Independent, Fee-Only Financial Advisor

Independent, Fee-Only Financial Advisor

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Stocks floated between positive and negative numbers today on Federal Reserve uncertainty over how to handle the faltering economic recovery. Today marked the close of the market's worst August since 2001. Early in the day things were looking good due to slightly better-than-expected housing, manufacturing and consumer-confidence data. These gains then declined after minutes of the August 10 Fed meeting showed that policy makers agreed that the new strategy of reinvesting maturing or refinanced mortgage-related securities was necessary given the weakening economic recovery. DJIA +4.99 Nasdaq -5.94 S&P 500 +.41.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Stocks dropped below the 10,000 mark today. This set a new seven-week low amid continued concerns about the pace of the U.S. economic recovery. The market reversed an early climb after the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City reported that manufacturing activity in its district had stalled. The disappointing report wiped out a boost from an unexpectedly large drop in jobless claims. Now we wait for news from the next Federal Reserve meeting, which is taking place tomorrow in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. DJIA -74.25 Nasdaq -22.85 S&P 500 -8.11.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


After a four-day slide, investors showed tentative signs of bargain-hunting, which helped the market battle back from a triple-digit loss today. The market moves came after a second straight day of weak news from the housing sector, as new-home buying fell to a record low in July amid rising inventories and falling prices. While analysts had expected a drop in new-home buying, they had not expected sales to drop as much as they did. Investors also digested weaker-than-expected demand for U.S. manufactured durable goods, which gained by just .3% in July, against expectations of a 2.8% gain. DJIA +19.61 Nasdaq +17.78 S&P 500 +3.46.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Housing numbers came out today, and it wasn't pretty! Existing home sales dropped 27% in July. Inventory climbed to high levels, and investors headed for the exits. The effect on Wall Street was immediate. All indexes fell more than 1%. Homebuilder stocks climbed in the middle of the bad news. Go figure! Is this the bottom? DJIA -133.73 NASDAQ -35.87 S&P 500 -15.49

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Well, between the gloomy weather & the market's performance, I'm glad today is almost over! Stocks sank as recessionary fears jumped back into the limelight on a weaker jobs picture. An unexpected surge in jobless claims startled investors, causing the Dow to snap its 2-day winning streak and putting most of the major indexes back in the red for the year. We saw today that Intel has placed a bid to buy McAfee at a 60% premium. While this is exciting news, unfortunately, it was outweighed today by the disappointing jobs report. DJIA -144.33 Nasdaq -36.75 S&P 500 -18.53.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


U.S. stocks added to yesterday's gains as retailers' strength offset sagging energy stocks. Retail giant, Target, and women's apparel retailer, Chico's, posted encouraging second-quarter earnings that beat analysts' expectations. This news helped other retailers post nice gains for the day. Early this morning oil hit a five-week low, which hurt energy stocks, making it the S&P 500's worst performing sector. DJIA +9.69 Nasdaq +6.26 S&P 500 +1.62.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Stocks were little-changed on the lightest volume of the year, as investors looked in vain for clear economic and corporate signs amid a weak recovery. Stocks had managed modest gains earlier in the session, but gave those up after the Fed released results of a bank-loan survey that showed business and consumer loan demand to be fairly flat. This news could potentially put a crimp on future economic expansion. Tomorrow retail giants, Wal-Mart and Home Depot, will release reports that are expected to provide clues about the state of the consumer. Hopefully better news is on the horizon. DJIA -1.14 Nasdaq +8.39 S&P 500 +.13.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Economic Woes

Yesterday's Fed meeting left investors feeling skittish. Today's trade gap report left them feeling downright pessimistic. Sluggishness across the globe caused markets to drop nearly 3% today. The day started out gloomy, with no improvement in attitude by the close. A real hump day! DJIA -265.42 NASDAQ -68.54 S&P 500 -31.59

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

All About the Fed

The Federal Reserve met today. Their big concern? DEflation. That's right, deflation. While everyone else is screaming about inflation, the Federal Reserve is more concerned about deflation that could cause growth to sputter. Summer has already seen a big slowdown in activity, and the Fed announced plans to keep the pedal down. While we know the economy is still on life support, to hear the official word sent investors into hiding. Markets dropped in response. DJIA -54.50 NASDAQ -28.52 S&P 500 -6.73

Monday, August 09, 2010

Going Against the Flow

The news today didn't bode well for stocks. The report on personal income for 2009 indicated a decline, but that was 2009. Two high profile CEOs stepped aside, HP and Sara Lee. McDonald's earnings jumped, but it's McDs. Doesn't that mean we're rushing back to cheap food? The only bright spot was the talk of the latest IPO-- for Skype. Despite all the negative news, stocks gained nicely. Does this mean better days are ahead? DJIA +45.19 NASDAQ +17.22 S&P 500 +6.15

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Hoping for More

The retail numbers came out today. While sales increased, markets hoped for more. The gains were slight, and some came because of continued deep discounting. Still, upscale retailers and big box discounters seem to be winning. It's the retailers in between who are suffering the most. Jobless claims were up slightly. Markets responded with a stifled yawn. Investors keep looking for bigger numbers. Those may not appear until the end of August. DJIA -5.45 NASDAQ -10.51 S&P 500 -1.43

Tuesday, August 03, 2010


Investors retreated today as disappointing earnings and economic reports dampened yesterday's optimism over the strength of the recovery. July was the market's best month in a year, but many are concerned that the gains may have exaggerated the economic recovery. Today's weak readings on housing, consumer spending and factory orders have painted a murkier picture and prompted more caution in today's trading session. U.S. auto sales showed a modest improvement in July although the size of the gains were not as good as expected. This mixed picture comes as we await the government's key jobs report on Friday and a Federal Reserve meeting next week. DJIA -38.00 Nasdaq -11.84 S&P 500 -5.40.