Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 Market Wrap: Lackluster With Some Light

The stock market drew to its 2011 conclusion Friday,with the major averages down just over a half percent for the week.For the year,the bellwether S&P 500 Index was virtually flat,down a meaningless 0.003.You made no money on the broad market this year,but you didn't really lose any,either.
There were individual winners and losers,however.McDonald's was the biggest winner among the Dow 30,rising 31% on the year.The biggest loser in the Dow was Bank of America,losing more than half its value at -55%.Top-rated financials in the analysts' estimates are JP Morgan Chase,Prudential Financial and Wells Fargo.
The winning sectors for 2011 were utilities and consumer staples-clearly defensive areas.The biggest losers were the financials and materials-sectors dependent on a robust economy.The CBOE VIX volatility index was up a sharp 31.83% on the year,and trading volume was pretty uniformly thin.
The new year may well hold more of the same in store,with concern over European and American deficits,and the U.S. presidential election,dominating a headline-driven market.The S&P futures slipped modestly Friday evening,down 4.80%,and bond index futures gained.
McDonald's(MCD),Bank of America(BAC),JP Morgan Chase(JPM),Prudential Financial(PRU),Wells Fargo(WFC)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Special Edition:Bethlehem To Have Successful Season

The Palestinian Authority is predicting a successful Christmas-New Year season for the town so revered by Christians as the site of Jesus' birth.Minister of Tourism Khulud Deibes said she is looking for more than 100,000 tourists during the period,with some 50,000 from December 24-25.
Ms.Deibes participated in a kickoff event with Bethlehem Mayor Victor Batarseh,a children's march through the town to Nativity Square.More than 1,000 children marched along with camels,costumed characters and clergy in the colourful event.Some of the children wore their scout uniforms.
Mayor Batarseh has commented that the wall surrounding Bethlehem has a negative impact on every aspect of daily life in the sacred town,which has one of the highest densities of population in the Palestinian Authority.Even with that,we insist on celebrating Christmas-both Christians and Muslims.We ask for a right to self-determination and our own Palestinian State.
We are staying put on this land.The pilgrims are actually breaking down the walls of separation.That is why we insist on doing Christmas better each year.This is defying this wall,Mayor Batarseh declared.
This year,a very special concert is being held at the Bethlehem Convention Palace on Christmas Day:Christmas in Bethlehem,A Concert for Humanity at the Bethlehem Convention Palace from 7-9 PM(12-2 PM Eastern).
The concert may be viewed free of charge on Facebook.Visit "Project-Peace on Earth" from 12-2 PM Eastern U.S. time.Featured artists in the mystical songs of peace and healing include Grammy winners Joanne Shenandoah and Gary Nicholson,The Magnetic Zeros,Hani Naser,Enigma, and Zarah,the much-admired host of the teen music program B InTune TV,which reaches 200 million homes worldwide.Zarah will perform in the Global Musical Prayer for Peace and original songs from her upcoming album.
Update:The Christmas in Bethlehem concert was a complete success,concluding with some songs composed by the late John Lennon:"Imagine" and "Give Peace a Chance,"performed by all the musicians together and with the audience singing along.It benefited the UNWRA,a UN agency that helps Palestinian refugees in Jordan,Gaza,the West Bank,Syria and Lebanon.For more information and to contribute,visit

Friday, December 16, 2011

Market Restrained By Europe;Sam Houston State Advances

A positive Philly Fed manufacturing report wasn't enough to bolster the market this week.The S&P fell 2.80 on the week as the Fitch ratings agency reaffirmed its doubts about both European and U.S. banks and put several small countries on credit watch negative.Trading is still distressingly thin as a mood of caution sweeps the market towards the end of the year-if not the end of the world.
Nonetheless,a highly entertaining college football game took minds off this Friday night in Huntsville,Texas,where the Sam Houston State Bearkats edged the Montana Grizzlies 31-28 in a semifinal of the NCAA Division I Championship.The Grizzlies had come back from a 21-0 deficit,but the Bearkats' outstanding running back Tim Flanders ensured their victory with his 287 yards of rushing.The final will be held at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco,Texas on January 7,when the Bearkats will play either Georgia Southern or North Dakota State.
American teen Lexi Thompson,who is all of sweet 16,holds a one stroke lead at the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters,the final event of the year on the Ladies European Tour.She is angling for her first career win on the Tour,having earned her first career win on the LPGA Tour three months ago.Sweden's veteran golfer Sophie Gustafson,38,a 14-time
European Tour tournament winner,is second on the leader board.
The S&P futures declined slightly Friday evening,losing a further 0.80,while bond index futures were on the upswing.
Update:The poised and well-spoken Lexi Thompson went on to win the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters with a final round five under par 67.She became the youngest player ever to win a Ladies European Tour tournament,matching the same distinction she had achieved in the LPGA earlier in the year.South Africa's Lee Anne Pace came in second at Dubai,while Sophie Gustafson finished third in this final event of the season.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Euro-zone Leaders Agree;Montana Grizzlies Win

Leaders of 17 European nations which use the Euro as their currency have agreed to a series of measures designed to prevent the current debt crisis from occurring again;the U.K. rejected the pact,and several other European countries are studying it further.This contented the stock market for now,sending the major averages up on the week.The Dow gained 1.37%,while the S&P rose 0.88 and the NASDAQ added 0.76.The S&P remains slightly down on the year at -0.19.
In college football,the Montana Grizzlies drew on boisterous hometown support at Washington Grizzly Stadium in Missoula to take a quarterfinal game in the NCAA Division I Championship series,crushing the Northern Iowa Panthers 48-10.Student fans cheered on concrete during the game,having destroyed the seats in their enthusiasm.The Grizzlies will play the winner of the Montana State and Sam Houston State quarterfinal match-up for the title.Fireworks were launched in celebration and a gigantic M was lit up on the mountain behind the stadium at elevation 700 feet.It was 23 degrees F at game time,but the Grizzlies went bare-armed anyway.
In golf,Spaniard Alvaro Quiros leads the Dubai World Championship through two rounds at the Earth Course of the Jumeirah Golf Estates in the United Arab Emirates with a twelve under par 64.Luke Donald of England,the current world number one,is in contention to capture the overall European Tour title at the tournament.
Next week,Wall Street will continue to monitor European developments,as well as an OPEC oil cartel meeting in Vienna on Wednesday.FedEx and General Mills will report their earnings.The S&P futures were up a strong 22.80 on Friday evening,while bond index futures declined.
FedEx(FDX),General Mills(GIS)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Santa Anas Blast SoCal;McIlroy and Quiros Lead

The San Gabriel Valley was rocked by hurricane force Santa Ana winds this week in a rare event the likes of which are seen only once in 5-10 years.The tremendous gusts decimated the urban forests of Southern California as communities lost hundreds of treasured trees,losing power and even water in the process.Pasadena was particularly hard hit,with some 450 street trees being toppled by the winds.Homes were damaged in these lands along the San Gabriel Mountains,where gusts of up to 80 mph were recorded.
The fire risk was described as explosive by a weather service official.The Santa Anas are known for the catastrophic wildland fires they often contribute to in the region.
Rumors of European progress and positive manufacturing and employment trends protected the market this week.All major averages posted gains north of 7%.For the week,the S&P 500 rose 7.39.On the year,the S&P is still down 1.06,however.
The Race To Dubai,The European Tour,made its next to last stop at the Hong Kong Golf Club.After two rounds of the UBS Hong Kong Open,Alvaro Quiros of Spain and Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy topped the leader board.Luke Donald of England led the series going into this weekend,followed by German Martin Kaymer and McIlroy in second and third place,respectively.
Next week will be back-loaded by an important Friday summit in Brussels on changes to the EU treaty for fiscal discipline.Other influential events will include the Institute for Supply Management's service sector report on Monday and a consumer sentiment reading also on Friday.The S&P futures were basically flat at -0.10 Friday evening,while bond index futures rose.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Commodities Drop;NBA Fans Hopeful

Wheat dropped to a sixteen-month low this week.It was believed to be because of the fear that a weak economy is causing a reduction in demand.Cocoa,sugar and coffee also declined.
Stocks had a very poor Thanksgiving week on thin trading,and the S&P futures fell 6.50 Friday evening,portending an unenthusiastic Monday morning.Next week will be dominated by Friday's employment report,along with the deficit-driven headlines of the day.
NBA fans are cheering the announcement that the professional basketball season will tentatively begin with a triple-header on Christmas Day after the bitter labor squabble that threatened to cancel the entire season.Many hospitality workers were laid off because of the games already canceled,but their prospects are looking decidedly better this weekend.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Market Performs Poorly;Mississippi State Wins

