Dow up 22, but flat week for stocks
The market rebounds from early worries about inflation in China and European debt woes. Salesforce.com shares jump 18% after the company boosts its guidance.
Updated: 6:29 p.m. ET
Bulls have to be cheering this afternoon. The stock market opened lower and looked headed for a crummy day. But the declines shriveled in the afternoon, pushing the major indexes higher.
The selling started because China ordered its banks to boost their reserves -- a move meant to slow their lending. Plus, Europe is waiting for an expected plan to bail out Ireland's banks.
But the Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) rebounded from a decline of as many as 62 points, closing up 22 points to 11,204. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) added 3 points to just below 1,200, and the Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) rose 4 points to 2,518.
Part of the rebound was due to options expirations, which forced some traders to buy shares to cover positions.
The rebound came as General Motors (GM) shares found buyers when the price neared $33, the price at which its common stock was sold late Wednesday in its initial public offering. GM closed at $34.26, up 7 cents on the day. The shares had dipped to as low as $33.11 around 10 a.m. ET.
Next week will likely see lower volume because of Thanksgiving, which should support stocks.
Crude oil settled down 34 cents to $81.51. Crude was off 4% for the week.
Gold settled down 70 cents to $1,352.30 an ounce. For the week, gold fell 1%. Copper moved up 0.25 cents to $3.8335 a pound. Silver was up 34.5 cents to $27.179 an ounce.
Interest rates were slightly lower, with the 10-year Treasury yield falling to 2.895% from 2.902% on Thursday. The dollar was higher against the British pound and the Japanese yen.
The U.S. Dollar Index was down slightly at 78.605 but is likely to end the week ahead by 0.5%. The index tracks the greenback against a basket of six major currencies; the euro represents about 57% of the basket.
The market's comeback resulted in a 10-point gain for the Dow on the week. The S&P 500 was up slightly, with the Nasdaq down slightly.
The stable performances belie a lot of drama. The Dow fell 178 points on Tuesday and rebounded 173 points on Thursday.
For the year, the Dow is up 7.4%, with the S&P 500 up 7.6% and the Nasdaq up 11%.
|Markets for the week|
|11/19/2010||11/12/2010||% chg.||YTD chg.|
|U.S. Dollar Index||78.59||78.23||0.5%||0.5%|
|(per troy ounce)|
Hewlett-Packard leads the Dow
HP, up 1.9% to $42.49, reports fiscal-fourth-quarter results after Monday's close. Boeing (BA) was the laggard, down 1.6% to $63.59 on speculation for more delays in its 787 Dreamliner program.
Salesforce.com (CRM) was the top S&P 500 stock, up 18.1% to $136.74 after boosting 2011 guidance. Salesforce is a major force in so-called cloud computing -- businesses that sell space and applications on computer networks so that clients don't have to build the networks themselves.
Rival NetSuite (N) was up 11.7% to $24.57.
Sixty-six stocks in the Nasdaq-100 ($NDX.X) were higher; the index was up a half-point to 2,135. The leader was chip maker Marvell Technology (MRVL), up 6.1% to $20.09. Third-quarter results beat Street estimates. The company, whose chips are used in Research In Motion's (RIMM) BlackBerry line of smart phones, said its mobile and wireless market grew strongly.
Apple (AAPL), which represents 20% of the market capitalization of the index, was off 0.6% to $306.73, subtracting 2.4 points from the Nasdaq-100.
Personal-computer maker Dell (DELL) was up 1.7% to $13.90 after reporting fiscal-third-quarter earnings of 45 cents a share after one-time charges, better than the Street estimate of 33 cents. Revenue grew 19.4% to $15.4 billion, driven by business spending.
Energy and materials stocks were the market's strongest sectors, with financials and utilities the weakest.
|Energy prices -- New York close|
|Fri.||Thur.||Month chg.||YTD chg.|
|(per mil. BTU)|
|(per gallon; AAA)|
China's battle to control inflation
The early selling was the result of China's order that its banks boost reserves. The idea is to curb lending and reduce price pressures on the economy. Many observers expect China to boost interest rates as well.
Inflation is rising because of the country's rapid growth and the large amounts of investment capital that's been pouring into the country. Food prices are up substantially, at least 10.1% over the last 12 months.
The Chinese blame loose monetary policies of developed countries, with the United States taking most of the blame as it struggles out of the worst recession since the Great Depression.
But Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke defended his $600 billion plan to boost the U.S. economy, saying the Chinese are also to blame because of their unwillingness to let their currency appreciate.
