Independent, Fee-Only Financial Advisor
Friday, July 30, 2010
Well, it's finally Friday, and the last trading session for July 2010 has just come to a close! The Dow closed in the red .01%, which puts the measure up 7.1% for the month - the first positive month for U.S. stocks since April and the best month since July of 2009. The gains have come as a strong set of second-quarter earnings provided a big source of encouragement to investors after they spent the majority of May and June worrying about euro-zone debt & China's growth rate. After the past two months, July was a breath of fresh air. Hopefully there will be many more months like it to come. DJIA -1.22 Nasdaq +3.01 S&P 500 +.07
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Stocks finished in the red for the second day in a row as disappointing revenues from utilities and consumer companies outweighed a handful of strong earnings reports. Even with these past two losses, the market still remains on track to close out the best month since July 2009. A spell of disappointing second-quarter revenue and guidance reports stung the utilities, consumer staples, and technology sectors, but financial companies strengthened in the wake of encouraging earnings. With only one session of trading left in July, the major indexes are poised to notch gains of about 7%. Now to see what tomorrow brings.. DJIA -30.72 Nasdaq -12.87 S&P 500 -4.60.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
A gloomy economic assessment from the Federal Reserve added more doubts to the fragile economic recovery, sending the Dow to its first loss in a week. The day's losses were driven by mixed corporate earnings and growing macroeconomic worries, with healthcare stocks leading the declines. The Fed's latest beige book report of economic conditions showed only modest advances in retail sales across the country. Housing and construction numbers remained weak, while bank lending was still tight. DJIA -39.81 Nasdaq -23.69 S&P 500 -7.71.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Stocks were a mixed bag today as a weak consumer-confidence reading offset the latest round of strong corporate earnings. Stocks traded in a narrow range throughout the day, with the Dow posting a small gain by the closing bell, while the Nasdaq & S&P 500 ended in the red. Companies' earnings and revenues have beaten expectations enough to return these major indexes to the black for the year, but many investors are hesitant to push stocks higher as economic data continues to disappoint. Hopefully the good news will continue to outweigh the bad. Only time will tell.. DJIA +12.26 Nasdaq -8.18 S&P 500 -1.17.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Stocks continued to advance today after a jump in new-home sales and enthusiasm over second-quarter earnings helped investors carry over last week's momentum. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up almost 1%, which put the average back in positive territory for the year. New-home sales jumped 23.6% in June, much better than the 3.7% gain expected by forecasters. This provided some relief from the recent stream of weak economic data that had been pulling the market down. In other markets, the dollar slipped against the euro and the yen. DJIA +100.81 Nasdaq +26.96 S&P 500 +12.35.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Stocks soared today as corporate America registered strong earnings and revenue numbers, adding to a surprise uptick in euro-zone economic activity and better-than-expected U.S. housing numbers. The Dow erased yesterday's 109-point fall with industrials and financials leading the way. In the U.S., existing home sales and leading indicators beat the market's gloomy estimates, while the euro zone's composite purchasing managers index and industrial orders both unexpectedly rose. Today was quite the turn-around! Now to see what tomorrow brings.. DJIA +201.77 Nasdaq +58.56 S&P 500 +24.08.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Stocks dropped broadly after Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve Chairman, said the central bank is not prepared to consider further stimulus in the near future despite what he called an "unusually uncertain" outlook. This pessimistic outlook came as a surprise because many people had been expecting Bernanke to further stimulate lending, which is what helped stocks rally yesterday. This disappointing report outweighed the effects of better-than-expected second-quarter earnings from a number of companies, which extended a generally upbeat picture from the U.S. corporate world. DJIA -109.43 Nasdaq -35.16 S&P 500 -13.89.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Stocks staged a strong midday rally to finish in the green for the second day in a row, shaking off deep losses as optimism grew ahead of a fresh wave of bank earnings and guidance from the Federal Reserve. The Dow erased triple-digit losses to end up .74% at the closing bell, with materials and energy stocks leading the way. The market started the day down heavily on the back of lower-than-expected corporate earnings, before launching a noontime surge that lasted the rest of the session. In other markets, the dollar strengthened against both the yen and the euro. DJIA +75.53 Nasdaq +24.26 S&P 500 +6.65.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Well, the Dow broke its 7-day winning streak today. However, the S&P 500 managed to cross into the green before the closing bell. Financials recovered ground, encouraged by a potential settlement between Goldman Sachs and the SEC and the passage of a sweeping financial overhaul bill. Earlier, concerns over the impact of this financial overhaul on bank profits helped fuel a decline in U.S. stocks, though investors had been reducing those losses as the Senate went to a vote on the bill. In other markets, the euro surged, hitting a two-month high against the U.S. dollar. DJIA -7.41 Nasdaq -.76 S&P 500 +1.31.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
