Monthly Archives: November 2009

Friday Summary

In the face of news that the unemployment rate climbed to a 25-year high, stocks managed to muster a modest gain, which gave the market its fifth straight advance… Stocks started the session moderately lower as participants made a push against stocks after learning that nonfarm payrolls fell by 190,000 in October and that the official unemployment rate climbed from 9.8% to 10.2%, the highest level since 1983. The consensus had called for job losses of 175,000 and an unemployment rate of 9.9%… The only other item on the economic calendar was a wholesale report that indicated inventories fell 0.9% in September. The consensus had predicted a 1.0% decline. That report had no real impact on trade, though… Despite a downward start as a result of disappointing jobs data, stocks managed to make an upward turn in the early going, then spent the rest of the session chopping sideways in listless action… Industrials managed to put together a strong gain. The sector settled 1.2% higher amid strength in industrial conglomerate General Electric (GE 15.33, +0.90), which benefited from a pair of analyst upgrades… (AMZN 126.20, +5.59) was also given an upgrade, which helped it lead retailers to a 1.7% gain… Financials lagged for the entire session and finished with a 0.5% loss. The latest bout of selling stemmed from a sharp drop by AIG (AIG 35.48, -3.80), even though the company posted a positive earnings surprise. The insurer credited improved and stabilized market performance. Still, weakness in AIG’s shares took multiline insurers to a 1.5% loss… Recent bouts of weakness among insurers have kept the financial sector from performing in-line with the broader market, which logged a weekly gain of 3.2%. Financials finished this week with a weekly gain of 1.8%… Though it finished just 0.3% higher this session, the materials sector made a weekly gain of 5.0%, which is among the best weekly performances of any major sector. Gold stocks were key in that move. They advanced nearly 13% this week. That was capped off by this session’s 3.8% advance as the yellow metal made its way to a new record high of $1101.90 per ounce before pulling back a bit to settle with a 0.6% gain at $1096.00 per ounce… Gold’s gains weren’t enough to offset general weakness among other commodities and prevent the CRB Commodity Index from booking a 1.8% loss. Dow +0.2%, Nasdaq +0.3%, S&P 500 +0.3%, Nasdaq 100 +0.6%, S&P 400 -0.2%, Russell 2000 -0.1%