The stock market delivered a poor result this week on deficit obstacles both at home and abroad.The Dow fell 2.94,while the NASDAQ slipped 3.97 and the S&P stumbled 3.81.On the year,the S&P has logged a loss of 3.81%.
Mississippi State was highly successful,however,as the unranked Bulldogs staged a 67-57 upset win over the number 16 Arizona Wildcats at the 2K Sports Classic in New York's Madison Square Garden.The basketball tournament benefited Coaches Versus Cancer.Although early in the season,it is a championship that already makes a statement about worthiness for the March Madness tournament in 2012.
At The Presidents Cup at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia,the U.S. team maintained its 2 point lead over the International squad on Friday.The course itself provided stiff resistance to all with its tough conditions of hard greens and high winds.
Next week,a number of data points are featured in the market against the debt fear background,including GDP,durable goods,existing home sales and consumer sentiment reports.Hewlett-Packard will be submitting its earnings for scrutiny.
The S&P futures lost a little more Friday evening,edging down a further 0.90.Bond index futures also slid.There will be no U.S. trading on Thursday because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Friday, November 11, 2011

President and Troops Celebrate With Basketball

President Barack Obama and U.S. troops celebrated the Veterans Day holiday with a twilight basketball game aboard the USS Carl Vinson(CVN 70)at Naval Base Coronado,California.The first Carrier Classic,sponsored by Quicken Loans,went off seamlessly aboard the aircraft carrier before about 7,000 Sailors,Marines and other service members and veterans.Captain Bruce O. Lindsey is Commanding Officer of the warship,which will be deployed at the end of the month.
The President said our gratitude to the troops does not stop when they take off the uniform.We make our commitment to serve you as well as you have served us.Mr.Obama seemed to be very relaxed and having a good time watching his favorite sport with our military men and women.Former NBA star Magic Johnson also attended,saying the event was a bucket list day for him.Number one-ranked North Carolina beat Michigan State 67-55.
On Wall Street,Veterans Day was marked by strong gains on light volume as Greece and Italy seemed to be ironing out some of their political problems.For the week,the Dow was up 1.42%,while the NASDAQ rose 2.04 and the S&P climbed 0.85.The S&P is up 0.49 on the year.
Next week will be influenced by any further news from Europe,as well as reports on inflation,retail sales,industrial production,housing starts and Leading Economic Indicators.The Philly Fed manufacturing survey will also be released,as will earnings reports from Home Depot,Wal-Mart,JC Penney and Sears.
On Friday evening,the S&P futures continued the rally,gaining 24.20.Gold futures added 24.40 to reach 1789 dollars an ounce.The bond market was closed for Veterans Day.
Wal-Mart(WMT),Home Depot(HD),JC Penney(JCP),Sears(SHLD)


Friday, November 4, 2011

Market Loses Ground;Swedish Golfer Gains Some

The market again struggled with Euro debt worries and an inadequate U.S. employment report,posting a decline on the week.The Dow lost 2.03,while the NASDAQ dropped 1.86 and the S&P fell 2.48.Next week should see more of the same with a light data calendar and few major earnings reports.Among those who will report earnings next week are consumer-oriented General Motors,Macy's and Disney.
The market will be open on Friday,Veterans Day,but banks and the post office will be closed.Consumer sentiment data will be released on Friday.
The S&P futures continued the decline Friday evening,being down another 4.60,while bond index futures rose.
At the World Golf Championship-HSBC Champions in Shanghai,the European Tour continued its Race to Dubai,where the Tour will conclude on December 9.Through the fifth hole of the third round on Saturday,with Asian birds singing distinctively back in the trees along the steamy course,Sweden's Fredrik Jacobson cooly held the lead at fourteen under par for the tournament.Australia's Adam Scott and South African Louis Oosthuizen-pronounced "West hayzen"-were tied for second at -11.Pro golf will only have a one month holiday,as the 2012 PGA Tour starts in Hawaii on January 6.
HSBC Holdings,PLC(HBC),General Motors(GM),Macy's(M),Disney(DIS)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Rare October Snowfall Developing

Winter Storm Warnings are posted for the interior Northeast and Mid-Atlantic as a rare October nor'easter threatens the regions.Widespread power outages may occur as heavy snow coats leafy trees,bringing limbs down on power lines.Baltimore,Maryland has not had October snow since 1903.Upwards of a foot of snow could blanket the Appalachian Mountains,aggravating residents who are looking forward to Halloween on Monday.
Wall Street was not aggravated this week,hailing European leaders for devising a broad outline for handling the Euro debt crisis.Gains were muted on Friday,however,as traders soberly contemplated the U.S. deficit and the prospects for the Europeans now agreeing on details.
For the week,the broadly based S&P added 46.83 points,bringing it up 2.18% on the year.Large cap stocks are leading the way,with the Dow thirty up 5.65% on the year.
Scores were high at the Andalucia Masters at the Valderrama Golf Club in Sotogrande,Spain on Friday.Scotsman Richie Ramsay topped the leader board with a five under par 72.France's Gregory Havret and Spaniard Sergio Garcia shot a 71 and a 70,respectively,on the very hilly course.
Next week will be back loaded by the employment report on Friday.The Institute for Supply Management will also release important manufacturing data.The S&P futures were basically flat in response on Friday evening,barely declining at -0.13,while bond index futures rose.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Europe Still Drives Market

Wall Street's obsessive concern with the Euro debt crisis continued to shape results this week;nor is any change in the offing.Even though U.S. banks actually have only limited exposure to Europe,traders think they will suffer greatly from European failures.In the end,it's what traders perceive that determines market direction.
Optimism about the crisis was the prevailing wind by the end of the week as Euro-zone finance ministers approved of the next round of aid to Greece and a series of European Union summits will be held beginning Sunday.For the week,the Dow gained 1.41,while the NASDAQ lost 1.14 and the S&P rose 1.12.Decent earnings reports from Honeywell,GE and Microsoft also gave the broader market a final nudge upward.GE stock declined for its manufacturing results,but the company did issue a positive outlook and a satisfactory overall report,which helped stem any sell-off tendency.
Next week,the results of the EU summits may be all-consuming.Any hint of failure would seem likely to derail equities,and EU success could ignite a major rally.
The S&P futures were up strongly Friday evening,rising 25.25,and bond index futures fell.
At the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic at Lake Buena Vista,Florida,a three-way tie for the lead occurred among American Justin Leonard;Swede Henrik Stenson;and South Korean Bio Kim,all coming in at 12 under par.Leonard,39,has scored 12 career PGA Tour wins and more than 30 million dollars in career earnings.
General Electric(GE),Honeywell(HON),Microsoft(MSFT)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Market Has Excellent Week

The stock market excelled this week,with all industry groups coming out ahead as Europe was relatively quiet and Google reported strong quarterly results.For the week,the Dow was up 4.88,while the NASDAQ surged 7.60 and the S&P added 5.98%.On the year,however,the broadly based S&P remains down 2.63.Volume was light this week,showing a lack of conviction behind the good numbers.
Excelling on the PGA Champion's Tour of senior golf pros this year is American Tom Lehman,who tops the Charles Schwab Cup point standings.Lehman has three wins and 11 top ten finishes so far this season,which ends in three weeks in San Francisco.This week,the Tour is at the AT&T Championship at TPC San Antonio's Canyon Course.Fred Couples and Steve Lowery led the field with first round seven under par 65s on a hot,dry Friday.
Next week's financial calendar bulges with data and blue chip earnings.The Empire State and Philly Fed reports,together with housing data and earnings submissions by IBM,Goldman Sachs,Apple,Intel and American Express,will keep the analysts busy all week.
The S&P futures climbed a substantial 21.30 Friday evening,while longer maturity bond index futures declined.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Labor Market Steady,Choppy Trading Persists

The stock market ended slightly higher for the week as neither the foreign nor domestic economies showed any decisive moves.The September employment report was stagnant,with a steady jobless rate of 9.1,and Europe watched expectantly for results of a weekend summit between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.For the week,the Dow rose 1.7%,while the NASDAQ gained 2.7 and the S&P added 2.1.
Next week,earnings season begins with Alcoa reporting its results on Tuesday.On Wednesday,PepsiCo reports,and JP Morgan Chase and Google issue their marks on Thursday.Friday will see the release of retail sales and consumer sentiment numbers.
The market will be open on Monday,Columbus Day.The S&P futures pointed down on Friday evening,losing 2.70,and bond index futures also declined as gold gained 17.40 to close at 1634.50 an ounce.
In the PGA's Fall Series,England's Paul Casey shot an exceptional second round eight under par 64 to take the lead at the Open at CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin,California.He was followed by American Bud Cauley and South African veteran Ernie Els at seven under.
Alcoa(AA),PepsiCo(PEP),JP Morgan Chase(JPM),Google(GOOG)

