Independent, Fee-Only Financial Advisor

Independent, Fee-Only Financial Advisor

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Fed Action

The Fed lowered rates another quarter point today. Investors expected this to happen. All day long, indexes were up around 1% in anticipation. So what happened to the gains after the expected announcement? Well, it came with a caveat. They DID lower rates, but they cautioned investors that this would be the last for a while. As a result, the gains evaporated, and all indexes headed into the red. Microsoft is still considering Yahoo's offer. DJIA -11.81 NASDAQ -13.30 S&P 500 -5.35

Monday, April 28, 2008

Fed Flat Effect

The Fed meets this week and may end up dropping rates again. Markets are quiet in anticipation. GM is cutting back on SUV and truck production-- no surprise there with the price of oil at around $120 per barrel. Kerkorian is increasing his stake in Ford, expecting a turnaround at the big automaker. For now, most investors are on hold. DJIA -20.11 NASDAQ +1.47 S&P 500 -1.47

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Another Good Day

Markets continued in the right direction despite more sour news on housing. New houses are still hanging out there, and experts predict this will be the case for a while. The jobs report was decent, though. The good earnings reports from yesterday afternoon seemed to boost markets. The dollar is suddenly showing some strength, which is causing the price of gold to fall. The end result was a good day for investors, with large-caps gaining about .6% and NASDAQ adding nearly 1%. Microsoft reported after the close, and it was a mixed bag. It will be interesting to see the day after effect on this one. DJIA +85.73 NASDAQ +23.71 S&P 500 +8.89

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Day After

It's the day after. I'm not talking about the Democratic primaries! Frankly, I'm a little fatigued by the whole process. No, it's the day after Google's good news, and investors applauded. NASDAQ added about 1%. After today's close, Apple and Amazon reported. It's all good! This should keep the tech engine going. Starbuck's news wasn't so bright, and they are claiming the economy is to blame. Hmm, maybe they're just now facing serious competition! DJIA +42.99 NASDAQ +28.27 S&P 500 +3.99

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Pain at the Pump

My husband gives me nightly reports on the price of gasoline. For a while, I ignored him. That is, until I crossed the $50 mark on a fill-up. Ouch! Oil prices have climbed more since then to $119 per barrel. Increases in demand across the globe combined with a weak dollar have resulted in the pain at the pump. This won't go away soon, not with the heavy travel season upon us. Stocks pulled back about 1% today as a result. After the close, Yahoo announced earnings, and it was all rosy. Expect us to gain back some of that 1% tomorrow! DJIA -104.79 NASDAQ -31.10 S&P 500 -12.23

Monday, April 21, 2008

Bank of America Reports

Bank of America reported, and the news was bleak. But Wall Street yawned! More and more, the news on financials seems to be built into the stock prices. Our wonderful day last week held (for the most part), and that's the best news. Large-caps dipped slightly, while NASDAQ added. Tomorrow will be a big day politically. We'll see how it plays out for investors. DJIA -24.34 NASDAQ +5.07 S&P 500 -2.16

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Holding Steady

Markets held steady today-- a positive sign. After the close, Google reported brisk ad sales, while AMD was singing the blues. I suspect Google's news will rule the day tomorrow, leading to more gains. NASDAQ actually ended in the red, while large-caps managed a slight gain. In these markets, I'll take holding steady! DJIA +1.22 NASDAQ -8.28 S&P 500 +0.85

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Good News on the Earnings Front

It's earnings season, and the news is looking better. Intel reported at the close yesterday. While their earnings were down, their sales were up, and they projected a better quarter next time around. Coming from this very conservative tech bellweather, this was a shot in the arm! IBM released today, and the news was good. J.P. Morgan's report was not good, but it wasn't as bad as expected. As a result, Wall Street applauded. NASDAQ gained almost 3%, while the Dow added 2% on the day. DJIA +256.80 NASDAQ +64.07 S&P 500 +30.28

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Green In Spite of the News

Housing reports for March showed an increase in foreclosures. Bear Stearns reported, and, to no one's surprise, the news was bleak. BS is now reporting a possible SEC investigation into competitive practices at the beleagured financial giant. Despite these 2 big news items, markets added about 1/2% today. Financials seemed to be leading, and this was surprising. DJIA +60.41 NASDAQ +10.22 S&P 500 +6.11

