Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog
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Consumers have evidently shown their growing displeasure when it comes to the economy and their outlook for the future. The University of Michigan released its preliminary April Consumer Sentiment Index this morning, revealing that consumers are growing concerned about inflation and the potentially weakening job market. The index plummeted to 87.7, hitting its lowest reading in 18 months. This latest reading is down from March's final report of 92.6. Economists had expected a more modest decline to 91.3. The current conditions index dropped to 103.9 form 108 and the expectations index tumbled to 79 from 82.8. At the moment, the Dow is down more than 42 points and the tech-laden Nasdaq Composite is down 0.55 percent.

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Market Bounces Back

by 4/15/2005 10:03 AM
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After a slow start, the equities markets are now trying to mount a comeback. The Dow fell a quick 70 points, but is now down only 16. This could be a fakeout rally that leads to further declines, but only time will tell for sure. Momentum is obviously to the downside given the broad sell off over the past two trading sessions, which cut more than two percent off the value of the S&P 500. <

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Opening Bell

by 4/15/2005 9:42 AM
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The opening bell and the sellers are back in full force with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.53% and the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) losing 0.86%.

Below is a simple table of the five leading and lagging sectors this morning

Hardware -2.91%

Semiconductors -1.77%

Disk Drive -1.63%

Chemicals -1.60%

Software -1.49%

Gold 0.01%

Airlines 0.04%

Healthcare 1.28%

Pharmaceuticals 1.56%

Biotechnology 1.74%

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Friday's Hot Stocks

by 4/15/2005 9:28 AM
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Stocks to watch this morning will be International Business Machines (IBM), General Electric (GE), CitiGroup (C), Eli-Lilly (LLY), and General Motors (GM).

IBM financial results fell short of Wall Street expectations and the company's own goals. The shares fell nearly four percent in after hours trading. This could hurt tech issues in Friday's trading.

GE beat earnings estimates by a penny per share with the company's net growing by 25% from $3.24B to $4.04B due to a big gain from the sale of its Genworth Financial stock. Also, the company said that 9 out of 11 businesses had double-digit earnings growth.

C posted earning that were two cents per share above consensus estimates. The company also authorized a share buyback program for up to $15 billion in common shares.

LLY received a ruling from a U.S. district judge that the company's patent on antipyschotic drug Zyprexa was valid. The shares are indicated higher this morning.

GM receives an upgrade from Prudential this morning after the shares fell nearly six percent to a 17-year low in Thursday's session after the United Auto Workers union said that they would not be willing to reopen their labor contract to cut health-care costs. It is interesting to note that GM's June 15 puts were extremely active in Thursday's session with 21K contracts changing hands.

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More on Oil

by 4/15/2005 9:21 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
As Joe mentioned, oil is down over $2 right now. The very interesting part is as far as I can see, there isn't any news out there that says exactly why. Whatever the reason is for the drop, look for more weakness from the transports especially the oil sensitive shipping and railroad stocks. On the other hand, look for strength coming from airlines, as lower oil helps them considerably with their costs.

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