Overview for the Week
Monday saw the bulls in control again, after the March non-farm payrolls and the unemployment rates were revealed on Good Friday, as being the largest monthly job gain since December 2007. Trader’s felt more confident with the view that the economy was starting to improve with stronger-than-anticipated data on service-sector growth and a surprisingly good real estate report.
As by the close-of-the-day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA – 10,973.55) ended on a gain of 46.5 points, or 0.4%, the S&P 500 Index (SPX – 1,187.44,173.22) added on 9.3 points, or 0.8%, whilst the Nasdaq Composite (COMP – 2,429.53) had a gain of 27 points, or 1.1% for the day.
Notes of Interest for Monday…..
· Crude futures soared to their highest levels in nearly 18 months today, as upbeat economic data provided hopes for improving demand.
· Investors responded to news that Somali pirates on Sunday seized a supertanker transporting Iraqi crude oil to the United States.
Tuesday saw the bulls floundering, with much of the session see-sawing, particularly with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) which finished in the red. However, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) indexes managed to finish in the black. A damper was apparent after news of the deadly explosion at a Massey Energy (NYSE:MEE) mine. However, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), early in the afternoon, re-stated its pledge to maintain low interest rates for an "extended period of time," but added that the policy is "explicitly contingent on the evolution of the economy rather than on the passage of any fixed amount of calendar time."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA – 10,969.99) had a small loss of 3.6 points or 0.03%. The S&P 500 Index (SPX – 1,189.44) gained 2 points, or 0.2%., and finally, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP – 2,436.81) added on 7.3 points, or 0.3%.
Note of interest for Tuesday….
· The Energy Information Administration (NYSEMKT:EIA) said crude stockpiles advanced by 2 million barrels in the week ended April 2, exceeding economists' predictions for an increase of 1.5 million barrels.
· Gold futures climbed higher for the fifth consecutive session today, finishing at their highest level of 2010. India’s “wedding season” also contributed to this growth.
Wednesday saw the bulls in trouble with all three major indexes finishing the day in the red due to renewed concerns about debt in Greece, interest rate comments from Kansas City Fed President Thomas Hoenig, and declining consumer borrowing. Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, made positive comments in regard to improved economic conditions and an ebbing unemployment rate this year, and an affirmative auction of 10-year notes, could not contain the bears.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA – 10,897.52) had a loss of 72.5 points, or 0.7%, the S&P 500 Index (SPX – 1,182.45) gave up 7 points or 0.6%, whilst the Nasdaq Composite (COMP – 2,431.16) finished the day with a loss of 5.7 points, or 0.2%, faring the best of the major market indexes.
Note of Interest for Wednesday…. the Dow, at the end of the day, was behind its 10-day moving average for the first time since Feb. 10.
Thursday saw the markets in a see-saw action from positive to negative, and back, throughout the day. The Labor Department reported an increase in initial jobless claims, with first-time filings for unemployment benefits unexpectedly jumping by 18,000 last week, which helped send the major market indexes into the red early in the session. However, total same-store sales for March surged by a record-setting 9.1%, along with speculation about a possible merger between United Airlines and US Airways, helped the bulls battle their way back into the black by the end of the day.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA – 10,927.07) had a gain of 29.6 points, or 0.3%, the S&P 500 Index (SPX – 1,186.44) made up 4 points or 0.3%, whilst the Nasdaq Composite (COMP – 2,436.81) finished the day with a gain of 5.7 points, or 0.2%, the same as yesterday.
Notes of Interest for Thursday….
· Total sales for March had a record-setting 9.1% increase, with the vast majority of retail issues surpassing analysts' expectations.
· The Gap GPS) had same-store sales increase by 11% which was well above analyst’s expectations of 3.7%.
· By the close of the day, crude oil for May delivery gave up 49 cents, or 0.6%, to settle at $85.39 per barrel.
· The continuing concerns about Greece’s debt pushed the U.S. dollar higher.
· Apple iAd program, described as a new form of mobile advertising, is to monetize iPhone apps with interactive media. This simply means that the Apple's new iAd program is Tied into iPhone OS 4, which will allow the developer to include richly interactive ad experiences into their apps. This should give them a 60% cut of the advertising revenue. iAd provides a way for users to explore rich content ads within the app that is presenting it without being sent into a web browser.
Friday saw the bulls take control early in the session and maintain it! With the Commerce Department reporting that U.S. wholesalers had an eleventh consecutive monthly increase in sales during February, along with Thursday’s much better retail sales reports, helped send the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) over the elusive 11,000 mark, if only for a brief time. Chevron (NYSE:CVX), also helped boost the traders confidence by announcing higher commodity prices which will give an improvement in first-quarter earnings. Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) and Palm (PALM) also helped enthusiasm from the bulls. These positive reports certainly helped to offset the Fitch Ratings downgrade for Greece, since it was likely that a bailout package was forthcoming.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA – 10,997.35) settled on a gain of 70.3 points, or 0.6%. The S&P 500 Index (SPX – 1,194.37) made a gain of 7.9 points, or 0.7%, whilst the Nasdaq Composite (COMP – 2,454.05) also fared well by making a gain of 17.2 points, or 0.7%.
Notes of Interest for Friday….
· The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) reached a new 52-week peak of 11,000.98, marking its highest intraday peak since 29th September, 2008 -- and its best daily close since 26th September, 2008.
· The S&P 500 Index (SPX) peaked at 1,194.66 on an intraday basis.
· The Nasdaq Composite (COMP) also had a new high of 2,454.12 for the first time since Aug. 18, 2008
By the close of the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was up 0.6%, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) was even better off for the week, with a gain of 1.4%, whilst the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) also scored well, managing the best of the major indexes, with a gain of 2.1%.
The end result, for the week, is as follows:-
· The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA – 10,997.35).
· The S&P 500 Index (SPX – 1,194.37).
· The Nasdaq Composite (COMP – 2,454.05).
The Dow Jones Industrial Average recorded its fifth straight weekly gain last week, even though traders are being cautious, particularly with the new earnings season starting up.
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Disclosure: no positions mentioned are held