April 10, 2014

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

U.S. stocks were slammed Thursday, with investors fleeing high-flying technology and biotech shares in favor of defensive plays.  The declines had the Nasdaq posting its worst session this year, and it’s worst day since 2011.  In economic news, the Labor Department reported jobless claims dropped to their lowest level in nearly seven years with claims for state unemployment benefits dropping 32,000 to 300,000 last week.  At the close,

  • Dow -266 @16170
  • S&P 500 -39 @1833
  • Nasdaq -129 @ 4054

Gold finished higher by $12.70 to $1318.60 an ounce

Oil closed lower by $ .33 cents to $102.32 a barrel

In the day’s stock news:

  • Ebay fell by $1.81/share after reaching an accord with activist investor Carl Icahn to halt his proxy battle by saying it would appoint, at Icahn’s urging, an independent director to its board.  And,
  • Family Dollar Stores slid after saying it would cut jobs and close hundreds of stores as the discount retailer struggles to reverse declining sales.  Shares closed lower by $1.90 to $57.17

April 9, 2014

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

US stocks rallied, extending gains into a second session, after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last session offset concerns about when the central bank would raise interest rates.  The FOMC minutes showed policymakers unanimous in agreeing to drop an unemployment target for hiking rates and in the end, confirmed that any future decisions must be data dependent and into the foreseeable future, we should expect continued tapering but for rates to remain at very low levels.  At the end of the day, we saw all three major indices post strong gains across the board:

 

DOW  +181 to 16437

SP500  +20 to 1872

NASDAQ  +70 to 4183

Gold prices closed +2.10 to 1311.30 an ounce

Oil prices closed +.84 to 103.40 a barrel

 

In the days’ stock news:

  • In earnings, Alcoa gained after the aluminum producer projected demand for the metal would top output this year.  AA closed +.47 to 13.00.
  • La Quinta issued its IPO today, and after falling below its offering price at the open, the hotel chain reversed higher, raising $650 million from an offering of 38.25 million shares.  LQ closed +.12 to 17.12.

April 8, 2014

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Stocks rose higher today, with the Nasdaq bouncing back from its worst three-day hit since 2011, as investors sought recently hammered social media and Internet shares and braced for quarterly earnings.  We saw green across the board:

 

DOW  +10 to 16256

SP500  +6 to 1851

NASDAQ  +33 to 4112

Gold prices closed +9.60 to 1307.90 an ounce

Oil prices closed +2.09 to 102.53 a barrel

 

In the days’ stock news:

  • In the Nasdaq, momentum stocks including Google, Facebook and Amazon.com were among those rising.  All three companies closed up nearly 3% for the day.
  • The unofficial starts of the quarterly earnings season begins today after the close, with Alcoa slated to release earnings.  AA closed +.06 to 12.53. Banks JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo also report this week, along with retailer Bed, Bath & Beyond.
  • Gigamon fell sharply after the maker of communications devices cut its 1Q revenue outlook.  GIMO closed -8.89 to 17.31.

April 7, 2014

Monday, April 7th, 2014

The momentum meltdown continues to be the story…..US stocks fell sharply today, with the Nasdaq logging its worst three-day drop since late 2011, as investors shed high-profile assets that performed well in 2013 in search of better values.  Investors are rotating out of the higher beta stocks, to other “safer” stocks.  At the end of the day, all three major indices did close solidly in the red:

 

DOW  -166 to 16245

SP500  -20 to 1845

NASDAQ  -47 to 4079

Gold prices closed -6.70 to 1296.80 an ounce

Oil prices closed -.51 to 100.63 a barrel

 

In the days’ stock news:

  • The unofficial start of the quarterly earnings season begins today after the close with aluminum producer Alcoa slated to release earnings.  AA closed today -.16 to 12.47.
  • Banks JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo also report this week, along with retailer Bed, Bath & Beyond.
  • Pfizer led the decliners on the Dow after its experimental breast cancer drug yielded positive results in a clinical trial, but researchers found overall survival to be statistically insignificant.  PFE closed -.96 to 31.20.

April 4, 2014

Friday, April 4th, 2014

Stocks closed in the red across the board, with the Nasdaq slumping more than 2% as momentum names got crushed for a second session.  In economic news, the jobs report showed the US created 192,000 new jobs in March with the unemployment rate unchanged at 6.7%.  It was much of a Goldilocks number for the market in that it shouldn’t change the course of the Fed tapering but still signals the economy is expanding gradually.  At the end of the day, after four consecutive up days in the market, investors were locking in gains.

 

DOW  -158 to 16413

SP500  -23 to 1865

NASDAQ  -110 to 4127

Gold prices closed +18.70 to 1303.30 an ounce

Oil prices closed +.88 to 101.17 a barrel

 

In the days’ stock news:

  • For a second day, momentum stocks such as Tesla, Netflix, Amazon.com and Priceline fell heavily.
  • Anadarko Petroleum climbed after the oil and gas company said it would pay more than $5 billion to clean up areas across the US polluted by nuclear fuel, wood creosote and rocket fuel waste, resolving a long-running lawsuit.  APC closed +2.02 to 101.04.
  • CarMax slumped after the auto retailer posted earnings and revenue that were below expectations.  KMX closed -2.00 to 45.56.

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