Independent, Fee-Only Financial Advisor

Independent, Fee-Only Financial Advisor

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wednesday--Quarter End

Today, stocks wrapped up a banner quarter with a lackluster session after a grim report on a Chicago factory activity raised concerns that other data could show lingering weakness in the broader economy. The Dow has its best quarterly gain since the fourth quarter of 1998, and its best third quarter since 1939. Over the past two quarters, the Dow has risen 27.6%, its best two-quarter gain since the period ending in March 1987. Stocks also defied tradition and clocked gains for September, historically a bad month on the market. Traders are paying closer attention to every data point as they try to determine whether the market's rally can be sustained. DJIA -29.92 S&P 500 -3.53 NASDAQ -1.62

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesday Blues

Today, it is raining here in Mississippi. Also, in the markets, a broad and rapid late afternoon selloff pulled stocks lower despite a brief run-up on the Federal Reserve's decision to leave interest rates steady. In what traders called an optimistic Fed statement, the Federal Open Market Committee said at the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting that "economic activity has picked up following its severe downturn." The central bank's rate-setting panel voted 10-0 to keep the target for it federal-funds rate for interbank lending at a record-low range of zero to 0.25%. We hope tomorrow is a better day! DJIA -81.32 S&P 500 -10.79 NASDAQ -14.88

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Today, stocks pushed to the highest levels this year on the backs of financial, energy and material shares, as investors went back to betting on a global recovery after a pullback Monday. The Dow was helped by a gain of 4.3% for JP Morgan and 3.6% for Caterpillar. Among the biggest winners in the financial sector were bond and mortgage insurers. The insurers that rose the most generally had substantial short-seller interest, suggesting that the recent price rise for the group may have put some pressure on short-sellers to cover their positions. DJIA +51.01 S&P 500 +7.00 NASDAQ +8.26

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Today, stocks fell for just the second time in 10 trading sessions as major indexes took a small breather from this week's rally. Though most economic news has been favorable for stocks lately, the latest data were mixed. Housing starts rose a less-than-expected 1.5% compared to the prior month, the Commerce Department reported, as single-family home construction fell and groundbreakings on new apartment buildings rebounded. On a more promising note, the number of workers filing new claims for jobless benefits fell 12,000 last week to 545,000. Economists had expected an increase. DJIA -7.79 S&P 500 -3.27 NASDAQ -6.4

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Today, stocks rose, led by financial shares, as major indexes continued to trade at the best levels since last fall. The Dow was led by a 6.3% jump in General Electric. Also, the blue-chip benchmark has risen for three straight sessions and in eight of the last nine trading days. The Dow opened lower, hit its intraday trough in the first half-hour of trading, and built a fairly steady rally thereafter. We can only hope that the rest of September looks as good as has in the beginning of the month! DJIA +108.3 S&P 500 +16.13 NASDAQ +30.51

Monday, September 14, 2009

Manic Monday

Today started slow for stocks. However, stocks drifted higher continuing a longer-term trend of investors shifting money into riskier bets as the financial crisis and recession show signs of healing. General Electric rose 4.6% as we see that industrial and commodities-oriented stocks have helped rally the broader market recently on optimism about a global economic recovery. A flurry of dealmaking activity in recent weeks has helped give investors some confidence that financial markets are returning to normal functioning after the collapse a year ago of Lehman Brothers Holdings. Stocks rallied to the highest levels of the year last week and the dollar declined. DJIA +21.39 S&P 500 +6.61 NASDAQ +10.88

Friday, September 11, 2009


Today, stocks declined, ending a recent winning streak that carried markets to the highest levels of the year. Also, today was the 8th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Interestingly, on the eighth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, the Dow ended one tenth of a point below where it closed Sept. 10, 2001 -- 9605.51. Markets reopened after the attacks on Sept. 17, 2001. To me, this is actually really reassuring. We can see that through everything in the last 8 years--Sept. 11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina, the most recent economic recession in the fall, etc.--we are still here and only one tenth of a point lower. We essentially broke even! DJIA -22.07 S&P 500 -1.41 NASDAQ -3.12

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Terrific Thursday

Today, stocks rose to their highest levels this year, led by the telecom and energy sectors. Given stocks' rally this summer and September's track record as the weakest month for the market, many participants have been worried about whether the market is due for a correction. But with the exception of the first day of the month, this September has been positive for stocks so far. We are seeing people gain more and more confidence in the markets. And because of that, we are seeing more money come into the system. This month is looking good so far! DJIA +80.26 S&P 500 +10.77 NASDAQ +23.63

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


Today, industrial stocks strengthened, but the broader stock market's gains were reined in after the Federal Reservc'es beige book report raised new concern about consumer spending. We know that the U.S. economy continued to stabilize in July and August, but soft spending amid a weak job market suggested that recovery will remain subdued. The Fed said that manufacturing had improved in most areas as the broader economy continued to steady this summer. Also, the Fed flagged concern about the health of consumer spending, which accounts for most demand in the U.S. economy. In general, we are seeing that investors are remaining cautious. DJIA -49.88 S&P 500 +7.98 NASDAQ +22.62

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


Today stocks and commodities rose and the dollar declined as investors returned from a holiday weekend willing to add some risk to their portfolios. Also, metal prices jumped. Oil and other commodities were helped by a selloff in the U.S. currency. Some investors had feared that a pick-up in trading activity after the Labor Day holiday could force stocks downward, but markets were resilient as the pace of activity picked up. We saw a good day today in our markets and globally. DJIA +56.07 S&P 500 +8.99 NASDAQ +18.99

Friday, September 04, 2009

Fabulous Friday

Today, we are seeing more people hitting the malls and retail stores. However, if this is true, look at the unemployment rate. Employers cut jobs in August at the slowest pace in a year, but a jump in the unemployment rate to a 26-year-high of 9.7% reinforced worries that a weak labor market could weigh on consumer spending and the vigor of the economic recovery. This seems a bit contradictory. Nonetheless, today was a good day in our markets. DJIA +96.66 S&P 500 +13.16 NASDAQ +35.58

Thursday, September 03, 2009


Today, a late jump in financial stocks helped push broad market benchmarks higher, even thought uncertainty ahead of a key jobs report led some investors to seek safety in gold. We snapped a four day losing streak! Overall, trading volume was low today, and September has been a bad month for stocks historically. Gold futures neared $1000 a troy ounce in today's trading. We hope to see a better September than in previous years. DJIA +63.94 S&P 500 +8.49 NASDAQ +16.13

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Tuesday Blues

Today, Ford's US sales rose, while GM and Chrysler sales drop. Also, stocks opened a bleak month for markets with a financials led selloff today. Financials led stocks' August rally because investors grew increasingly confident that the economy had moved past the worst. However, now fears are setting in that the rally may have gotten ahead of fundamentals. Yesterday, Disney bought Marvel Comics! So, now when you go to Disney World, you can see Superman! DJIA -185.68 S&P 500 -22.58 NASDAQ -40.17