Independent, Fee-Only Financial Advisor

Independent, Fee-Only Financial Advisor

Monday, June 30, 2008

End of the Quarter

Today marked the end of the second quarter and the first half of 2008. For investors, it's been a rough half with oil prices skyrocketing and housing wallowing at the bottom. The financial sector is still weighing down Wall Street. For the first half, stocks have declined 7.4%. I still believe the second half of 2008 will bode well for investors, and this decline will be a memory. DJIA +3.50 NASDAQ -22.65 S&P 500 +1.62

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tough Day

Several financial stocks were downgraded. Concern about this sector weighed heavily on markets today, with all indexes dropping more than 3%. Oil bumped over $140 a barrel as we head into the July 4th weekend. It seemed like all bad news, except we received word that home sales had increased 2%. When will all the bad news on the financials clear out of the market? Stay tuned! DJIA -358.41 NASDAQ -79.89 S&P 500 -38.82

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Fed Non-event

The Fed met this week and decided to leave rates the same. The good news is that they didn't hike rates to combat inflation. The bad news is that they didn't hike rates to combat inflation???? More to come... Oracle's profit increased nearly a third. Research in Motion doubled its profit. Is this a recession? NASDAQ added nearly 1.5%, but the Dow barely bumped into the green. The S&P 500 added about 1/2%. DJIA +4.40 NASDAQ +32.98 S&P 500 +7.68

Monday, June 23, 2008

Car Woes

GM is pulling out all the stops to stop the red. They are closing plants and laying off workers. In addition, they plan to increase prices on some of their 2009 models. I'm not sure how that will work. United is also laying off. They are cutting pilots loose, as they try to battle the fuel headwinds. Large-caps stayed flat, while NASDAQ dropped nearly 1%. DJIA -0.33 NASDAQ -20.35 S&P 500 +0.07

Friday, June 20, 2008

Oil's Yo-Yo

Earlier in the week, the price of oil eased, and there were reports of slight declines at the pump. That went away today, as oil added $2.80. This yo-yo effect appears to be driven by the latest news, not any substantive changes in demand. Today it was revealed that Israel is rattling its sabers at Iran. The news sent the price up. The oil yo-yo combined with the cloud still overshadowing financials to cause investors to bail. All indexes dropped around 2%. DJIA -220.40 NASDAQ -55.97 S&P 500 -24.90

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Flies in the Soup

Markets are still a little dicey, as investors digest more news from the financial sector and face the ever-rising price of oil. Crude oil futures actually dropped for 3 days but headed back north today, ending at around $136 per barrel. While there have been shakeouts at the big guys over the last week, with AIG and Lehman cleaning house, the regional banks felt the pain today. Markets dropped about 1%. DJIA -131.24 NASDAQ -28.02 S&P 500 -13.12

Thursday, June 12, 2008

This Bud's For You!

Everybody wants a good beer in the sweltering summer heat. InBev has made a hostile offer for Anheuser Busch, the most American of beers. BUD is not happy and is looking for another suitor. They've turned to a Mexican brewery for assistance?!? Imagine the new Super Bowl ads! Markets added back about 1/2%. We could have used more. Retail data looks good, and the Fed is getting the thumbs up from most economists now. Yahoo and Microsoft have broken talks. Good retail data. Merger mania. If only oil would fall in line, this thing could take off! DJIA +57.81 NASDAQ +10.34 S&P 500 +4.38

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Scratching My Head Over Oil

The news is that global demand for oil is dropping-- in fact, to a 6 year low. That would seem to bode well for prices at the pump. Not so fast! Supply has its limitations, such that the direction of oil prices could go either way. While some are predicting $5 a gallon gasoline, this latest report indicates some tempering of prices may occur. Don't expect it to happen in time for your summer vacation, though. Indexes were mixed, with NASDAQ dropping about 1/2% today. DJIA +9.44 NASDAQ -10.52 S&P 500 -3.32

Monday, June 09, 2008

A Lot of News

Oil dropped from the stratosphere, but, of course, we're still facing ever-climbing prices at the pump. Home prices have also dropped... to the point that buyers are starting to head back in. That's the sign we've been watching for. The financial sector is still struggling. Lehman is trying to raise more money to cover the red all over their balance sheet. NY Fed President is insisting on tighter regulation for financials-- no argument here! McDonald's is holding the tomatoes due to a salmonella scare. And Apple is at it again-- unveiling a new, faster IPhone. I'm all ears! The Dow added back 1/2%. DJIA +70.51 NASDAQ -15.10 S&P 500 +1.08

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Go Figure

Oil is still climbing. Two bond insurers were downgraded today. Housing foreclosures are at an all-time high, and still, stocks posted great gains. The news was all about the retail sector today. Wal Mart is doing great, claiming those tax rebate checks are fueling their bottom line. Whatever it is, consumers seem to be opening their wallets once again. The news sent all indexes higher, adding nearly 2% for the day. DJIA +213.97 NASDAQ +46.80 S&P 500 +26.85

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Another Down Day

Mr. Bernanke spoke before Congress today and quelled hopes of more rate cuts. The Fed Chief is more concerned about the state of the dollar. GM is closing plants and trying to stop the bleeding from its focus on the gas guzzlers. They are looking to get rid of the Hummer brand. Americans have such short memories. Leave it to us to go back to the tanks should gasoline decline sharply. Some think such a scenario is likely, since speculation appears to have a big role in the price at the pump. Large-caps suffered more today. DJIA -100.97 NASDAQ -11.05 S&P 500 -8.02

Monday, June 02, 2008

Shake-Up in Financials

Wachovia and Wamu sent their CEOs packing today. Cleaning house is often a good sign for investors, but uncertainty is till causing investors concern. S&P downgraded more of the financials. The combined result was about a 1% drop in markets. Will this finally be the end of bad news for the financial sector? DJIA -134.50 NASDAQ -31.13 S&P 500 -14.71