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.