Friday, September 30, 2011

Poor Market Quarter Ends;MLB Playoffs Begin

The stock market was racked by massive volatility in the just-ended Q3.The CBOE VIX Volatility Index soared an amazing 159.32% over the the three months as investors fretted over debt fears both at home and abroad and consumers faced escalating food and health care costs,while gas remained stubbornly over 3.00 a gallon even though the summer driving season has come to an end.For the quarter,the Dow lost 12.1%,while the NASDAQ fell 12.91 and the S&P plummeted 14.1.
This financial gloom was relieved by an entertaining close to the Major League Baseball season-unless you are a Boston Red Sox or Atlanta Braves fan.Both teams created a lot of excitement as they dragged the wild card race out to the very end,both succumbing to ineptitude under pressure in the end.The Tampa Bay Rays and St.Louis Cardinals rallied into the playoffs instead,which began late Friday afternoon as the Rays clocked the Texas Rangers 9-0 in the American League Division Series.Rays catcher Kelly Shoppach hit two homers in the first game of the best of five series.The New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers were tied 1-1 in the other American League match-up when the game was suspended for rain.They will resume play Saturday night.
Next week,the market will deal with manufacturing and service sector reports from the Institute for Supply Management,as well as Friday's unemployment numbers and continuing European drama.The S&P futures were having none of it Friday evening,cratering a further 30.30,while bond index futures rose.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Kim Delaney:A Mysterious Moment

Actress Kim Delaney had a rough night in her native Philadelphia,speaking at a tribute to former Defense Secretary Robert Gates.The teleprompter with her speech on it didn't work and she tried to improvise.This was deemed inapporpriate as it seemed to bother the audience.
The question is,was she just being creative or had she had too much alcohol,as she has done in the past?Some say she looked disheveled,but isn't that the latest style?When you're dealing with an artist,it's hard to say.
Kim Delaney ended up fascinating the media,but it isn't yet clear how the wider public will react to this episode.
There was no doubt about the stock market this week.It was the worst week since the financial crisis in 2008.The S&P was clipped by 6.54,while the Dow plunged 6.41 and the NASDAQ dove 5.30.
Gold futures caved 101.70,ending at 1637.30 an ounce.Traders were selling commodities off to make up for stock losses.Oil futures declined also,losing 0.66 to close at 79.85 a barrel.
The S&P futures were recovering by Friday evening.They hinted a 6.30 advance at Monday's opening bell.
Australian golfer Adam Scott scored a superb second round 8 under par 65 to earn the lead at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola,held at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.South Korea's K.J. Choi shot a slightly lesser 7 under par 65 for second position at this final leg of the PGA Playoffs for the FedEx Cup.

Kim Delaney Booted Off Stage at Liberty Medal Award Ceremony

Kim Delaney Booted Off Stage at Liberty Medal Award Ceremony: What’s wrong with Kim Delaney? The star of Lifetime’s “Army Wives” was kicked off stage at Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center Thursday night after delivering an inappropriate and at times incomprehensible speech at the Liberty Medal Award presentation to former defense secretary Robert Gates. Delaney stumbled to...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Minnesota Wilderness Still Burning

The Pagami Creek Fire remained in Active status Friday night on Superior National Forest,Minnesota.The wildland fire incident began on 18 August as a result of a lightning strike.It is primarily a creeping and smoldering fire,with some heavier burning in the interior.The fire has been 8% contained.It is approximately 100,000 acres in size.
Evacuations remain in effect for Lake and Cook Counties.The fire's potential for growth is Medium in the highly difficult terrain.Participating in the effort are 436 personnel;7 helicopters-four of them National Guard Black Hawks-and 8 fixed wing aircraft.Canadian aircraft have been assisting in the wildland firefighting.Ontario's Quetico Provincial Park is nearby.
Significant progress has been made in Division A of the fire,which has been brought down to the mopping up phase.Several roads in the incident area remain closed and campfires are prohibited,though recreational access is still possible at several entry points.It is a renowned site for backwoods canoeing.
The stock market had its best week since July,with five straight days of gains based on a vigorous effort by European leaders to contain the debt crisis.The S&P futures were up 7.50 on Friday evening,hinting at another positive move on Monday morning.
Barnes&Noble,the nation's last chain store bookseller,won an auction for the liquidated Borders website and brand name,sending the stock up a couple of percent.
Englishman Justin Rose and American Mark Wilson are tied for the lead at the BMW Championship,the third leg of the PGA Tour Playoffs for the FedEx Cup near Chicago.At the Navistar LPGA Classic in Prattville,Alabama,American Alexis Thompson tops the leader board,followed by compatriot Stacy Lewis and Becky Morgan of Wales,who are tied for second.The beneficiary of this year's tournament is the Wounded Warrior Project.
Wildland Fire Update:By Saturday evening,the Pagami Creek Fire on Superior National Forest was 11% contained.The number of personnel involved had risen to 565.A Canadian liaison had arrived and will remain at the incident.
Closures and evacuations remained in effect.The fire was primarily creeping and smoldering within the interior,with occasional torching of individual trees as well as groups in the increased S winds and very dry fuel conditions.
Division C of the fire had been placed in the mop up category along with Division A.Aircraft were extensively used to hold unstaffed Divisions in light of the more difficult fuel and wind conditions.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Lee Leaves Off;Market Craters

The remnants of Tropical Storm Lee have left off torturing the Mid-Atlantic region after nearly a week,the sun and then the moon making a belated appearance,saving the sanity of the region's harried residents.At least 12 deaths resulted from T.S. Lee's effects,with the Susquehanna basin being seriously shaken by flooding.The storm was blocked from exiting the area for some time by Hurricane Katia,which is moving northward well off the east coast.
There were still some flash flood advisories from thunderstorms in Pennsylvania until 3am,however.
The stock market was not so fortunate on Friday,with Euro debt anxiety still in the forefront of traders' thinking,as well as concern that the Federal Reserve may not be offering supportive measures anytime soon.For the week,the Dow and S&P slid 2.7%,while the NASDAQ retreated 0.5%.The CBOE VIX volatility index rose 4.20 to 38.52.
Next week will see the release of inflation data,as well as the Empire State and Philly Fed manufacturing surveys,plus industrial production and retail sales figures.
The S&P futures fell a further 27.70 Friday evening,and bond index futures continued to strengthen.Oil was down 1.81 to 87.24 a barrel,while gold rose 1.90 to 1857.10 an ounce.
The Baltimore Orioles downed the Toronto Blue Jays 2-0 at Rogers Centre in Toronto Friday night.It was the first of the three final games of the season between the divisional rivals and bird-themed ballclubs of the American League East.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Matteson Leads Deutsche Bank Championship

American golfer Troy Matteson leads the Deutsche Bank Championship after the first round on Friday.Matteson,31,shot an excellent six under par 65 as the second leg of the PGA Tour Playoffs for the FedEx Cup got underway near Boston.Dustin Johnson won the first leg last weekend,The Barclays.
Finishing second on the leader board Friday were American Jerry Kelly;South Korean Y.E. Yang;England's Luke Donald,the world number one;and South African Charl Schwartzel.These all shot a five under par 66.
Matteson,the leader,is a product of Georgia Tech.This year,he has two top ten finishes on the PGA Tour to his credit.His earnings amount to 916,012 dollars so far,ranking him 91 on the money list.
Unlike Matteson,the market had a poor Friday and a negative week,hindered by a flat jobs report and renewed European debt concerns.The S&P 500 Index was down 2.48 for the week.
Stock futures were decidedly negative Friday evening,suggesting a rough opening on Tuesday after the Labor Day holiday.The S&P futures plummeted 32.0,while the longer bond index futures climbed.Gold futures rocketed to 1876.90 an ounce,but oil fell to 86.45 a barrel on recession fears.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Market Ends Skid;Irene Pesters Sports

The stock market logged its first positive week in over a month as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke left open the possibility of aiding the market more if need be.Mr.Bernanke announced that the Fed would lengthen its September meeting by a day to discuss the situation.The Fed had more in its toolbox and would use it when appropriate,Mr.Bernanke reassured at the Fed's annual conference in Jackson Hole,Wyoming.
For the week,the Dow climbed 4.32,while the NASDAQ rose 5.89 and the S&P gained 4.74.On the year,the S&P has lost 6.43.
Hurricane Irene claimed its first victim Friday,drowning a 22-year old surfer off Croyden Beach on the Virginia coast.In another tragic incident,a North Carolina man was walking in his yard Saturday morning when a big tree limb crashed down on him in winds up to 63mph-another death that is being attributed to the massive weather system,and believed to be the first Irene fatality on land.The storm also disrupted a number of sporting events as Major League baseball canceled some games and rescheduled others to avoid it.The PGA followed suit by shortening The Barclays tournament to 54 holes.Held at the Plainfield Country Club in Edison,New Jersey this year,the leader board was topped by American Matt Kuchar on Friday,who shot a second round fourteen under par 65.At the CN Canadian Women's Open in Montreal,American Angela Stanford and Japan's Ai Miyazato shared the lead at -11.At the Champions Tour Boeing Classic in Washington state,the opening round standings were as follows:1.Russ Cochran;2.Jeff Sluman;3.Ted Shulz,Hale Irwin and Bernhard Langer.All are Americans except for Langer,the esteemed German pro.
The NYSE plans to resume trading on Monday as scheduled.Stocks will be influenced by a number of reports next week,including the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index;the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing survey;and the monthly employment report on Friday.The S&P futures rallied a strong 18.50 Friday evening,and bond index futures were up as well.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Philly Fed Survey Major Factor

