Thursday, March 31, 2011
Stocks slid late in the session today, but still managed to finish in the black for the third consecutive quarter. The Dow finished up 6.4% for the quarter. Growing optimism that the U.S. economic recovery is strengthening has fueled this quarter's gains despite turmoil overseas. Construction and mining equipment maker Caterpillar was the Dow's top performer for the quarter, climbing 19%. As far as economic data goes, many investors are remaining cautious until tomorrow when the government is to release its closely watched monthly employment report. DJIA -30.88 Nasdaq +4.28 S&P 500 -2.43.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Telecommunications stocks led U.S. indexes higher today, as optimism over deal activity added to confidence that jobs data would continue pointing to a strengthening labor market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was led by AT&T, which gained 2.2% after Chief Executive Randall Stephenson said he expects some divestitures as his company pursues the buyout of T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom. Investors said the market was also looking ahead with more confidence to Friday's key government jobs report. DJIA +71.60 Nasdaq +19.90 S&P 500 +8.82.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Stocks rose again today, making this the seventh time in nine sessions. They have reclaimed nearly six weeks of losses to close at their highest level since the outbreak of violence in Libya on February 18th. The stock gains, which were fueled by telecommunications and energy companies, came as investors geared up for a slew of critical data points later this week on unemployment and manufacturing. Investors are hoping this data will show further signs of a strengthening economy. DJIA +81.13 Nasdaq +26.21 S&P 500 +9.25
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Stocks gained today as encouraging earnings and outlooks issued by technology companies helped investors look past the European sovereign-debt crisis. Boosting technology stocks, Micron Technology climbed 8.4% after reporting a better-than-expected 15% jump in fiscal second-quarter revenue. Among blue-chip stocks, AT&T rose 1.4% after Bernstein upgraded the stock to "outperform" from "market perform" and raised its price target, saying its proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA would make it a "truly wireless-first carrier." DJIA +84.54 Nasdaq +38.12 S&P 500 +12.12.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Stocks fell slightly today, ending a three-day rally as investors showed signs of looking past recent concerns over Japan's earthquake and unrest in the Middle East. Oil prices were also a concern for some investors as crude oil futures rose to $104 a barrel. The Dow's decline was led by General Electric and Bank of America, which were both off 1.2%. Meanwhile Verizon continued to benefit from the prospect of consolidation in the telecommunications industry brought on by a deal between AT&T and Deutsche Telekom. DJIA -17.90 Nasdaq -8.22 S&P 500 -4.61.
Monday, March 21, 2011
The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed back above 12,000 today, boosted by a major telecommunications deal and a jump in energy stocks as oil prices rose. AT&T added 1.2% after saying it was buying T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom, a move that would create the nation's largest wireless carrier. Financials strengthened after the Treasury Department said it plans to start selling off the $142 billion portfolio of agency-guaranteed mortgage-backed securities it purchased during the financial crisis. Traders said the government's confidence in its ability to sell the securities in an improved market reflects the sector's improved health. DJIA +178.01 Nasdaq +48.42 S&P 500 +19.18.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
U.S. stocks closed out their first day of gains this week as rising oil prices boosted energy companies and efforts to tame Japan's damaged nuclear power plant eased some fears over the crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 1.4%, its biggest percent gain in two weeks. U.S. economic data was mixed today. Encouraging investors, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve's manufacturing survey for March showed its best reading since January 1984. Meanwhile, U.S. consumer prices rose in February at their fastest pace since mid-2009 as energy and food prices continued to move higher. DJIA +161.29 Nasdaq +19.23 S&P 500 +16.84.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Stocks sank as worries deepened over the presence of a nuclear crisis and economic slowdown in Japan, but encouraging comments from the Federal Reserve limited the losses. U.S. benchmark indexes plunged early today, following steep losses in Asian and European markets after Japan's prime minister warned of substantial radiation leaks at damaged nuclear power plants. It only took five minutes for the Dow to tumble 297 points, hitting its lowest point of the session and its biggest intraday drop of the year. Stocks later pared their losses when the central bank noted improvements in consumer spending and a brighter jobs picture. DJIA -137.74 Nasdaq -33.64 S&P 500 -14.52.
Monday, March 14, 2011
After dropping to their lowest levels in six weeks, U.S. stocks rebounded in late afternoon to end with modest losses. Many attribute the deep losses earlier in the day to investors struggling to assess the financial implications of Japan's disaster. General Electric was the Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst performer, dropping 2.2%. The company supplied reactor No. 1 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant about 150 miles from Tokyo. There was an explosion Saturday at the reactor following Friday's earthquake and resulting tsunami. DJIA -51.24 Nasdaq -14.64 S&P 500 -7.89.
Friday, March 11, 2011
U.S. stocks pushed higher today despite the strongest earthquake to hit Japan in at least 300 years. Some companies benefited from expectations for increased demand from rebuilding efforts. Investors were also relieved that protests in Saudi Arabia remained fairly orderly. Today's round of U.S. economic data came in mixed. U.S. retail sales rose less than expected, and consumer sentiment dropped back. But U.S. business sales increased in January by the largest amount in 10 months, while inventories grew more than expected as companies anticipated greater demand. DJIA +59.79 Nasdaq +14.59 S&P 500 +9.17.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Stocks plummeted today as rumblings of unrest in Saudi Arabia compounded economic worries abroad and in the U.S. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid under 12,000 as it shed 1.9% for the day. Pressure on the major indexes intensified late in the day with reports of Saudi Arabian police taking action against Shiite protesters. Major indexes had already been lower after a downgrade of Spain's government debt, worry about trade in China and a disappointing read on U.S. employment. DJIA -228.48 Nasdaq -50.70 S&P 500 -24.91.
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
Soaring bank shares led the broader stock market higher as Bank of America raised hopes that it will increase dividends and share buybacks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1%, pushing the blue-chip index back to just short of where it started the month. Bank of America rose 4.7% today after Chief Executive Brian Moynihan said he believes the bank has the ability to earn between $35 billion and $40 billion per year in pretax earnings when the business normalizes. The economic calendar was fairly quiet today, though a survey of small businesses showed more firms are planning to raise their selling prices and increase hiring. DJIA +124.35 Nasdaq +20.14 S&P 500 +11.69.
Thursday, March 03, 2011
U.S. stocks charged higher today, sending blue-chip shares up by the most in three months. A strong reading on employment and a drop in the price of oil helped investors breathe a sigh of relief. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 1.6%, its biggest gain since December 1 of last year. The index gained for the fourth time in five days after Wall Street received good news ahead of Friday's closely watched payrolls report. The Labor Department reported that the number of workers filing new unemployment claims unexpectedly fell to the lowest level since May 2008. DJIA +191.40 Nasdaq +50.67 S&P 500 +22.53.
Tuesday, March 01, 2011
U.S. stocks started the month on a weak note as investors fretted over oil's impact on the economic recovery, and comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke fell flat. The Dow Jones snapped a two-day climb today, led by Alcoa, which fell 3.7%. Today's round of economic data showed a jump in auto makers' U.S. sales of cars and light trucks in February, raising hopes for a strong year in the industry. DJIA -168.32 Nasdaq -44.86 S&P 500 -20.89.