Independent, Fee-Only Financial Advisor

Independent, Fee-Only Financial Advisor

Friday, February 29, 2008

AIG's ugly report

The overall market took a hit Friday, when AIG released a less than pretty earnings report, that sent credit worries back to the forefront. The insurance giant reported a $5.29 billion loss, the biggest in its history, and took a big charge related to the estimated market value of credit derivatives. All 30 components of Dow Jones Industrial Average fell, leaving the blue chip average in the red for the week. Friday definately left a bad taste in investors' mouths and we will see how they respond next week. DJIA -315.79 Nasdaq -60.09 S&P 500 -37.05

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Oil breaks $102

The Dow Jones Industrial Average snapped a four-day winning streak ending down almost 1% Thursday. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke also reminded investors of possible risks remaining in the financial sector. Wrapping up two days of congressional testimony, Mr. Bernanke said some small banks could yet fail because of the recent housing crunch. With oil pressing higher and inflation pressures growing, investors are still showing their worry. DJIA -112.10 Nasdaq -22.21 S&P 500 -12.34

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Adding Up

Wall Street added to previous gains. IBM announced a share buyback, but that was the extent of the good news. Target's numbers weren't great. Google slipped. Despite this, all indexes posted nice gains on the day. Overseas markets are also benefitting from the U.S. led rally. Could this signal the beginning of the end of bad news? DJIA +114.70 NASDAQ +17.51 S&P 500 +9.49

Monday, February 25, 2008

Off to a Good Start

The week started well, carrying over more gains from Friday. The bond insurers are getting some relief, and this is calming fears on all fronts. Citigroup is still looking peaked and declined, despite the overall Monday bounce. Housing is still the albatross, and these numbers haven't started to improve yet. Spring can't come soon enough! DJIA +189.20 NASDAQ +24.13 S&P 500 +18.69

Friday, February 22, 2008

Ambac jumps late

Hopes for a bailout of bond insurer Ambac Financial Group sparked a late rally in the financial sector, helping the whole market finish higher after a day in the dumps. Until this week, investors' primary economic fear has been the possibility of a recession, but in recent days inlation has been the larger fear, with oil hitting record highs. Market participants widely anticipate the bank to cut the target rate as low as 2.5% at its next meeting, which if it happens, will spark up more worries about inflation. Have a safe weekend!! DJIA +96.72 Nasdaq +3.57 S&P 500 +10.58

Friday, February 15, 2008

Glad it's Friday

It's the end of a wild week on Wall Street. The day was relatively calm, with the Dow and NASDAQ dropping slightly. The S&P managed to go into the green by the end of the day. The economic data has not brought any smiles this week. Mr. Bernanke is painting a cautious picture but still saying "no" to recession. Markets will be looking for some good news next week. DJIA -28.77 NASDAQ -10.74 S&P 500 +1.13

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tech stocks

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index was the biggest winner in percentage terms Wednesday, advancing by 2.3%. "We're by no means out of the woods yet regarding the risks to the economy," said Ryan Jacob, portfolio manager for the Jacob Internet Fund in Los Angeles. "But I think it's definitely true that investors are feeling some temporary relief, which has helped the techs." The Commerce Department reported that retail sales rose 0.3% in January, which had investors in an upbeat mood. With such a negative mood in the air, even a small gain comes as a big surprise. DJIA +178.83 Nasdaq +53.89 S&P 500 +18.35

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Warren Buffett's offer

Stocks rallied early Tuesday morning, but began to fade in the afternoon. Investors welcomed news that Warren Buffett offered a second level of insurance on up to $800 billion in municipal bonds. So far, one bond insurer has rejected the offer, while the other two have yet to respond. Bank stocks got a boost from a White House-backed plan that would delay forclosures on financially strapped homeowners. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index posted gains during the day but finished down by just 0.02 point, nearly unchanged in percentage terms, at 2320.04. DJIA +133.40 Nasdaq -0.02 S&P 500 +9.73

Monday, February 11, 2008

DJIA makes 2 changes

The Dow Jones ended up 57.88 points Monday, despite a pullback in the financial sector. AIG plummeted 11.7% after it acknowledged that its credit-derivatives portfolio lost $4.88 billion in gross market value in October and November. The Dow Jones Indexes announced that Bank of America and Chevron will replace Honeywell and Altria in the DJIA on Feb. 19th. Yahoo turned down Microsoft's $45 billion dollar takeover bid but the investors are wondering if Microsoft will up the price. DJIA +57.88 Nasdaq +15.21 S&P 500 +7.84

Friday, February 08, 2008

Recession fears linger

Markets had a mixed performance Friday, as recession fears seem to be all the buzz. Tech stocks, lifted by a $1 billion share-buyback plan by, were standouts on an otherwise downbeat day. Crude-oil futures jumped $3.66, to $91.77 a barrel today, as several developments raised concerns about the supply. "If we do get a recession in the U.S. this year, it could cut the oil price significantly" by slashing demand, said analyst Phil Flynn, of Alaron Trading, a Chicago brokerage. Have a safe weekend! DJIA -64.87 Nasdaq +11.82 S&P 500 -5.62

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Super Fat Tuesday

While the party was raging in New Orleans and candidates were waiting to see if it will be a victory party or a concession speech, Wall Street was running for the exits. Not a pretty day! Our economy has turned into a service economy, so when news of trouble in this area hit, it hurt. All indexes dropped around 3%. Maybe we're too busy with Mardi Gras and voting to trade?!? It could be a long 40 days! DJIA -370.03 NASDAQ -73.28 S&P 500 -44.18

Friday, February 01, 2008


The jobs report was nothing to cheer about. We actually lost jobs last month. Despite this, Wall Street cheered. The reason? Microsoft put in a bid for Yahoo, and the offer was almost twice the going stock price. Yahoo! Microsoft plans to go head to head with Google, and they need Yahoo in their arsenal. This news overshadowed the jobs report and led markets to a near 1% gain on the day. DJIA +92.83 NASDAQ +23.50 S&P 500 +16.87