A major factor in depressing the market this week was the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's Business Outlook Survey for August,which covers manufacturing in Eastern Pennsylvania,Southern New Jersey and Delaware.The survey's broadest measure of manufacturing activity fell off a cliff,dropping from 3.2 in July to -30.7 in August.New factory orders,shipments and employment were all down markedly.The six month growth outlook declined to slightly favorable to expansion.
For the week,the S&P 500 Index was down 4.69.On Friday,the Reuters-Jefferies/CRB commodity index rose 3.05,reflecting an increase in agricultural and gold futures prices.The S&P 500 is now down 10.66 on the year.It is in severe correction.
Next week,the market will deal with new home sales,durable goods orders,GDP and consumer sentiment reports.The S&P futures were down a sharp 19.50 Friday evening,while bond index futures were mixed,with the ten year Treasury futures being unchanged.
Two South Koreans,Na Yeon Choi and Grace Park,led the LPGA's Safeway Classic at the Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club near Portland,Oregon after the first round on Friday.Choi shot a five under par 66;Park came in second at four under par.Coca-Cola co-sponsors the tournament.
Update:At the end of the second round on Saturday,Na Yeon Choi still led the Safeway Classic at eight under par,but American Stacy Lewis had moved into second place at five under.Grace Park fell back to fourth position,tied with Americans Ryann O'Toole and Brittany Lincicome.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Joe Calhoun: 'I have Some Surgery' - Video - WGAL The Susquehanna Valley

Joe Calhoun: 'I have Some Surgery' - Video - WGAL The Susquehanna Valley
Meteorologist Joe Calhoun's tumor was successfully removed and turned out to be benign.This video effectively conveys some of the emotion major surgery evokes,whatever type of operation it may happen to be.It also shows the kind of moral support that will ultimately speed the healing process along for the patient.We wish the best of future health to Joe.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Market Settles Down;Tiger Doesn't

The stock market enjoyed its second straight rally Friday,allowing the S&P 500 Index to post a modest loss of 1.7 for the week,while the Dow dropped 1.5 and the NASDAQ 1.0,respectively.For the year,however,the S&P has lost a more serious 6.27,and the CBOE VIX Volatility Index is up an astonishing 104.85.
Indeed,2 trillion dollars of wealth has been lost so far this month.All the same,Friday's trading volume was considerably more normal at about 1.2 billion shares versus around 3 billion shares earlier in the week.Some portfolios were able to return to the black after the two good days in a row.
The S&P futures gained 8.30 Friday evening,hinting at a positive Monday opening.Oil futures were down 0.34 to 85.38 a barrel,while gold futures dropped 8.90 to 1742.60 an ounce.Bond index futures were mostly higher.
At the PGA Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club,Tiger Woods failed to make the cut for that event for the first time in his career,along with Graeme McDowell,Martin Kaymer and Darren Clarke,among other notable golfers who couldn't handle the course.His weekend,and indeed his season,is over.The PGA Tour Playoffs will begin in a few weeks' time for those who do qualify.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Standard&Poor's Downgrades U.S. Credit

In an historic blow to U.S. prestige and finances,the Standard&Poor's rating agency has cut America's credit rating from AAA to AA+.Belgium and New Zealand are also rated AA+.France,Canada,Hong Kong and the U.K. remain rated AAA.The action may have a negative impact on everything from credit card rates to government programs as the U.S. may have to come up with higher interest payments on its already colossal debts.Because a downgrade of U.S. Treasury bonds is unprecedented,it isn't exactly clear just what will happen when business resumes Monday morning.
The situation is complicated by the fact that the two other ratings agencies,Moody's and Fitch,disagree with S&P and have maintained their AAA rating of U.S. bonds.In any event,all bets are off for consumers,government and financial markets alike as the world comes to terms with the S&P censure of what it deems as an inadequate response to the the U.S. budget deficit.
Americans may end up paying more for everything from auto loans to mortgages because of the downgrade.There may also be less money for other government needs as the U.S. struggles to pay more interest to its creditors-approximately 100 billion a year more,according to a JP Morgan Chase estimate.The impact may be a cut of U.S. economic growth by about a half a percent.
At the World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational at the Firestone Golf Club near Akron,Ohio,Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson failed to play adequately as they fell down the leader board in the second round on Friday.Americans Keegan Bradley,Rickie Fowler and Ryan Moore shared the lead with Australian Adam Scott at eight under par.
Next week,the market will be dealing with a Federal Reserve meeting,retail sales and consumer sentiment reports,on top of the S&P downgrade of U.S. bonds.Disney will report earnings on Tuesday,while JC Penney reports its earnings Friday.
The S&P futures were initially down 0.90 Friday evening,while bond index futures rose.The S&P futures later edged up to 0.50.The CME Group futures market reopens for business Sunday afternoon.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Don Fails To Satisfy Texas

The residents of south Texas had seen Tropical Storm Don as the hope of their drought-stricken lives;at least initially,it was nothing of the sort.By the time Don reached the Gulf coast,it had been downgraded to a tropical depression.Don seemed to be too weak to significantly penetrate the dry air mass that has been parked there.Scattered showers brought less than an inch of rain to some Texas locations,but the rainfall deficit is on the order of 17 inches.
It is the worst drought in the recorded history of Texas.Agricultural losses from it will inevitably hit consumers in the pocketbook with headline inflation.
Wall Street was disappointed in a Congress that failed to deliver an end to the sovereign debt crisis.In consequence,it had the worst week of the year.The Dow dropped 4.24,and the S&P lost 3.92 as the NASDAQ followed them down 3.58.A dry GDP report didn't help.The nation's economy grew at a worse than expected 1.3% in Q2.That's not enough to create jobs.
The Jefferies/Reuters CRB commodities index fell 0.8 on Friday.Oil was down to 95.70 a barrel,but gold notched a record 1621.20 an ounce in the uncertain economic environment.
The Washington Nationals couldn't create victory,losing their sixth in a row to the New York Mets 8-5 at Nationals Park.The Mets' Jason Bay went 2-4 with a run and RBI to his credit.Reliever Jason Isringhausen,38,successfully closed the game out for the Mets,with whom he started his long major league career in 1995.
Next week sees the release of the critical July employment report.The S&P futures weren't looking forward to it,losing a further 8.40.The longer maturity bond index futures rose.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Canadian Open Dry and Tough

An unforgiving course and its dry greens kept scores high at the RBC Canadian Open in Vancouver.At the end of the second round,Americans Michael Thompson and Chad Campbell shared the lead at -4.Canadians Adam Hadwin and David Hearn shared fifth place with a number of other golfers at -2.
At the LPGA Evian Masters on the French shore of Lake Geneva,Japan's Miki Saiki topped the leader board with a nine under par through the second round.Americans Stacy Lewis,Paula Creamer and Kristie Kerr were close behind,with Lewis at eight under,and Creamer and Kerr at seven under par,respectively.
While the golfers seemed to be in relatively cool surroundings,the Mid-Atlantic region was gravely hot.At Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia,the rules were relaxed so fans could bring bottled water to the baseball game.Even in Toronto,on Thursday the dome of Rogers Centre was closed against the 100F heat.
Stocks were not hot for the week,but did score modest gains.The broadly based S&P 500 index was up 2.19 on some strong earnings reports from Microsoft and McDonald's,among others,as well as apparent progress in European debt talks.The Reuters/Jefferies CRB commodities index climbed 2.66 on the week.
Next week,a plethora of earnings will be logged in by Ford Motor,3M,US Steel and Exxon Mobil,to name a handful of the 300 companies slated to report.There will also be a lot of data to react to from the housing sector,as well as consumer sentiment,GDP and durable goods reports.
The S&P futures were down 1.50 Friday evening,while oil,gold and bond index futures rose.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Watson Aces Sixth Hole,Stocks Down on Week