The Bernanke move is deeply controversial. Republicans want it ended, saying it's debasing the dollar. But a higher dollar actually hurts the U.S. economy because it chokes off exports.
An Irish bank loses 17% of its deposits
Meanwhile, the Irish situation won't go away. Ostensibly the problem is the propping of Irish bonds. But the real problem is that Irish banks are a mess from wild speculation, particularly in real estate, much like their U.S. counterparts. The Irish government is involved because it said it would back the banks' bad loans.
Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen is edging toward accepting a rescue package that may threaten the country’s low-tax policies and put voters on the hook to repay loans the central bank says may be worth "tens of billions" of euros. Officials from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund are in Dublin to assess the books of the country’s banks.
You could see the problem today when Allied Irish Banks (AIB), Ireland's second-largest banking company, said its deposits had fallen 17% since the beginning of the year -- which is basically a slow run on the bank.
That's forced the company to rely on central banks to fund its operations. The company's U.S. Depositary Units were trading down 5.4% to $1.23.
The company is trying to raise 6.6 billion in euros -- about $9 billion in new capital.
Stocks seeing big moves
While stocks were basically flat, the market saw big moves in some stocks. These include:
- Nike (NKE), up 4.1% to $85.81. The world’s largest maker of athletic shoes raised its quarterly dividend to 31 cents per share from 27 cents.
- AnnTaylor Stores (ANN), up 8.5% to $25.77. The women’s apparel retailer earned 42 cents a share in its fiscal third quarter after one-time charges. Wall Street had been looking for 34 cents. The company sees a strong holiday shopping season. It also raised its 2011 sales forecast to $1.97 billion, better than the consensus estimate of $1.95 billion.
- Del Monte Foods (DLM), up 11.5% to $17.51. KKR & Co. (KKR) is in advanced talks to buy the maker of canned fruits and Meow Mix cat food, the Financial Times reported. KKR has been discussing a buyout at about $18.50 a share, valuing the company at almost $3.6 billion, the paper said. KKR was up 0.4% to $12.80.
- Foot Locker (FL), up 11.6% to $18.35. The athletic shoe and apparel retailer reported third-quarter revenue of $1.28 billion, beating the Street estimate of $1.22 billion.
- Intuit (INTU), down 6.8% to $44.93. The provider of tax and personal-finance software forecast second-quarter profit excluding some items of 40 cents a share at most. The Street has been expecting 45 cents.
|Short hits from the markets -- New York close|
|Fri.||Thur.||Month chg.||YTD chg.|
|13-week Treasury bill||0.130%||0.140%||8.33%||160.00%|
|5-year Treasury note||1.519%||1.488%||28.84%||-43.45%|
|10-year Treasury note||2.895%||2.902%||10.83%||-24.67%|
|30-year Treasury bond||4.255%||4.284%||6.37%||-8.32%|
|U.S. Dollar Index||78.594||78.729||1.47%||0.48%|
|(in U.S. $)|
|U.S. $ in pounds||£0.6260||£0.6229||0.50%||1.26%|
|Euro in dollars||$1.3678||$1.3646||-2.04%||-4.57%|
|(in U.S. $)|
|U.S. $ in euros||€ 0.7311||€ 0.7328||2.08%||4.79%|
|U.S. $ in yen||83.68||83.44||3.43%||-10.02%|
|U.S. $ in Chinese||6.67||6.63||-0.41%||-2.33%|
|(in U.S. $)|
|(in Canadian $)|
|(per troy ounce)|
|(per troy ounce)|
hey there bill1551
they don't manipulate the prices
its just the market
Only the government would consider it a success to buy stock at $43.84 a share and sell it at $33. -- But President Obama and those who supported his bailout of General Motors and Chrysler are claiming just that today.
First, the alternative to the government bailout wasn't to "give up" as Obama claimed on Thursday at his press conference. Bankruptcy didn't mean that all jobs were going to be lost. It didn't mean that all the factories producing cars would be closed.
Yet, the president made that claim in his announcement again today and he continually misstates what would have happened in a normal bankruptcy. Courts don't just close down bankrupt companies. In fact, that rarely occurs. Any part of a company that can continue operating profitably continues to do so.
Some are pointing out that just a year and a half ago GM stock was trading at just $1 a share and claim that today's closing price of $34.19 is proof of the bailout's success. It simply doesn't account for the over $50 billion in direct bailout funds and the tens of billions of dollars in other breaks President Obama gave the company and its unions.
It also ignores that GM's stockholders and particularly its bondholders had their wealth stolen from them when the government took over ownership of the company. Traditional property right protections were shredded by the Obama administration, making corporate investments in America riskier as a result.
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