Wednesday’s Market Recap: Earnings season earnestly began on a jittery note, but major indices somehow managed to have a first positive close for the week. With the disappointing earning report from AA already out, the day began with a pair of good news. First, a WSJ report that the insurance companies might be able to tap in to TARP funds. Second, a $1.3 billion merger deal between two home building giants – PHM and CTX. SEC regulators met and put out proposals to restrict short selling for public comments. Markets greeted these news with some enthusiasm – technology, retail, and insurance stocks saw good buying interest. However, the release on recent FOMC meeting minutes in the afternoon session put a damper on the markets. The members saw escalating economic and unemployment risks through 2009 and 2010. This spooked the investors, and the sellers threatened to drag stocks lower for the third straight session. But, in the last hour of trading, buyers showed resolve and pushed all three of the major indices higher in to positive territory.
The Dow rose 47.5 points or 0.6%, to 7837, the S&P 500 rose 9.6, or 1.2%, to 825.2, and the Nasdaq gained 29.1 points or 1.9%, to 1,590.7. S&P found support around 814 for two consecutive days. Crude fell 23 cents to settle at $49.38 a barrel, and gold gained $2.60 to $885.90 an ounce.
TaurusTrader portfolio had a mixed day. OMTR was downgraded two days in a row, and was stopped out. The irony is that it was also upgraded to “buy” from RBC capital yesterday. Rest of the positions did OK. Ten of the remaining 11 picks have positive unrealized gains. Not bad!
Stocks to Focus for Thursday, April 09: Thursday will be the last trading day of the week. Markets are closed on Friday for Good Friday observance. Retailers will be in focus again tomorrow. Same stores data will be out in the morning. BBBY, JOSB, FDO, and other retailers had a fantastic Wednesday, and the sector is likely to continue with the momentum. Weekly jobless claim data could have some influence too.
I do not have any specific recommendations for Thursday. However, depending on the same stores data, I might consider buying:
- XRT – buy above $24.28, stop $22.40, target $26.78
Expect volatility as we are heading in to a long weekend. Please trade carefully, and always trade with protective stops.
If there are questions or comments, please do post …
Have a great extended weekend,