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  Tuesday, 12 Feb 2008 | 11:34 AM ET

Chesapeake Tuesday Political Futures

Posted By: Gina Francolla

Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia vote today in the Chesapeake primaries. The Intrade market \(www.intrade.com \) is predicting that McCain and Obama will sweep today's election. According to Intrade, both McCain and Obama are most likely to receive the nomination from their parties.

With a substantial delegate lead, McCain has a 94% probability of getting the GOP nomination, a 7% increase since last week's Super Tuesday primaries.

»Read more
  Monday, 11 Feb 2008 | 11:49 AM ET

S&P 500 Earnings Leaderboard: Biggest Surprises Season to Date

Posted By: Ariel Nelson

So far 364 of the S&P 500 companies (just under 75%) have reported earnings.

Here's how things stand:

  • Companies Exceeding Estimates: 219 or 60%
  • Companies Matching Estimates: 49 or 13%
  • Companies Falling Below Estimates: 96 or 26%

So far, it is the tech sector that has the biggest surprises to the upside, with Lexmark reporting EPS that was 122% above expectations. In absolute dollars, Exxon still leads with its $982 million surprise. Disney surprised last week by $219 million.

»Read more
  Monday, 11 Feb 2008 | 10:23 AM ET

DJIA Remix - Component tenure

Posted By: Ariel Nelson

Dow Jones announced two new Dow components today, the first change to this major market index since 2004. Honeywell and Altria are out while Chevron and BofA are in. The change will take effect next week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average originally was an index of 12 "smokestack" companies and made its debut in 1896. Since then it has expanded to have 30 companies. Of today's members, only General Electric was on the original list. It was replaced by US Rubber in 1898 and then added back in 1907 to replace Tennessee Coal and Iron.

Here are the current components sorted by seniority:

»Read more
  Monday, 11 Feb 2008 | 9:14 AM ET

Card, Jewelry & Restaurant Companies To Love

Posted By: Giovanny Moreano
AP

Following Companies to Watch on Valentines Day Part I and Valentine's Day Companies Part II . Here is our next group of companies to keep an eye on this month.

5) Jewelers:

  • Tiffany’s
  • Blue Nile Inc.
  • Harry Winston
  • Zale Corp.
  • Ice.com is currently privately held with investments by Polaris Venture Partners and Ignition Partners.

6) Card makers:

  • American Greetings
  • CSS Industries

7) Restaurants

  • Morton’s Restaurant Group Inc.
  • Ruth’s Chris Steak House Inc.
  • Landry’s Restaurants
  • P.F. Chang’s
  • Darden Restaurants Inc.
»Read more
  Friday, 8 Feb 2008 | 6:18 PM ET

Major Markets End the Week Down over 4%

Posted By: Gina Francolla

For the week ending Friday, February 08, 2008 all major US Indexes ended down over 4% driven by weak economic data, a contractionary ISM Services number - the worst since 2001, Fed Speak, and the ECB holding rates steady.
Highlights:
-The Senate approved the $168M Stimulus Package to aid the economy.
-Global Insight's February U.S. Executive Summary states that we are now "over the edge" and that the U.S. economy has entered a mild recession for the first half of the year.
**Global Insight forecasts GDP declines of 0.4% in Q1 and a decline of 0.5% in Q2.
**Global Insight forecasts GDP growth of 3.4% in Q3 and growth of 2.7% in Q4 when "monetary and fiscal stimulus kick in."
-Volatility continued as the Dow fell 370.03 points to close at 12265.13 on Tuesday, its biggest point drop since January 17th. The Dow, S&P and NASDAQ all fell close to 3% on the ISM Services data.
-On Wednesday, 2/6/08, the Nasdaq Composite entered bear market territory, off more than 20% from its closing peak of 2859.12 hit on Oct. 31, 2007.
-All S&P Sectors ended the week in negative territory led by Financials with a loss of -8.59%. Consumer Staples brought in the strongest performance with a loss of only -2.14%
-The dollar rallied this week and is on track for its biggest gains since June, 2006 as the U.S. slowdown is expected to drag on other economies.
*The dollar gained 2% against the euro this week after dim comments from President Trichet of the ECB, which voted to keep the ECB rate unchanged at 4.0%, still wary of Eurozone inflation.
**The Bank of England lowered rates by a 1/2 point to 5.25%.
-The US Dollar Index (.DXY) moved off 2-month lows and is up 1.60% on the week
*The Dollar Index measures the performance of the Dollar against a basked of 6 currencies (EUR, JPY, GBP, CAD, CHF, SEK)
-Commodities were on fire: The RJ CRB Index hit a record high and is up almost 24% over the last 12 months (The CRB measures a basket of 19 commodity futures, including crude)
*Oil for March delivery is up 3.16% for the week closing at $91.77 per barrel, off -7.88% from its record close of $99.62 per barrel hit on January 2nd.
*Platinum for April delivery set new record intraday high of $1,892.8 on Friday, and is up 6.37% for the week closing at 1884.0
*Spring Red Wheat used for bread and pasta hit new highs for the third straight day up 10% for the week, and all wheat contracts hit highs
*Rough Rice hit a new record high of $15.775 before closing at $15.65, up 12.87% in 2008
Market Stats:
The Dow ended down -561.06 or -4.40% for the week
-Friday, the Dow closed at 12,182.13 down -64.87 or -0.53%
-The Dow is Negative YTD down -8.16%
-The Dow is off by -1,982.40 or -14.00% from the market peak on October 9th of 14,164.53
The NASDAQ ended down -108.51 or -4.50% for the week
-Friday, the NASDAQ Composite closed at 2,304.85 up 11.82 or 0.52%
-The NASDAQ is Negative YTD down -13.10%
-The NASDAQ is off by -554.27 or -19.39% from the market peak on October 31 of 2,859.12
The S&P 500 ended down -64.13 or -4.60% for the week,
-Friday the S&P 500 closed at 1,331.29 down -5.62 or -0.42%
-The S&P is Negative YTD down -9.33%
-The S&P is off by -233.86 or -14.94% from the market peak on October 9th of 1,565.15