Tom Watson,one of golf's leading lights at 71 years old,showed a flash of old brilliance in second round play at The Open Championship Friday.Watson hit a hole in one at the sixth,the fifteenth ace of his career and his second at a major.He also aced at the 1980 U.S. Open.Watson finished the round at an even 70,four strokes off the lead.Phil Mickelson was three strokes behind at one under par.
Fellow American Lucas Glover and Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke shared the lead at four under par.The tournament is being held at the Royal St.George's Golf Club in Sandwich,England.
The stock market did not score an ace this week,suffering modest declines on the endless debt concern as well as unemployment hangover from last Friday and a weak Empire State manufacturing report,coupled with poor consumer confidence.The Dow fell 1.4,while the NASDAQ lost 2.5 and the S&P slipped 2.1.The Jefferies-Reuters CRB commodities index edged up 0.5.
Next week features data on existing home sales,housing starts and Mid-Atlantic manufacturing,the Philly Fed report.The S&P futures were up 8.20 Friday evening,and bond index futures also rose.Oil futures were up 1.55 at 97.24 a barrel,and gold futures rose 0.80 to 1590.10 an ounce.
Update:Darren Clarke,who will turn 43 next month,took sole possession of the lead in Saturday's third round of The Open Championship,shooting a 69 five under par.Young Americans Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler were second and third on the leader board,respectively.Clarke only missed a few greens in the challenging weather conditions,and was the only player to make birdie on the first hole.
The crowd favorite,Clarke had previously won at Majorca,Spain on the European tour this season.Phil Mickelson was at even par Saturday,five shots back of the lead in seventh place.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Pueblo Faces Wind as Rockies Win

Pueblo County,Colorado braved fierce winds and quarter-sized hail as thunderstorms rocked the Front Range this evening.At 6:52 pm,a gust of 78 mph was recorded,and a semi truck was knocked over on its side 5 miles east of Pueblo.
Meanwhile,the Colorado Rockies were playing ball back east in Washington.They bested the Washington Nationals 3-2 as closer Houston Street blanked the Nats,striking out two in the ninth inning.The Rockies have won four straight games against the Nats,and the last 15 out of 18 contests with the Nats.
The stock market faced the winds of a poor employment report on Friday.Nonetheless,it managed a slight gain on the week,with the Dow up 0.59,the NASDAQ adding 1.55,and the S&P improving by the hair of 0.31,supported by strong manufacturing data from the Institute for Supply Management.June was the 23rd consecutive month of expansion in the sector,with new orders and production up modestly and employment rising a strong 1.7%.
Next week will see the start of earnings season as companies report their Q2 results.Alcoa reports on Monday,while JP Morgan Chase goes on Thursday along with Google.Citigroup checks in on Friday,and the Empire State manufacturing report will also be released at that time.
The futures were still affected by nerves Friday evening,as the S&P dropped 9.90.Oil futures also fell,losing 2.46,while gold and bond index futures hiked upward.
Alcoa(AA),Citigroup(C),Google(GOOG),JP Morgan Chase(JPM)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Jays Lose,But Canadian Powers Nats Win

The Toronto Blue Jays could not deliver a victory to fans on Canada Day,losing 7-6 as the Philidelphia Phillies came from behind to win Friday afternoon in Toronto.Canadian Matt Stairs,however,celebrated his homeland's birthday with a walk-off base hit,earning a 2-1 win for his team,the Washington Nationals,over the Pittsburgh Pirates at Nationals Park Friday evening.
Reliever Chris Resop had shut the Nats down with his fastballs in the eighth inning,but the veteran Stairs came through in the bottom of the ninth with his second RBI in a Nationals uniform.It was a nice hit,Stairs said;it was a good feeling.
Traders were having a good feeling on Friday as well,with all three major averages logging a successful week at the closing bell.The Dow rose 5.4 on the week,and the NASDAQ gained 6.2,while the broadly-based S&P added 5.6.The Jefferies-Reuters CRB Index showed a commodities loss of 0.4.
The S&P futures continued the rally,up 19.30,while bond index futures declined.
The holiday-shortened next week will test the rally with several data points,including the ISM service sector reading;factory orders;chain store sales;and the crucial employment report on Friday.

Friday, June 24, 2011

North Dakota Devastated by Flooding

Many residents of Minot,North Dakota failed to get flood insurance,believing their levees would protect them.Although the levees would not breech,they are being topped,leaving many homeless for the foreseeable future.
Record flood waters,the result of prodigious winter snowfall and spring rain in the U.S. and Canada,are raising the misery index exponentially in Minot and nearby communities in the upper Midwest.Dam floodgates had to be opened in three Canadian dams and one American dam,sending a cascade of ruinous proportions southward down the Souris River,submerging countless homes and businesses.
Financial fears are mounting in Europe and the U.S.,where the Greek debt issue continues to ruffle markets.Accord has been reached with the EU and IMF,but the Greek parliament still has to approve the austerity requirements to receive the aid for upcoming repayments.As well,the Fedreral Reserve's quantitative easing program,or QE2,ends next Thursday,with unknown consequences for the stock market.
For the week,the Dow dropped 0.58%,while the NASDAQ lost 1.39 and the S&P edged 0.24 lower.
A number of data points will also condition trading next week.Pending home sales,consumer confidence,the ISM manufacturing index,and the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index will be released.
In reaction,the S&P futures tumbled 13.10 Friday evening,but bond index futures climbed.
At the College World Series in Omaha,Nebraska,South Carolina climbed past Virginia 3-2 in 13 innings on two throwing errors.The Gamecocks will face the Florida Gators in a best of three final beginning on Monday.

Friday, June 17, 2011

McIlroy Dominates At Congressional

Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy dominated the early going at the U.S. Open at the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda,Maryland.Mature beyond his 22 years,McIlroy,who also had led the year's first major,The Masters,through most of the tournament,made golf history on Friday by posting the best ever 36-hole score at the U.S. Open.
Although botching the eighteenth hole along with Phil Mickelson,McIlroy ended the day with an 11 under 131 for the tournament so far.Mickelson was well back at 1 over.
News from Europe dominated the stock market this week,resulting in several poor closing bells.By week's end,however,things had calmed down in Athens,Greece and the Europeans seemed closer to resolving their debt crisis for the moment,allowing the major averages to post minute gains.The Dow and S&P closed fractionally up for the week,at 0.4 and 0.04,respectively.The NASDAQ gained a more appreciable 1.0.
The Wallow fire,worst in Arizona history,continued to burn Friday evening,being 33% contained.Gusty winds were unfortunately in the forecast,posing further danger of blazes in the drought-ridden West.
The week ahead poses more danger for portfolios as the Federal Reserve issues an interest rate decision and statement on Wednesday.Data on home sales,durable goods and Gross Domestic Product may also prove significant to investors.
The S&P futures took a positive slant,rising 2.50 Friday evening,while bond index futures headed downward.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Worries,Wildfire and Sun Devils

The stock market rolled further down its losing path this week,finishing lower for the sixth straight week for the first time since 2002.The slowness of the recovery,a ballooning national debt and overseas concerns remain stumbling blocks to further appreciation of most equities as a correction drives investors into the havens of bond funds and cash again.
Opportunists scoop up bargains at such times,but profit-taking is the rule of the day,especially on the cusp of a weekend with all its inherent uncertainties.For the week,the Dow lost 1.6,and the S&P surrendered 2.2,with the NASDAQ falling 3.3.Commodities dropped on Friday as the dollar rose,as expressed by the Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index,which slipped 2.30.
The Arizona State Sun Devils didn't slip when they cuffed the Texas Longhorns 3-1 at the NCAA Super Regionals Friday evening in Austin.The first game of the best 2 out of three series was taken control of when Arizona State scored two runs in the top of the 3rd on two Texas errors and an RBI single.
In 2002 and 2005,the Longhorns lost game 1 of the Super Regionals,only to come all the way back and take the College World Series.For tonight,however,the Sun Devils' Joey DeMichele led the way to a win,going 2-4 with 2 RBIs.
At home in Arizona,wildland firefighters worked on saving small towns from a forest fire that was only 5% contained.Five hours from Phoenix,the fire may take up to 3 weeks to fully control.The communities of vacation homes,cabins and resorts will be at risk till then,and in the past it has taken such resorts 5 years to recover from a blaze of this size.
The markets will give their attention to several reports next week,including retail sales,housing starts and inflation.The S&P futures slid a further 18.20 Friday evening,and bond index futures rose on the new week's promise.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Wall Street Marks Losses,Blue Jays Win