I spend my day reading news and stats, as I make decisions on investments and portfolio allocation. It's serious stuff. When I go to the hairdresser, I leave the serious reading material in the office. Instead, I ask for People magazine. Imagine my surprise when I pulled up my WSJ online and see the headline, "Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston Engaged." WHAT??? Not my WSJ! Retail sales for June were down. While this is no surprise, the news weighed down stocks today. Technology companies began reporting. The news was good, and guidance for the next quarter was better. The combination left us with a mixed bag today... or maybe it was that engagement thing! DJIA +3.70 NASDAQ +7.81 S&P 500 -0.17
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Strong earnings and encouraging news about the oil spill in the Gulf pushed U.S. stocks to their sixth consecutive day of gains. Today's gain brought key market indexes to within a stone's throw of where they started this year. Stocks are adding to a rally that includes the Dow Jones Industrial Average's best week in nearly a year. The average is now down only .62% for the year-to-date. In other markets, the euro broke its losing streak today as investors pursued riskier assets after hearing the news of strong earnings reports. DJIA +146.75 Nasdaq +43.67 S&P 500 +16.59.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Stocks toed the line between red and green for most of the day as strength in technology companies competed with lagging materials. Also, many investors retreated to wait for the start of second-quarter earnings reports. Market watchers are hoping the reports will help return investors' focus back to U.S. company fundamentals, but global concerns are likely to keep weighing as Europe continues to deal with its debt crisis while China is working to slow its growth. The euro weakened again today, and the U.S. Dollar Index climbed .3%. DJIA +18.24 Nasdaq +1.91 S&P 500 +.79.
Friday, July 09, 2010
Stocks climbed again today, giving the market its best week in nearly a year thanks to improving expectations for the second quarter earnings session beginning Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has climbed about 5% this week, making this its best week since July of 2009. The rally comes as investors have grown hopeful that the market's recent drop may have exaggerated expected effects on corporate earnings from the slumping euro and slower global growth. In other markets, the euro fell today, while the U.S. Dollar Index gained slightly. DJIA +58.73 Nasdaq +21.05 S&P 500 +7.68.
Thursday, July 08, 2010
Stocks surged as the closing bell approached today. They managed to extend the week's solid rally in the face of mixed data on jobs, retail sales and consumer lending. The Labor Department said initial claims for jobless benefits declined by 21,000 in the week ended July 3. This number was much more than the 12,000 drop expected by economists. Although this was encouraging news, we have to keep in mind that these numbers are quite volatile from week to week. Hopefully things will continue to look up as they have these past few days. DJIA +120.71 Nasdaq +15.93 S&P 500 +9.98.
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
After a volatile day, stocks managed to squeak out a gain. Today's session snapped a seven-session losing streak but showed little sign that the market has shaken off its recent discomfort over global growth. The day got off to a promising start, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up more than 170 points at one time. But those gains dwindled as investors, eager to reverse last weeks decline, found it hard to brush off the lingering doubts about the strength of the global economic recovery. In other markets, the dollar fell against both the yen and the euro. DJIA +57.14 Nasdaq +2.09 S&P 500 +5.48.
Thursday, July 01, 2010
Well, today marks the beginning of the third quarter of 2010. We were off to a bit of a rough start this morning, but things got a little better towards the closing bell. U.S. stocks reduced losses from earlier in the session, but they couldn't quite climb out of the red, as disappointing housing and jobs data weighed on the market preceding Friday's key payroll report. The weak U.S. data only added to investor concerns about the pace of global growth and how it might be impacted by debt worries in the euro zone and the prospect of slower growth in China. Those factors were prevalent in the second quarter, during which the Dow dropped 10%, snapping a four-quarter winning streak. In other markets, the euro gained sharply against the dollar on a successful Spanish government bond auction, which sparked confidence in the region's banking system. DJIA -41.49 Nasdaq -7.88 S&P 500 -3.34.