $91.86. I hope these gains will stick come Monday. Have a safe weekend. DJIA +134.78 Nasdaq +53.33 S&P 500 +20.88

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Gloomy Thursday

The weather wasnt the only thing cloudy Thurday as high oil prices and continued nervousness about fallout from the recent credit-market meltdown kept stocks lower. The major indexes finished close to where they started but spent most of the day further into the red. Wall Street is still nervous about how much damage remains to be uncovered from the summer's credit crunch. Facebook was valued at $15 billion today as Microsoft invested $240 million into the social-networking site. DJIA -3.33 Nasdaq -23.90 S&P 500 -1.48

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Watch the Bouncing Ball

The morning started with not-so-good news from Merrill Lynch. They are taking large write-downs, and the effect on the Dow was immediate and pronounced. For most of the day, large-caps were down about 1% or more. But by the afternoon, the picture changed, and the Dow and the S&P 500 ended up only slightly in the red. Microsoft announced that it is increasing its investment in Facebook. It will be a battle of the internet giants, as Bill Gates' baby and Google face off. NASDAQ stocks weren't as lucky today, ending down nearly 1%. DJIA -0.98 NASDAQ -24.50 S&P 500 -3.71

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tech takes off

All 3 indexes ended up Tuesday but The Nasdaq led the way, gaining 1.65%. Apple shares rose 6.8% after it booked a 67% increase in quarterly net, helped by strong sales of its Macintosh computers. There was some disappointment in the tech sector Tuesday, as Texas Instruments shares fell 8.3%. Crude-oil prices fell 75 cents to $85.27 a barrel, but are still up 40% on the year. The California fires, which began Sunday, have burned at least 373,000 acres, or 583 square miles. DJIA +109.26 Nasdaq +45.33 S&P 500 +13.26

Monday, October 22, 2007

Golden Delicious!

Well, it was all about Apple today. They did it again! Apple reported an increase in earnings of 67%. Despite their little snafu on pricing, they are selling Ipods like crazy. And it's not even Christmas yet. While financials are still struggling, the broad market responded positively to good earnings announcements. NASDAQ gained more than 1%, making it the winner!

DJIA +44.95 NASDAQ +28.77 S&P 500 +5.70

Friday, October 19, 2007

Markets take a fall

The major indexes all ended down more than 2.5% Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 366.94 to 13522.02. Losses in stocks accelerated into the afternoon. Friday was an options-expiration day, which can often see more volatility and exaggerated market moves. Jim Herrick, head trader at Robert W. Baird, said that positive earnings surprises had already been priced into the market, and were now coming out. Hopefully this will balance out next week. Have a good weekend. DJIA -74.15 Nasdaq -366.94 S&P 500 -39.45

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Mixed Day

NASDAQ took off this morning and stayed in positive territory all day. The tech news from yesterday was the driver on this index. The result was a 1% gain. The story was not the same for large-caps, though. The Dow started off big, then saw its gains whittled away. By closing, the numbers were slightly in the red. Ebay's bottom line is a loss, but that's not all bad. It posted a 30% increase in revenue. The loss was attributed to the Skype acquisition. Geopolitical concerns are taking over, as Turkey and Iraq begin the sabre rattling! DJIA -20.40 NASDAQ +28.76 S&P 500 +2.71

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Storm Before the Calm

Markets slumped again today, with most indexes dropping about 1/2%. Oil is nearing $90 a barrel, and investors are spooked by the repercussions. On a better note, Ford showed marked improvement on their ratings from Consumer Reports. Just when you thought it was all over for the big 3! After market close, there was good news from the tech sector. IBM reported a 6% rise in earnings, and Intel's earnings jumped 43%. These should be reflected in tomorrow's numbers. DJIA -71.86 S&P 500 -10.18 NASDAQ -16.14

