Friday, February 25, 2011

Stocks: Worst week since November

U.S. stocks closed solidly higher on Friday, but fears about Libya and the oil markets translated into the worst week for stocks since November.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) rose 62 points, or 0.5%, to 12,130; the S&P 500 (SPX) rose 13.8 points, or 1.1%, to 1,320; and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) gained 43 points, or 1.5%, to 2,781.05.

The Dow was led higher by shares of Boeing (BA, Fortune 500), which rose 2.2% after the aerospace giant won a $35 billion tanker contract from the Air Force. Shares of Intel (INTC, Fortune 500) also led the blue chips higher, closing up up 2.7%.

Today's gains come after the Dow posted losses for three consecutive sessions following the increased violence in Libya and rapidly rising oil prices. The S&P 500 is down 1.7% this week, the Dow Jones fell 2.1% and the Nasdaq lost 1.9%. It was the worst week for stocks since the week of Nov 12.

Part of today's market gain was related to the price of oil, investors said. Crude swung between modest gains and losses on Friday, trading at around $98 a barrel in late-morning trading. While still hovering near $100 a barrel, crude is now about $5 below the high it hit earlier this week.

Marc Pado, chief market strategist for Cantor Fitzgerald, said he believes the oil market has calmed from its "panic mode" earlier this week. Even if oil does continue to rise above $100, Mado said he isn't as worried as he was three years ago during the commodities bubble of 2008.

"I don't think $100-a-barrel oil prices are as a big of a concern for the market as they were [then] because we have the economic growth to absorb some of these higher prices," Pado said.

But Paul Zemsky, head of asset allocation with ING Investment Management, said he doesn't expect today's stock gains to hold going into next week if Libya remains in turmoil.

"I see this as a short-term bounce, if violence in oil producing countries continues, it's going to easily bring more fear into the stock and oil markets," Zemsky said.

On Thursday, stocks rebounded from afternoon lows to finish with small losses, as oil prices retreated from two-year highs above $100 a barrel.

Economy: The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 2.8% in the fourth quarter. This is a revision from a preliminary report.

The GDP revision was much less than the 3.3% increase economists forecasted, according to a consensus survey by

A final read on February's University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey also is on the docket. The index is expected to remain unchanged at 75.1.

Companies: Autodesk (ADSK) shares jumped 6% after the company reported a 23% rise in earnings after Thursday's closing bell.

Shares of (CRM) rose 3.4% on Friday after the company reported a 29% jump in fourth-quarter sales.
0:00 /01:13Buying Boeing

World markets: European stocks closed broadly higher on Friday. Britain's FTSE 100 added 1.4%, the DAX in Germany ticked up 0.8% and France's CAC 40 gained 1.5%.

Asian markets ended the session mostly higher. The Shanghai Composite was flat, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose 1.8% and Japan's Nikkei added 0.7%.

Currencies and commodities: The dollar gained strength against the euro and the British pound, but slipped against the Japanese yen.

Oil for April delivery closed up rose 91 cents, or 0.94%, to $98.19 a barrel.

Motorists are feeling the spike. The nationwide average price for gasoline rose nearly 6 cents overnight, according to AAA. This means that prices have jumped nearly 12 cents this week.

Gold futures for April delivery dipped $6.50, or about 0.5%, to $1,408.30 an ounce.

Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury edged higher, with the yield hitting 3.43%

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Stocks open higher after jobless claims dip

Stocks edged higher Thursday following slightly better-than-expected data on the the number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) was up 14 points, or 0.1%, shortly after the opening bell. The S&P 500 (SPX) gained 4 points, or 0.3%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq (COMP) 10 points, or 0.4%.

Trading has quieted down as investors have started looking toward next year.

On Wednesday, stocks managed to eke out gains as a rebound in bank shares offset weakness in commodities, and concerns about rising interest rates in the Treasury market.

The recent sell-off in Treasuries abated Thursday, with the yield on the 10-year note easing off a 6-month high. Oil and gold prices rose, despite a stronger U.S. dollar.

With little compelling news on the docket, trading will likely remain lackluster. "The economic calendar has been really thin so the market has been looking ahead to 2011," said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James. "I think the real debate is the strength of the economy in 2011."

Most economists agree the economy will continue to grow next year, but the pace won't necessarily be strong enough to push the unemployment rate lower, said Brown. Just last week, the government reported that the unemployment rate rose to 9.8% in November.
10 best stocks for 2011

Economy: The number of people filing for initial jobless claims fell 17,000 to 421,000 in the latest week from 436,000 the previous week, the Labor Department said in its most weekly jobless claims report. Economists had expected the number to decrease to 429,000.

