Independent, Fee-Only Financial Advisor

Independent, Fee-Only Financial Advisor

Friday, November 30, 2007

Calm Friday

Markets took off this morning, then settled back in by the end of the day. The Federal Government is stepping in to help subprime mortgage folks. They are planning to freeze rates for many, and this should calm down the financial sector and help Mr. and Mrs. Jones! Large-caps added to previous gains, still hoping for further rate decreases. NASDAQ dropped off a bit, though. DJIA +59.99 NASDAQ -7.17 S&P 500 +11.42

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Good News, Bad News

Markets bounced. Large-caps gained about 2 3/4%. NASDAQ posted a 3+% gain. Wow! What's up with that? Well... the Fed is hinting they may lower rates again. Sounds good, huh? Wall Street liked that hint and sent stocks skyward. Of course, the bad news is that the Fed is considering the move because of continued weakness in housing. The recovery for real estate keeps getting pushed back, with late 2008 being the newest estimate. DJIA +331.01 NASDAQ +82.11 S&P 500 +40.79

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Markets bounced back today. Of course, we didn't add back the 10%, but it's a start. Citigroup got a big shot in the arm, in the form of much-needed cash. The stock price yawned, though. Oil fell $3 a barrel. Talk shows are beginning to utter the "R" word. Say it ain't so! For today, the investment gods were good! DJIA +215.00 NASDAQ +39.81 S&P 500 +21.01

Monday, November 26, 2007

Not Christmas Yet!

Holiday shopping started with a bang. The numbers from Black Friday were much better than expected. While everyone waited to see what the consumer would do, faced with the credit crunch, the consumer went shopping. Early numbers indicate an increase of 8.3%. These good numbers didn't resonate on Wall Street, though. Investors are still concerned about the financial mess and are warily watching the high price of oil. The result was a big drop at the end of the trading day. All indexes were off around 2% or more. The Fed is stepping in again to add liquidity. I'm still waiting for my Christmas gift! DJIA -238.09 NASDAQ -55.61 S&P 500 -33.53

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

HP reports strong earnings

Stocks rebounded late to finish in the positive Tuesday. Hewlett Packard released a strong earnings report this morning to get the market rolling but the continued worry about the credit crunch brought it back down around noon. Freddie Mac posted a $2 billion third-quarter loss and said the fair value of its net assets had dropped $8.1 billion. The news came 11 days after larger rival Fannie Mae posted its own $1.4 billion loss. Crude-oil futures jumped more than $3 a barrel, closed above $98, and seem ready to make another run at $100 a barrel. DJIA +51.70 Nasdaq +3.43 S&P 500 +6.43

Monday, November 19, 2007

Financials fall

Stocks took a hit Monday, as the Dow closed right under 13,000. Financials got hit hard, led by Citigroup which took one of the largest hits today, dropping 5.8%, due to the fact that Goldman Sachs cut the stock to "sell" from "neutral". Meanwhile, woes in the housing market hit Lowe's. Shares of the No. 2 U.S. home-improvement retailer dropped 7.6% and they warned that industry pressures will continue into 2008. DJIA -218.35 Nasdaq -43.86 S&P -25.47

Friday, November 16, 2007

Bumpy ride ends in positive

Stocks ended up Friday, after bouncing all over the place during the day. Hewlett-Packard proved to be the strongest component on the Dow, gaining 3.8%. Crude-oil futures jumped back up to $95.10 a barrel, posting a $1.67 increase. Garmin shares soared 16.1% after it dropped out of the bidding to buy digital map provider Tele Atlas, leaving TomTom as the winning bidder. It was nice to end the week on a positive note and lets hope it carries into next week. Be safe and have a great weekend! DJIA +66.74 Nasdaq +18.73 S&P 500 +7.59

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Inflation worries

A late selloff left the markets in the negative, after spending much of the day slightly changed. Investors are still showing worry over the issue of infation. British bank Barclays PLC on Thursday became the latest bank to disclose write-downs, announcing it was writing off $2.67 billion after subprime and related credit trouble from July to October. All around Thursday was rather quiet but I am interested to see what happens Friday. DJIA -120.96 Nasdaq -25.81 S&P 500 -19.43

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

End of Day Dip

Markets were trending up all day but dipped down in the last hour of trading. Oil prices ticked back up. Merrill Lynch has a new leader. This should help stabilize the financial company. Delta Airlines is talking about merging with United. There was a lot of activity, but none to push stocks further. Just a small step back... DJIA -76.08 NASDAQ -29.33 S&P 500 -10.47