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Money Guys

Citigroup released earnings today. They were down 57%, but this was no big surprise. Since the problems in the credit market, the company has been warning investors. Despite the warnings, the news hit Wall Street hard, resulting in losses on all indexes. Other financials will surely follow, as the shake-out continues. The weather is cooling off, even in Mississippi, and I'm beginning to have a hint of the holidays. The real news will be how the summer meltdown among the financials affects the Christmas season. DJIA -108.28 NASDAQ -25.63 S&P 500 -13.09

Friday, October 12, 2007

Good Whiplash

Well, it was a little bit like whiplash today. Markets swung far into the green today. Key numbers on inflation were released, and the news is all good. Oracle is on a buying spree, and other corporate deals may follow. For this last day of the week, it was all good. DJIA +77.96 NASDAQ +33.48 S&P 500 +7.39

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Afternoon Slump

Markets took off this morning and were rosy through early afternoon. I only looked down for a minute, and, poof! The gains disappeared. What looked like a triple digit day for the Dow turned out to be red across the board. As the day began, the news was all about optimistic views from the nation's economists. There were no signs of a recession, and everyone was happy. After lunch, downgrades on technology sent investors into hiding. DJIA -63.57 NASDAQ -39.41 S&P 500 -8.06

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Tech sector holds

The Nasdaq was the only index to finish in the positive Wednesday, gaining 0.27%. The DJIA was hurt when Boeing shares fell 2.7% after the aerospace giant said its new 787 Dreamliner airplane will be delayed by six months because the company is having trouble assembling the initial batch. Overseas, Asian indexes continued to plow into new territory. Records were set by China's Shanghai Composite Index, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index, South Korea's Kospi, India's Bombay Sensex 30 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200. Crude-oil prices rose $1.04 to $81.30 a barrel amid concerns about tighter inventories heading into the winter. DJIA -85.84 Nasdaq +7.70 S&P 500 -2.68

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A Record Day

Wall Street responded positively to the release of the Fed minutes. The Fed is not concerned about inflation and felt comfortable with the rate decrease. We're on the cusp of earnings season, as well. Alcoa will release numbers today. Company earnings will give us a clue about the remainder of the year. For now, all indexes added nicely. The Dow is in record territory. DJIA +120.80 NASDAQ +16.54 S&P 500 +12.57

Monday, October 08, 2007

Columbus Day

Bond markets were closed and trading was light Monday, due to the Columbus Day holiday. The Nasdaq was the only index to finish in the positive, making a 0.25% gain. Google closed above $600 for the first time ever, gaining 2.6% to end at $601.60. Crude-oil futures took a much need drop today, falling $2.20 to $79.02, but are still up 29% on the year. The minutes from the Sept. 18 Federal Open Markets Committee meeting will be release Tuesday, which should be interesting to see. DJIA -22.28 Nasdaq +7.05 S&P 500 -5.01

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Stocks sit steady

Stocks moved very little Thursday, as investors seem to be waiting for some more clues about the health of the economy. "Everyone is going to key off the employment report tomorrow," said Stephen Carl, head trader at Williams Capital, so we will see some more movement. Crude-oil prices rose $1.50 to $81.44 a barrel, a day after the Department of Energy reported an unexpected increase in crude oil inventories and a decline in supplies of gasoline and distillates. DJIA +6.26 Nasdaq +4.14 S&P 500 +3.25

Monday, October 01, 2007

A pleasant surprise

Monday was quite a surpriseas the major indexes each ended up by nearly 1.5%. The Dow industrials jumped 191.92 to 14087.55 beating the previous closing record of 14000.41 set on July 19. The rally came despite acknowledgement from two giant financial firms that their earnings will take large hits from the credit crunch. Citigroup warned that it expects its third-quarter net to slump 60% from a year ago, while UBS said it will report its first quarterly loss in nine years. Even Crude-oil prices fell $1.42 to $80.24 a barrel, but is still up 31% on the year. I wonder if this gain will stick? DJIA +191.92 Nasdaq +39.49 S&P 500 + 20.29