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Markets / Commentaries

Stock Market Today: February 14, 2020

Harvey S. Katz, CFA and Mario Ferro | 02/14/2020

The major U.S. stock indexes started the Friday before the long President’s Day weekend with an uptick, but trading soon became mixed. Stocks uniformly fell into the red by early afternoon, but a late-session rally helped to trim losses.

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Stocks / Highlights
Dow 30 Earnings: Cisco Systems Fiscal Second Quarter 2020

Kevin Downing | 02/13/2020

Networking equipment and software maker Cisco Systems (CSCO) reported in-line results for the fiscal second quarter ended January 25, 2020. However, some investors were disappointed with the company's order book, and the shares were down in response.

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Markets / Commentaries
Stock Market Today: February 13, 2020

Harvey S. Katz, CFA and John E. Seibert III | 02/13/2020

The stock market opened lower, following news broke that cases of the coronavirus and related deaths have accelerated in China. Traders' sentiment for global growth weakened. Additionally, the markets were dragged down by a worse-than-expected performance out of Cisco Systems. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell as many as 205 points, while the other indices were down in tandem. However, the market started to rebound, and the indices generally headed toward break-even, with the NASDAQ and S&P 500 reaching all-time highs in the afternoon. Still, the markets tapered off in the final portion of the session and gave these gains. Overall, the Dow closed lower by 128 points; the S&P 500 was down six points; and the NASDAQ was off 14 points. 

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Markets / Commentaries
Stock Market Today: February 12, 2020

Harvey S. Katz, CFA and Adam Rosner | 02/12/2020

The stock market put in a choppy and generally up-and-down session yesterday marked by several alternating modest rallies and setbacks. The session started very briefly to the upside, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbing by almost 140 points. However, that uptick would prove short-lived, and a descent gradually set in, so that by just after 11:00 AM (EST), the blue chip index had eased into the red. Here, too, that sojourn would not be sustained, and a second round of more modest buying ensued.

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Markets / Commentaries
Stock Market Today: February 11, 2020

William G. Ferguson and John E. Seibert III | 02/11/2020

The stock market started positively today, as fears over the coronavirus ebbed. The move higher continued throughout the early morning, with all three major indices reaching all-time highs. However, the markets started to roll over once news broke that Dow Jones Industrial Average company Boeing reported that it received no new orders in January. Additionally, news broke that the Federal Trade Commission issued special orders to five large technology firms, which make up a large portion of the S&P 500, NASDAQ, and Dow. These orders concerned their acquisition activities over the past ten years. The news spooked the markets and sent the indices down, in a series of lower highs and lows. All told, the Dow closed just below breakeven, the S&P 500 was up six points, and the NASDAQ finished 11 points higher.

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Markets / Commentaries
Stock Market Today: February 10, 2020

William G. Ferguson and Adam Rosner | 02/10/2020

The stock market put in a constructive session today, as investors shrugged off concerns about the health crisis in China, to concentrate on corporate profits here at home. Further, some traders on Wall Street may be thinking that central banks and government agencies across the globe will be willing to prop up their economies if the virus creates meaningful disruptions. Of note, China has already taken measures in this regard. At the close of trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was ahead about 175 points; the broader S&P 500 Index was up 24 points; and the NASDAQ was higher by 108 points.

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Markets / Commentaries
Stock Market Today: February 7, 2020

Harvey S. Katz, CFA and Robert Mitkowski | 02/07/2020

Stocks closed sharply lower on Friday on lingering concerns about the effects of the coronavirus on economic growth. Weak industrial production data in Germany also weighed on sentiment. The slippage in equities came despite an unexpectedly strong January jobs report this morning that showed a gain of 225,000 jobs. That was well above expectations for about 160,000 additions. Moreover, November and December figures were revised higher by a combined 7,000 jobs, putting the three-month average for new positions at a very healthy 211,000

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Markets / Commentaries
Stock Market Today: February 6, 2020

Harvey S. Katz, CFA and John E. Seibert III | 02/06/2020

The stock market started in the green today, as fears subsided about the coronavirus. Additionally, decent gains in productivity and wages were seen during the fourth quarter, which indicates a strengthening U.S. economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average started heading higher, and the other indices rose in tandem. In fact, all three indices eventually rose to all-time highs, posting solid gains. Still, trading was somewhat choppy through a series of higher highs, and higher lows were made. The markets tapered off a bit in the final portion of the session but did not give up much of the day’s gains. All told, the Dow closed higher by 89 points; the S&P 500 was up 11 points, and the NASDAQ closed higher by 63 points.

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Stocks / Highlights
Dow 30 Earnings: Merck Fourth Quarter 2019

Michael Ratty | 02/05/2020

New Jersey-based drugmaker and Dow-30 component Merck & Co. (MRK) reported fourth-quarter GAAP earnings of $0.92 a share, versus $0.69 in the comparable period of 2018. The sharp year-over-year improvement was fueled primarily by higher revenues and a lower share count, partially offset by increases in production (+12%), SG&A (+9%), and R&D (+15%) expenses. Meantime, adjusted earnings, which exclude one-time gains, losses, and other nonrecurring items, and are more closely followed by Wall Street, came in at $1.16 a share, versus $1.04 in Q4, 2018.

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