Wall Street began June with its fifth straight week of losses,which is not surprising in that,historically,June has been a poor month for the stock market.Remarkably,all three major averages were down 2.3 on the week,as though giving a unanimous thumbs down to working at vacation time.
A gravely disappointing employment report got Friday off to a miserable start,with only 54,000 jobs being created in May,steeply down from April's 231,000.Labor Secretary Hilda Solis admitted that it does keep her up at night,because she knows that they have to do a better job at creating jobs.
Earlier in the week,the Institute for Supply Management issued its manufacturing survey,which also indicated a serious slowdown from April's readings.Manufacturing activity tumbled from 60.4 to 53.5 in May,and new orders followed suit,dropping from 61.7 to 51.0.Readings above 50 in the highly regarded report signify expansion.
Residents of Massachusetts waged their own struggle as they regrouped following a fatal tornado on Wednesday.The half-mile wide storm ripped through the communities of Springfield and Monson,killing four and sending a debris ball up to a height of 6,000 feet.At high elevations in the Rockies,winter weather advisories are posted for the Sierra Nevada and Cascade ranges,where late spring snow could total up to 7 inches.
The Toronto Blue Jays did not have to struggle as they clipped the Baltimore Orioles 8-4 Friday night in Baltimore.The win put the Jays above .500 again.The teams smacked 10 hits each,but the Orioles were also charged with an error.The Blue Jays' J.P. Arencibia hit a grand slam homer in the fifth inning and starting pitcher Carlos Villanueva climbed to a 3-0 record after having been promoted from the bullpen.
A relatively light data week is ahead for Wall Street,with the Federal Reserve's anecdotal Beige Book report slated for release,as is the World Bank's World Economic Outlook.The S&P futures lost 16.10 Friday evening,while bond index futures rose.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Cavaliers Move On,Market Does Not

The Virginia Cavaliers moved on in the ACC Baseball Championship in Durham,North Carolina didn't faze the Cavs,who topped Pool A with a 2-0 record.The Canes mounted a comeback when they loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth,but were ultimately shut down by Cavs reliever Branden Kline,who got the save.
The stock market did not progress this week,ending with slight losses on continued European debt fears,poor pending home sales and doubts about the consumer.For the week,the Dow slipped 0.6,while the S&P and NASDAQ edged 0.2 lower.
Next week will be back-loaded by Friday's employment data,with the ISM manufacturing figures on Wednesday and chain store sales on Thursday also possible influences on trading,along with the European debt crisis and the U.S. budget deficit.The S&P futures nontheless traded up 3.40 Friday evening,and bond index futures also rose as traders felt cautious ahead of overseas markets and governments being open Monday morning.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Stocks Slip Slightly On Renewed Fears

The wall of worry built up to a hint of hurt for the market this week.An old story,the European debt crisis,was re-energized this week when the Fitch Rating Agency cut Greek bonds to junk status.There was also concern about retailers being pressured by rising costs such as the price of cotton.For the week,the Dow lost 0.7 and the NASDAQ fell 0.9,while the S&P edged down 0.3.The Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index showed strength in commodities rising 0.7 as hard assets were sought to mitigate portfolio risk.
Though the market showed weakness,American golfer David Toms,who is 44 years old,continues the strong play that landed him second place in a playoff at The Players Championship last week in Florida.Toms shot an excellent 2nd round 16 under par 62 at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth,Texas in fine conditions on Friday.He was trailed by Australians John Senden,Steven Bowditch,American Mark Wilson and Korean Charlie Wi at -9.
Next week will see the market digesting new home sales figures,as well as durable goods orders and earnings from Medtronic and Costco.The S&P futures fell 13.90 in response,and bond index futures rose.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Toms Leads The Players,Broad Market Lower

At The Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach,Florida,American David Toms,44,holds the 2nd round lead,having shot a 68 -10.Countryman Nick Watney follows at -9,while Luke Donald of England,Graeme McDowell of Scotland,and Americans Lucas Glover and Steve Stricker share 3rd place.Toms has two Top 10 finishes so far this year for an earnings total of 700,215 dollars.
The broader stock market could not hold a lead this week,with the S&P 500 closing down a modest 2.43.Nor was it hopeful about next week,as the S&P futures slid 13.50 early Friday evening.Perhaps inflation fears and deficit problems got the best of it.Bond index futures rose.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Britannia Rules Airwaves,Earnings Rule Market

If you notice that you're starting to speak with a slightly British accent,it isn't surprising,given the royal wedding mania that has swept through the televised world.And why shouldn't it have,given the tough row most people have to hoe?A diversion like that is a welcome relief for the average person.It's an extra holiday.
For its part,the market was living out its own fairy story this week,as corporate earnings continued to please,for the most part.When good earnings are rolling in,economic reality such as poor housing figures and persistently high unemployment may be shoved aside for a while.
Analysts caution,however,that gains in the second half of the year could slow down quite a bit as companies find it increasingly difficult to post the type of results that characterized the last few years.
For the week,however,the Dow was up 2.44,while the S&P rose 1.95 and the NASDAQ 1.89.The Dow and S&P closed at their highest since 2008,and the NASDAQ hasn't been this elevated since the year 2000.
Next week,the earnings parade goes on as General Motors,Pfizer,Kraft Foods and AIG share their results for Q1.The Institute for Supply Management will release its April purchasing manager surveys,and the unemployment report will close out the week.
Stock futures were largely positive Friday evening,with the S&P futures up 4.80,the Dow futures adding 48.00 and the NASDAQ retreating a little,down 1.00.
Winter isn't retreating in some areas.Blizzard warnings are up for the Northern Plains.As much as nine inches of snow are expected in northern North Dakota and adjacent areas.
Kraft Foods(KFT),General Motors(GM),Pfizer(PFE),American International Group(AIG)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Jerusalem Full of Pilgrims

Pilgrims of every persuasion are gathered in Jerusalem this weekend.Not only is it Easter at the same time this year for both Eastern and Western Christians;it is Passover as well.Often,the Eastern Orthodox have Easter a week or two later than the Roman Catholics and Protestants.
The walled Old City is hosting them all,and so far,all is well for them under the trained glances of the security forces.Merchants,vendors and hoteliers are doing a brisk trade catering to the needs of the throngs.
There were Christians of many nationalities carrying crosses of various styles on the cobblestone Via Dolorosa on Good Friday,retracing the last footsteps of Christ before His crucifixion,pausing at each station of the cross.It started to rain and the umbrellas came out,but the processions to the historic Church of the Holy Sepulchre went on,and Christians were deeply affected as they practiced their faith where it was actually founded,considering themselves blessed to be there at Easter.
The financial markets had a shortened week in observance of Good Friday,and logged continued gains in the event.The Dow rose 1.3 for the week,and the S&P charted a 1.3 gain as well,but the NASDAQ climbed up 2.0.The Reuters/Jefferies Commodity Research Bureau index gained 1.50.Looking to Monday,the S&P futures were up 2.70 Thursday evening,and bond futures were also higher.
Earnings reports from heavyweights such as Exxon Mobil,Procter&Gamble,PepsiCo and Microsoft may influence traders next week,as may the new home sales report.
Exxon Mobil(XOM),Procter&Gamble(PG),PepsiCo(PEP),Microsoft(MSFT)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Massive Storm Heads East,Wind Shapes Valero Texas Open

A vast storm ravaged the lower 48 the past few days from north to south,killing 10 in Arkansas,Oklahoma and Alabama with tornadoes.In the Northern Plains,it brought blizzard conditions,but by the time it hits the Mid-Atlantic Saturday,it will simply be a rainy,windy day.
At the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio,the wind gusted to 25 mph,keeping scores high.There were only a handful of birdies on Friday as the stiff breeze twisted judgement.Seven players were tied for first at the end of the 2nd round at three under par,all Americans except for Australian Geoff Ogilve,who has seven career victories.
The stock market was less stormy,with modest losses caused by earnings disappointments from the likes of Google,Bank of America and Alcoa.For the week,the Dow lost 0.31,while the S&P dropped 0.64 and the NASDAQ slipped 0.25.Next week will be dominated by a cascade of earnings reports,with one fifth of the S&P 500 reporting.Sharing their Q1 results will be Citigroup,IBM,Intel,General Electric and McDonald's,among others.
The S&P futures were up strongly Friday evening,rising 8.50 on good consumer confidence and industrial production news.
Google(GOOG),Citigroup(C),International Business Machines(IBM),Intel(INTC),General Electric(GE),McDonald's(MCD)
Update:There have been nearly 100 reports of tornadoes in Oklahoma alone,and 120 in Alabama.The death toll form the wild weather has risen to at least 17.The chance of tornadic conditions is reportedly about 40% for Virginia on Saturday,and about 70% for North Carolina.
April reports of severe weather have been nearly double the average number this year.
In the Northern Plains,12" of snow has fallen.The severe weather threat may extend as far north as Washington,D.C.,and flooding may occur farther north than that.On the back side of the storm,wind speeds of up to 60 mph could be reached.
Update 2:By late Saturday,many areas were quieting down as the great spring storm pulled northwards.Tornado watches had been posted earlier as far north as Adams and York Counties in Pennsylvania,and there were at least 30 high water rescues,as well as flooded basements,from Mechanicsburg to Harrisburg in the Keystone State.In many cases,motorists ignored high water signs and drove right into the potentially deadly ponding,necessitating rescues by firefighters.
Scores improved at the Valero Texas Open on Saturday as the wind died down in the Texas hill country,with American Brendan Steele topping the field with a 3rd round seven under par 68.Defending champion Adam Scott of Australia was tied for 5th with two other Americans,having shot a four under par 70.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Tiger's Good Round,Western Weather