Initial unemployment claims help give a read on the labor market. "But this time of year it tends to be pretty choppy, and that is due to difficulties in the seasonal adjustments," said Brown. "The numbers can really jump around week to week." He said the focus should remain on the four-week moving average, rather than the weekly gains or losses.

The four-week moving average, which is calculated to smooth out volatility in the data, fell by 4,000 to 427,500.

After the opening bell, the Commerce Department will release a report on wholesale inventories that is expected to show inventories fell to 0.7%, from 1.5% in October.
0:00 /BullHorn: Food, autos, DVDs, silver

Companies: Howard Stern announced that he has re-signed with SiriusXM (SIRI) Radio for five years, sending Sirius' stock rising 6% in early trade.

Tech giant Dell (DELL, Fortune 500) made a bid for Compellent Technologies Inc. (CML) for $27.50 a share -- well below the $33.65 per share the data storage company closed at on Wednesday.

Dell and rival HP (HP) were in an intense bidding war over another data storage company, 3PAR (PAR), recently. HP ended up acquiring 3PAR, so Dell's move to take over Compellent could be Dell's reaction to losing the bidding war. Shares of Compellent fell 12% in early trade, while shares of Dell were little changed.
Businesses racing against the tax clock

Freeport- McMoRan (FCX, Fortune 500) announced plans to pay a special dividend of $1 per share this year. The copper and gold producer also declared a two-for-one split of its common stock.

After the market close, Green Mountain Coffee (GMCR) is expected to report an earnings per share of 20 cents, down from the 34 cents per share it reported a year ago.

On Wednesday, the corporate websites of Visa and MasterCard appeared to be under cyberattack by purported Wikileaks backers. Shares of Visa and MasterCard were little changed.

World markets: European stocks were mixed in morning trading. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.3%, the DAX in Germany dipped 0.1% and France's CAC 40 rose 0.6%.

Asian markets also ended the session mixed. The Shanghai Composite shaved 1.3%, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 0.3% and Japan's Nikkei gained 0.5%.

Currencies and commodities: The dollar rallied against the euro and the British pound, but fell slightly against the Japanese yen.

Oil for January delivery gained 4 cents to $88.32 a barrel.

Gold futures for February delivery edged up $6.30 to $1,389.50 an ounce.

Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose slightly, pushing the yield down to 3.22%. The yield rose to a high of 3.33% Wednesday, up 36 basis points from Monday, the biggest two-day gain since September 2008.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Essential Foods For Baby Growth

Healthy and a nutritious diet are very important to ensure that your babies' growth is normal and that he grows up to be healthy and active. So you need to be very aware what is essential for that growth of your baby. So we are here going to list some elements that are really essential foods that contain it.

* Calcium: Calcium is one of the most important constituent in a kid's diet. It is essential for the normal growth of the bones and teeth and making them strong. These are the foods that contain calcium milk, green vegetables, baked beans, yoghurt, salmon and various others.

* Iron: Iron is essential for maintaining healthy red blood cell count and its deficiency can lead to anemia. Although it's stored in kids' body up till the age of six months, it starts getting depleted after that so it's essential a diet full of Iron. Foods that have Iron are cereals, pulses, red meat, and green vegetables.

* Protein: Protein is essential in baby's diet to maintain healthy growth of muscles carries nutrients and are also essential in fighting infections. Protein rich foods are fresh fruits, vegetables, Soy Sauce, Beans and Cheddar cheese.

Although this gives you some idea, you should always consult a pediatrician on what is good for your baby's health.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

'No smoking gun' in flash crash

Last week's brief-but-historic stock market plunge was triggered by a combination of unusual factors, but its ultimate cause remains a mystery, executives from the nation's leading stock exchanges and market regulators told Congress on Tuesday.

A House Financial Services subcommittee is investigating the causes of the so-called flash crash and exploring ways to safeguard markets against technical glitches and erroneous trades.

Among those set to testify at a hearing Tuesday are regulators as well as representatives of NYSE Euronext and the Nasdaq Omx Group.

"Nasdaq continues to investigate Thursday's events, but has at present located no 'smoking gun' that single-handedly caused or explains Thursday's events," Eric Noll, executive vice president of Nasdaq, said in written testimony.