Monday, April 14, 2008

Earnings Season

It's earnings season. Friday was all about GE and their problems with financial instruments. Wachovia's earnings were reported today, and the news was not good. Of course, no one expected good news from this front. March's retail numbers showed increases, but this came mainly from the rising price of gasoline. The net effect is not so clear. In the middle of this came news of a possible business marriage. Blockbuster is making a play for Circuit City. Talk about a strange couple! Circuit City is certain to fall. The question is to whom. All indexes were down slightly. DJIA -23.36 NASDAQ -14.42 S&P 500 -4.51

Friday, April 11, 2008

A Giant Miss

GE never misses its numbers. In fact, they are famous for making earnings estimates. Skeptics have long studied them for their earnings management techniques. Today, they missed and by a fair margin. The result sent all indexes into the red. Large-caps fell about 2%, while NASDAQ dropped around 2.6%. Of course, the miss was related to their financial services business. No surprise there, but most investors figured the famous GE would find a way around that pitfall. Wall Street took the news hard. DJIA -256.56 NASDAQ -61.46 S&P 500 -27.72

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Nice Bounce

Tech took a jump up today, gaining 1.27% on the day. Large-caps also posted gains, but they were more modest at around 1/2%. Meanwhile, economists are still crying gloom and doom, saying it will be another year before housing prices stabilize. The stock market is a leading indicator, dropping 6 months before any sign of trouble and picking up steam while everyone else is crying the blues. The first part of April shows signs of the latter. DJIA +54.72 NASDAQ +29.58 S&P 500 +6.06

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Oil Again

Oil hit another record, jumping over $110 per barrel. The February inventory levels climbed, indicating a slowdown in spending. All markets declined, with the NASDAQ dropping about 1%. The White House is considering additional moves on the housing crisis. American Airlines is cancelling flights. Large-caps dipped, but only slightly. DJIA -49.18 NASDAQ -26.64 S&P 500 -11.05

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

First quarter earnings

Tuesday was rather quiet, as the Dow fell 35.99 points or 0.29%. The first quarter earnings season is now underway and investors are anxious to see what kind of numbers companies will post and their outlook for future quarters as well. We should try and enjoy the calm days while we can, because as these numbers are realeased, the volatility in the market will pick right back up where it left off. Commodities traded lower with crude oil prices down 59 cents and gold futures off $8.70. DJIA -35.99 Nasdaq -16.07 S&P 500 -7.00

Monday, April 07, 2008


It was a flat day on Wall Street. Large-caps bumped up slightly, while the NASDAQ bumped down a bit. All in all, an uneventful day for investors. AMD announced job cuts after the close. That news should help their stock. We're all waiting for earnings announcements, but it will be quiet until then. DJIA +3.01 NASDAQ -6.15 S&P 500 +2.14

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Minty Green

The green was back on Wall Street. Not green as grass, though, just minty green. All indexes posted slight gains on the day, but that seemed a triumph based on the last few months. A couple of days ago, we added 3+%. The fact that those gains have not faded away is notable. While most economists predict the return to growth will come at the end of the year, I wouldn't complain if it happened sooner! DJIA +20.20 NASDAQ +1.90 S&P 500 +1.78

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Day After

Markets pulled back today, as expected. Yesterday's big rally boosted investors spirits, but we knew there would be a breather today. Bernanke testified before Congress today and talked about recessionary pressure. He also seemed to back off earlier hints of continued interest rate declines. In addition, factory orders declined, indicating further contractions. Maybe the good news is that markets didn't pull back more. The declines were not drastic. NASDAQ only dropped 1.35 points. DJIA -45.44 NASDAQ -1.35 S&P 500 -2.65

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

No April Fools

Despite more bleak news on the credit front from USB, markets took off today. All indexes added more than 3%. Most financial stocks added anywhere from 6 to 10%. Could this be the corner we were waiting to turn? While it may have felt like an April Fool's joke, the rally was real and welcome. Don't expect these numbers to hold, though. DJIA +391.47 NASDAQ +83.65 S&P 500 +47.48