Tiger Woods is showing consistency at The Masters,a tradition-steeped tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia.Woods played intently on Friday,finishing with a strong 2nd round seven under par 66.He was tied for 3rd place with South Korean K.J. Choi.Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy was dominant at -10,while Australian Jason Day tied a tournament record for the lowest 2nd round score for a first-timer at Augusta,shooting an eight under 64.Also of note,Fred Couples,51,is in contention with his 2nd round five under 68.
Weather conditions will be hot and humid for the remainder of the tournament.To the west,storms are taking many forms,from apple-sized hail in Butler County,Kansas to a heavy snow forecast in Flagstaff,Arizona.There may be wind gusts up to 75 mph in the Southern Plains,and a 50,000 acre brush fire raged in North Texas.
Stocks did not rage this week,with the S&P down slightly for the week,pressured by soaring oil prices.Gold closed at a record high 1474.10 an ounce Friday.The S&P futures were down a modest 4.70 Friday evening,and bond interest rate futures also dropped.Shaping trading next week will be the start of earnings season as Alcoa reports on Monday,JP Morgan Chase on Wednesday,Google on Thursday and Bank of America on Friday.
Alcoa(AA),JP Morgan Chase(JPM),Google(GOOG),Bank of America(BAC)
Update:Rory McIlroy continues to decisively top the leader board with a four stroke lead heading into Sunday's final round.Tiger Woods and Fred Couples are still in contention,along with Jason Day and former Masters champion Angel Cabrera of Argentina.Phil Mickelson is a mathematical long shot for his fourth green jacket at the tournament.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Stocks,Employment Post Modest Gains-plus Mickelson's momentum

For the week,stocks posted modest gains,with the Dow gaining 1.28,the S&P 1.42 and the NASDAQ 1.70.The first quarter has closed and Q2 has begun with risk assets still in the leading role for portfolio managers.The week ahead promises more of the same,with the S&P futures up 6.70.Bond futures rose in price also.
The employment picture improved as expected,with the unemployment rate falling slightly to 8.8% in March.Since 2009,it has declined from 10.1%.The slow recovery continues.
Unsettled spring conditions prevailed in the Mid-Atlantic region this week,and the next promises a repeat with more spotty showers in the forecast.
It was sunny at the Houston Shell Open Friday,where American Chris Kirk topped the leader board with a second round 69 for a -9.Fellow Americans Anthony Kim and Johnson Wagner shared 2nd with -9s,while Irishman Padraig Harrington was 4th,also shooting a 2nd round 69.
Update:On Saturday,Phil Mickelson,40,showed flashes of his old brilliance,seizing a share of the lead with his friend Scott Verplank,and tying the course record with a 13 under 63 at that,as he builds to his title defence at The Masters next week,the first of the year's majors.Mickelson surged from being five strokes off the lead on Friday.Chris Kirk fell to third place,sharing it with Australian Aaron Baddeley.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

Market Steamrolls Forward

The incredible Teflon market powered on this week,impervious to all events,both internal and external.A near meltdown in Japan,terrible housing data in the U.S. and low consumer confidence were all brushed aside as the market posted gains for the week.The Dow rose 3.1,while the NASDAQ added 3.8 and the S&P 2.7.The cash has to flow somewhere,and bonds are out of favor because of inflation fears,so it's pouring into risk assets.Light volume today shows that there wasn't great conviction behind this,however.
At the Bay Hill Club&Lodge in Orlando,Scotsman Martin Laird did play with conviction,shooting a second round 65 for a nine under par and the lead of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.South Korean K.J. Choi and American Spencer Levin shared second place at eight under.
The Mid-Atlantic region should be under a bit of snow Sunday morning,just when it was thinking spring was fully awake.Mostly it will be a covering for the grassy areas,with the roads having had a chance to rise above freezing in recent afternoons.
Next week will be focused on the March employment report issued on Friday,as well as the beginning of earnings season just around the bend.The S&P futures were modestly higher Friday evening,up 4.80,and Treasury bond and note prices declined.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Mama Bear Resists Tranquilizer

A mama bear shook off tranquilizer when she was darted by Maryland Department of Natural Resources biologists at a housing development in Deep Creek Lake.The mother was worried about her three cubs,which she had given birth to under a resident's back deck.The biologists felt it wasn't a safe place for them to dwell and were attempting to relocate the bruins to nearby Savage River State Forest.Finally,a few more darts did bring her down.She and the cubs were taken to a temporary den in the forest sporting their new ear tags so the officials can keep records on them.
The stock market couldn't shake off the newsy week and ended up modestly lower,with the S&P down 1.9.Many other Americans couldn't shake it off,either,besieged by media coverage of the Japanese catastrophe to the point of irrational reactions to the nuclear crisis 5,000 miles away.
Monday was looking more promising,with the S&P futures climbing 5.40,while 10-year Treasury bond prices fell.New and existing home sales data will draw attention from investors next week.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Californians Feel Japan Quake Aftermath

Californians were hit in the pocketbook by the Japan earthquake's attendant tsunami Friday.Millions of dollars of damage were done to harbors and boats along the SoCal coast by the powerful waves rippling off the Pacific.Docks were ripped from harbors in both California and Oregon,and dozens of boats were lost to the aquatic aftereffects of the Asian earthquake.
One California man was missing at sea and feared dead by the U.S. Coast Guard,having been swept away by the tsunami.The town of Newport Beach warned residents by robocalls Friday morning and closed Newport Beach Elementary School,but gave the all clear Friday afternoon.
The Toshiba Classic golf tournament,part of the Champions Tour of senior pro golfers,went ahead as scheduled at the Newport Beach Country Club.South African Nick Price led the field with a first round 60 for a -11,while German Bernhard Langer,the defending Charles Schwab Cup champion,tied for second with three Americans:Mark O'Meara,Mark Wiebe and Brad Bryant,all having shot 65s for -6s.
Though finishing up for the day,stocks drifted lower for the week,hurt by renewed European debt fears,the Libyan civil war and Japan's killer quake,with the S&P giving up 1.30.In the futures market Friday evening,the S&P rose a strong 11.70,and 10 year Treasury bond prices fell as the optimism from Friday's late trading carried over to Monday's prospects.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Market Has Good Week,Despite Oil

Oil price momentum slowed,but couldn't stop,the market this week.It ended slightly higher for the week.The Dow rose 0.33,while the S&P edged up 0.10 and the NASDAQ 0.13.All bonds ended in the green on Friday as stocks dropped modestly on the day,the fear trade returning in response to continued Libyan chaos on Friday.
Fear carried over into the futures market Friday evening,with the Dow losing another 85.00,the S&P a further 9.40 and the NASDAQ futures falling 12.00 more.
North Dakotans won't have to fear sweating on Saturday,with the forecast high being 16 F at Fargo.
A stiff breeze dried the sweat off golfers at the Honda Classic,a FedEx Cup event, in Palm Beach,Florida on Friday.American Kyle Stanley,23,topped the leader board with a 2nd round 66 for a -6,while South Africans Rory Sabbatini and Charl Schwartzel held 2nd and 3rd place respectively,Sabbatini shooting a superlative 2nd round 64 with 7 birdies and only 1 bogey.
American Mark Wilson leads the FedEx Cup competition so far.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Friday, February 25, 2011

Winds and Fears Buffet East Coast

The East Coast was buffeted by a number of winds and economic fears on Friday,leaving a lot to be forgotten about for a relaxing weekend to take shape.Gusts of near 70 miles an hour-hurricane force-tore siding off a home,knocked billboards over and power lines down,and delayed flights as high wind warnings were issued and a low pressure system moved up the coastline.It's unsettled spring conditions right before the start of meteorological spring on March 1,Tuesday.
The convulsing Middle East sent a dark cloud over fretting markets on Wall Street as oil prices reached more than 98.00 a barrel in after hours trading.Friday trading was light as institutions trimmed their purchases,anxious about any weekend developments overseas while the markets are closed.Consumers are feeling the oil surge at the gas pump and struggling at the supermarket check-out as well,with commodities soaring generally.
For the week,the Dow lost 2.1%;the S&P 1.72;and the NASDAQ 1.9%.It was the S&P's biggest weekly drop since mid-November of last year.The CBOE Volatility Index,the fear index,was up 17% on the week.
Next week will see the Institute for Supply Management issue its key reports on manufacturing and service sector activity for February,as well as earnings from H.J. Heinz and the February employment report on Friday.
The S&P futures were down 1.90 on Friday evening,but the NASDAQ futures went the other direction,rising 2.25,reflecting Friday's strength in the tech sector.
German Martin Kaymer was the sole number one seed to reach the quarterfinals of the World Golf Championships Accenture Match Play Championship at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club at Dove Mountain in Marana,Arizona,where frost can still delay play at this time of year on the oasis course.Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez and American Ryan Moore were also still alive in the jagged desert scenery.
H.J. Heinz(HNZ)
Update:Martin Kaymer will play England's Luke Donald in the finals of the Accenture Match Play Championship on Sunday.Americans Matt Kuchar and Bubba Watson will play in the consolation match.Kaymer,26,became the world number one when he defeated Watson in Saturday's semifinal.