Mary Schapiro, chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, said that the SEC cannot point a single cause behind the events of May 6. The Dow Jones industrial average plummeted 1,000 points, representing about $1 trillion in market value, between 2:40 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. ET last Thursday.

The market recovered about 650 points of that loss nearly as quickly as it fell. But the free fall raised serious questions about the stability of electronic trading and has prompted talk of new regulations.
0:00 /5:11NYSE trader: Selloff more than a glitch

Schapiro said her agency's preliminary investigation has looked at a sharp drop in the value of a particular stock future called the E-mini S&P 500, which investors use to bet on the future performance of stocks in the broad stock index.

The E-mini S&P 500 futures price fell by more than 5% in a few minutes and then quickly recovered, according to Schapiro.

"It should be no surprise that the broader stock market indexes showed similarly fast and similarly large declines and recoveries," Schapiro said, since stock prices follow futures prices.

But the correlation doesn't fully explain what happed on Thursday, she added, saying "It could have as readily been events or anomalous activities in individual stocks that caused someone to trade first in the futures markets."

The SEC is also looking into "massive intraday price swings" in shares of many Exchange Traded Funds as a possible factor in the crash, Schapiro said. The shares of more than a quarter of all ETFs experienced brief declines of more than 50% in Thursday's tumult.

"Ultimately, we may learn that the extraordinary disruption in trading, however it may have been triggered, was the result of a confluence of events which, taken together, exacerbated what already had been a down day and led to an extraordinarily steep price drop and recovery," said Schapiro.
Circuit breaker champion has second thoughts

At the same time, the SEC has found no evidence of "fat finger" errors, which occur when a trader mistakenly orders billions of shares instead of millions, according to Schapiro. But such trades cannot be completely ruled out as a contributing factor.

Schapiro also said it's unlikely that exceptionally large orders in Proctor & Gamble (PG, Fortune 500) shares caused the meltdown. In addition, she said the SEC has found no information to suggest the collapse was caused by hackers or terrorists.

Separately, the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman announced a new joint committee that will address emerging regulatory issues.

The committee will conduct a review of last Thursday's market events and the disparate trading conventions and rules across various markets.

Noll, the Nasdaq executive, and Larry Leibowitz, chief operating officer of NYSE Euronext, told lawmakers that markets were jittery going into Thursday's tailspin -- a factor that could have contributed to the abrupt and panicky selloff.

The two executives also indicated that a lack of coordination between exchanges, allowing electronic trading to continue after manual trading had been paused, was a factor.

"Although some of the underlying economic and global financial conditions that influenced this selling activity are known, the exact succession of events and what precipitated them remain unclear," Leibowitz said.

Noll testified that the crash was triggered by "a confluence of unusual events," adding that Nasdaq experienced "no system malfunctions or aberrations."

The SEC and representatives from the six main stock exchanges, along with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, agreed on Monday to a "structural framework" aimed at preventing a repeat of Thursday's crash.

The framework would strengthening circuit breakers, trigger points that stocks need to hit before trading can be halted, and steps for handling erroneous trades. It will be refined Tuesday, according to Schapiro.

In addition, she said commission staffers are now stationed at all major markets to monitor trading as of Monday.

Gold soars to record high

Gold settled at a new all-time high Tuesday, after building upward momentum during a volatile day for the stock market.

What prices are doing: Gold for June delivery rose $19.50, or about 1.62%, to $1,220.30 an ounce, surpassing its all-time high.

Gold posted its last record high on another volatile trading day, Dec. 3, 2009, when it settled at $1,218.30 an ounce.

What's moving the market: Gold rallied 2% when the Dow plunged nearly 1,000 points on Thursday, with the precious metal closing that day at $1,197.30.

Uneasiness about a volatile stock market boosts the appeal of safer investments like gold. Although the stock market has since recouped much of Thursday's losses, many investors remain nervous about the European debt crisis, despite the nearly $1 trillion euro zone bailout that was unveiled this weekend.

What analysts are saying: "The finances of governments around the world are in such sad shape that investors are looking for a currency that is solid and they know will retain its value," said Joe Foster, a portfolio manager with Van Eck International Investors Gold Fund.

Some investors fear Europe's rescue package will speed up inflation in the region and weaken the euro as a reserve currency, said Jeffrey Nichols, managing director of American Precious Metals Advisors and a senior economic advisor to precious metals dealer Rosalind Capital. That will continue to drive investors toward safe-haven commodities like gold, he said.


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