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Wal Mart Party

Slow moving giant Wal Mart drove the market today. The laggard company posted an increase in earnings of around 8%. After waiting all year for some action, the stock FINALLY moved up. The entire Street followed suit. Investors began bottom-fishing among the financials, and the result was an increase in the 3% range for the entire market. NASDAQ, which had taken a beating in the last few weeks, posted a 3 1/2% gain. Is this the bottom of the subprime mess? Realtors certainly hope so, even as more bleak news on the group came to light. I'm still waiting for the fat lady to sing! DJIA +319.54 NASDAQ +89.52 S&P 500 +41.87

Monday, November 12, 2007

Dow falls below 13000

The Dow fell below the 13000 mark Monday, after spending a majority of the day in the positive. E-Trade shares lost more than half of their value, leaving a share at less than $4. IBM agreed to acquire business software developer Cognos, for around $5 billion in cash, in hopes of staying competitive in the business intelligence field. Talk of increased oil output from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries pushed crude futures down $1.70, or 1.8%, to $94.62. DJIA -55.19 Nasdaq -43.81 S&P 500 -14.52

Friday, November 09, 2007

Looking forward to next week

I am already looking ahead to next week, as Friday didn't prove to be the pick me up I was hoping for. Stocks took another drop Friday, led by the Nasdaq fall of 2.52% and around 7% in the last three days. Some analysts have attributed the tech sector's recent weakness to expectations of a broader economic slowdown and dreary business spending for the fourth quarter. Financials actually posted a small gain and hopefully can continue to produce come Monday morning. Mississippi State plays Alabama this weekend in Starkville, as Bulldog fans hope to become bowl eligible for the first time since 1999. Have a safe weekend!! DJIA -223.55 Nasdaq -68.06 S&P 500 -8.52

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Tech slumps

Stocks finished lower Thursday but a late rally helped stop the bleeding. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said that while the most recent data suggest a "resilient" economy, growth should slow "noticeably" this quarter and into 2008 as the housing slump intensifies. The tech sector took the largest hit, falling almost 2%, mainly fueled by Bernanke's words. On a better note First Solar Inc. went up over $57, and increase of 34.29%, and crude-oil futures barely budged which has been a rarity here of late. DJIA -33.73 Nasdaq -52.76 S&P 500 -0.85

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Financials continue to struggle

The markets took a dive Wednesday as Wall Street remains nervous about how much damage has yet to be uncovered from this summer's credit crunch. The financial sector took another large hit, led by Washington Mutual and Capital One losing 17.29% and 15.53% respectively. I hope the end to this credit problem comes soon. Crude-oil futures did not break the $100 dollar mark today and actually fell down to $96.24. Hopefully the markets will rebound before the week is over. DJIA -360.92 Nasdaq -76.42 S&P 500 -44.65

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Will oil break $100?

The Dow was in and out of negative territory much throughout Tuesday, but finished with a nice surge. All 3 major indexes gained around 1%. There is talk that the Nasdaq Stock Market is close to buying Philadelphia Stock Exchange for more than $600 million. Financials continued to perform poorly, led by Citigroup which fell another 2.3%. Crude-oil futures settles at $96.70 a barrel, posting a $2.72 gain today. DJIA +117.54 Nasdaq +30.00 S&P 500 +18.10

Monday, November 05, 2007

Citigroup takes another hit

All 3 major indexes lost arond halp a percentage point on Monday. Citigroup shares lost 4.85% mainly due to management departures and losses in the current quarter. Some anaylysts believe that investor nervousness about the credit crunch has drowned out otherwise encouraging economic data. Are investors acting on too heavily on fear instead of facts? DJIA -51.70 Nasdaq -15.20 S&P 500 -7.48

Friday, November 02, 2007

Financials fall again

Friday was another challenge for the financial sector, which continued to fall with worries that the worst has not hit yet. Merrill Lynch lost 7.9%, Bear Sterns 5%, and Morgan Stanley 5.6% just to name a few. Though financials are hurting some analysts believe that economy as a whole is quite sound. Crude-oil futures settled $2.44 higher, or 2.6%, to $95.93. Be safe and have a great weekend! DJIA +27.23 Nasdaq +15.55 S&P 500 +1.21

Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Morning After

Close your eyes and pretend it's still Wednesday. The Fed has just announced a rate cut. Markets are celebrating. Open your eyes, and it's the hangover of the morning after. Earnings news dampened the enthusiasm of the previous day. Investors ran for the doors, as several bits of bad news hit. Exxon's earnings were below expectations (imagine that!). Chrysler is laying off again, and Citigroup was downgraded by analyst. Markets gave up about 2 1/2% across the board. Not a pretty day. Among all the blood-letting, I noted one bright spot. Dentsply (XRAY) gained about 8% on the day. DJIA -362.14 NASDAQ -64.29 S&P 500 -40.94