Friday, February 18, 2011

I-80 Clogged,Fred Couples Shocked

While I-80 was clogged with holiday skiers seeking the powder snow falling on California's Sierra Nevada range,Fred Couples,51,was smoothly leading a PGA Tour event he has done well at over the past decade,with several top ten finishes to his name.Couples finished the second round of the Northern Trust Open at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades with an eight under 66.Two other Americans,Spencer Levin and J.B. Holmes,shared second with Australian John Senden at -6.
Couples,who plays on the Champions Tour as well,said he was shocked to be in first place,but thought his familiarity with the course gave him an edge.A fan favorite,he's been playing there for several decades now.
The stock market cruised along as well this week,unruffled by spreading unrest in the Arab world,scoring its third straight weekly gain.The S&P closed up 1.04 for the week,while the Dow rose 0.96 and the NASDAQ edged up 0.87.
Next week will see a number of retailers reporting their Q4 earnings.The S&P futures were hopeful about that,gaining 4.60 on Friday evening.The ten year Treasury futures were slightly down in price.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Market Still Strong,Tiger's Good Round

The stock market logged another good week,with the S&P notching its highest close since June 2008 on Friday,up 1.4 for the week and 0.55 for the day.Relief at the resignation of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak helped ensure the bull market's continuation.Next week the market will have a raft of data to respond to,from manufacturing figures to retail sales,but the current momentum trade may be strong enough to overcome even a disappointing set.
In the United Arab Emirates,Tiger Woods shot an excellent 66 at the second round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic,putting him in a tie for fifth place with four others.Northern Ireland's young star Rory McIlroy led with a -11 for the two rounds.
The Cleveland Cavaliers ended their record 26-game losing streak with a 126-119 win over the Los Angeles Clippers.
Following a bitterly cold few mornings,the Mid-Atlantic region will enter a stretch of springlike conditions,with temperatures expected to reach above 50 Fahrenheit.
The S&P futures signaled more smooth sailing for equities on Monday,rising 8.50 Friday evening,and the ten year Treasury futures prices also rose.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Market Disses Jobs Report,Egypt

The stock market was seemingly little concerned about a disappointing employment report,as well as an unfolding crisis of global import,as it logged modest gains for the week that was.The Dow added 2.27,while the NASDAQ gained 3.07 and the S&P 2.7 respectively.The paltry jobs growth of only 36,000 in January,when what is needed is well into six figures,and the struggle of Egyptians against authoritarian rule were set aside in favor of strong manufacturing and service sector data from the Institute for Supply Management,as well as a stable European situation.
Winter weather could not be dismissed at the Dallas Super Bowl site,where six people were injured by ice falling off the roof of Cowboys Stadium;nor in Scottsdale,where the Phoenix Open was delayed by yesterday's frost and subfreezing temperatures.Americans Tommy Gainey and Mark Wilson led the portion of the second round completed on Friday at -11,while Australian Geoff Ogilvy notched a third place with a -9.Phil Mickelson will play his second round Saturday.
The S&P futures warmed up 3.90 Friday evening,and the ten year Treasury futures tacked on more interest.Next week,Kraft Foods and Disney will be among those reporting earnings.
Kraft Foods(KFT),Disney(DIS)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Friday, January 28, 2011

Cairo Chaos,Torrey Pines Brilliance

While a day of rage gripped the streets of Cairo,Egypt,flattening Wall Street,the PGA Tour was serenely underway Friday on the sunlit bluffs of Torrey Pines near La Jolla,California.American Bill Haas,winner of last year's Bob Hope Classic,topped the leaderboard with his -11,and Anthony Kim was second with a -9.Seven players shared the third spot at -8,including Phil Mickelson,who lives 20 minutes from the course,the longest on the tour.Tiger Woods was tied for twelfth with four others at -6.
The Mid-Atlantic region was far from that sunshine,still recovering from Wednesday's heavy rush hour snowfall,with many residents still without power under more gray skies and snow showers.A wintry mix is in the forecast for Tuesday into Wednesday.
The news from Egypt,together with disappointing earnings from Amazon,Microsoft and Ford,and generally overbought conditions,clipped the market's wings.They were slightly down on the week,with the S&P losing 0.6%.The Commodity Research Bureau Index was up 4.05,however.Next week will feature reports on employment,factory orders and auto sales.
The S&P futures were flat Friday evening,and bond futures prices rose.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Big GE Week,Knicks Cuffed

It was a big week for GE as the manufacturing titan reported a great Q4.GE had a big jump in orders and its first revenue increase in two years.It's a sign of rising capital expenditure and a recovering industrial base as companies purchase GE's broad range of big products.
The New York Knicks had a small Friday night in San Antonio as the Spurs dealt them a 101-92 loss at AT&T Center.The Spurs have the best record in the NBA at 37-6.Tony Parker shot 21 points with 13 assists for the victors on a pleasant Texas night.It was the Spurs' eighth straight win.For the Knicks,Danielo Gallinari shot 16 points,while Amare Stoudemire had 23 points and Raymond Felton 18,respectively.
The Mid-Atlantic region was partly cloudy and chilled into the teens or single digits Friday night,with Saturday night expected to fall likewise.
For the week,the Dow rose 84.46,while the S&P dropped 9.89 and the NASDAQ stumbled 65.76,or 2.4%.The S&P futures pointed up 3.50 Friday evening,and the 10 year bond futures yield rose as well.Next week,Caterpillar and American Express will report their earnings.
General Electric(GE),Caterpillar(CAT),American Express(AXP)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Nowitzki Almost Well;Earnings Season Starts Well

Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki said he's close to coming back into the lineup-hopefully on the Mavs' current road trip.He missed his 9th straight game Friday because of a sprained knee.The Mavs lost to the San Antonio Spurs 101-89.Dallas owner billionaire Mark Cuban attended the game at San Antonio's at&t Center,but to no avail for his struggling team.
San Antonio has the best record in the NBA,at 34-6,and were led by Tony Parker's 18 points,while Dallas' Shawn Marion scored 14.Parker said we've been lucky with our health,but it's a little too early to talk about being a championship team.The Spurs have achieved 5 straight wins.
The east was achieving some mighty cold temperatures Friday night,as Harrisburg,Pennsylvania was dropping down to the teens Fahrenheit.A clipper system was to cross the Great Lakes Saturday afternoon,bringing lake effect snow showers to the area.
Wall Street notched multiyear highs this week,with the Dow up 1.0,the NASDAQ 1.9 and the S&P 1.7.Earnings season had launched on an uptrend for Alcoa,Intel and JP Morgan Chase.The S&P futures continued the optimism Friday evening with a substantial 8.1 of further gain as bond prices dropped.
Alcoa(AA),Intel(INTC),JP Morgan Chase(JPM)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Magic Still Winning;Wintry East

The Orlando Magic extended their winning streak to eight games Friday night,handing the Houston Rockets a 110-95 defeat at Amway Center in Orlando,the arena that was a blue box glowing in a reddish crisscross of streets.Brandon Bass and Jason Richardson led the Magic with 18 points each,while Dwight Howard contributed 13 points and 11 rebounds and Brian Anderson shot 16 from the bench-a true team effort.
Kevin Martin led the Rockets with 27 points.Houston continues to suffer from the loss of big man Yao Ming,whose tragic career may be coming to an end after a second season of serious injuries.
Motorists lost time in New York state as snow caused accidents across the Hudson Valley,while New Jerseyans praised their road crews for doing a better job of handling the wintry conditions this time around.Light snow will brush the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions on Saturday,and Winter Storm Watches are posted from Alabama to South Carolina with the potential for ice storms in the area.
Wall Street was unimpressed by the potential for job growth,disappointed in the slow pace of additions to the work force in December.Stocks were down slightly on Friday,and the S&P futures fell 2.40 in the evening,while Treasury futures rose in price.

Saturday, January 1, 2011