»Read more
  Friday, 8 Feb 2008 | 3:09 PM ET

Specialty Retailers & Perfume Manufacturers To Love

Posted By: Giovanny Moreano
AP

Continuing from Companies You will Love this Valentine's , here are more companies to watch this Valentine's Day

3) Perfume Manufacturers:

  • International Flavors and Fragrances Inc.
  • Parlux Fragrances Inc.
  • Inter Parfums Inc.
  • Elizabeth Arden Inc.
  • Estee Lauder Companies Inc.
  • Revlon Inc.

4) Specialty Retailers:

  • Teddy Bears
    • Build-A-Bear Workshop
    • Vermont Teddy Bear is privately held
»Read more
  Friday, 8 Feb 2008 | 1:49 PM ET

Pineapple Express - Hawaii's High Costs

Posted By: Gina Francolla

High Energy Costs Cut Into Farming Profits, Especially in Hawaii:
Hawaii runs at a trade deficit -- in 2006 the state exported $16 billion in goods and services, while importing $24 billion. Oil imports totaled $3.4 billion or approx 15% of total imports.
**93% of the energy used in Hawaii is imported which is why focus on bio-diesel and biofuels is so prominent. www.hawaiisenergyfuture.com

»Read more
  Friday, 8 Feb 2008 | 3:11 PM ET

Confectioners & Florists To Love

Posted By: Giovanny Moreano

The Discover Card’s Third Annual Valentine’s Day Shopping Survey Reveals the Way to Someone’s Heart is Through Their Stomach.*

  • Men’s Feedback:
    • 74% of men said they plan to buy their valentine’s a special dinner; 69% will buy flowers; and 49% candy or chocolate
    • 57% of women in the survey expect to receive a special dinner; 48% expect flowers; and 33% would like to receive chocolates
  • Women’s Feedback:
    • 62% plan to buy a special dinner; 44% plan to buy music, books, DVDs or games; 42% will purchase chocolate or candy
    • 56% of male respondents expect a special dinner, followed by a night on town (34%); while 33% expect a getaway

*73% of the respondents are satisfied with the gift they receive

Based on these survey results, here are some companies that may share the love this Valentine’s Day.

»Read more
  Friday, 8 Feb 2008 | 11:49 AM ET

First Anniversary of the Subprime Meltdown

Posted By: Ariel Nelson

Today is the one year anniversary of HSBC's first subprime meltdown related write-down. HSBC was amongst the first to actually increase write offs due to the subprime mess.

HSBC is down over 22% since Feb 8, 2007.

Here are some 1 year stats since Feb 8 2007:

Top 5 Biggest S&P % Gainers since Feb 8, 2007:

  • CNX - CONSOL Energy Inc up 118.6 %
  • NOV - National Oilwell Varco Inc up 100.8%
  • AMZN - Amazon.com Inc up 92.4%
  • MON - Monsanto Co up 86.8%
  • ESRX - Express Scripts Inc up 79.3%

Top 5 Biggest S&P % Losers since Feb 8, 2007:

  • ABK - Ambac Financial Group Inc down -87.4%
  • CFC - Countrywide Financial Corp down -83.7%
  • MBI - MBIA Inc down -80.5%
  • ETFC - ETrade Financial Corp down -79.8%
  • CC - Circuit City Stores Inc down -74.3%
»Read more
  Thursday, 7 Feb 2008 | 3:43 PM ET

Soaring Commodities

Posted By: Ariel Nelson

While the US equities markets are down substantially this year, most commodities continue to rise. Wheat which was last year's winner (up 77% in 2007) continues to soar, is already up another 20% YTD and trading near its 52 week high. Oil, on the other hand, is down 8% YTD after gaining 57% last year.

Here is a table of some leading commodities and how they have performed on a YTD basis, in 2007 and since their 52 week high.

»Read more

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  • Our market specialists dig deep into Wall Street’s daily metrics, crunching the numbers to help you become smarter about the market so that you can make better investment decisions. By The Numbers details the daily drama, the winners and losers, how the day stacks up historically, and how the numbers can offer a glimpse of the future.

 

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