Week in Review
Hold it down...
Markets were relatively flat this week as earnings season kicked into high gear. The "Eldest Sister" was able to reach the important 12,000 level behind strong earnings reports from Coca-Cola (KO), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), and IBM (IBM). However, as stated in this week's Morning Cup of 'Jo, the markets appear to be exhausted at these technical levels and probabilities lie in favor of a consolidation after completing a measured move from their summer lows especially after Caterpillar's (CAT) tepid forecast.
Economic data was mixed this week and failed to give the treasury market a clear direction as the 10-year yield was range bound. Next week, the economic data is fairly quiet and earnings no doubt will take center stage.
The "Four Sisters" Performance
In an effort to stop oil's recent slide, OPEC announced Friday that it will cut production by 1.2 million barrels a day. (Fri 20th)
North Korean leader Kim Jong II said his country is not planning a second nuke test. Meanwhile, Japan and South Korea have agreed to work together and put pressure on North Korea to stop any nuclear programs.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for September calmed investors fears about inflationary risks as Core CPI fell as expected. Housing starts for the month of September increased for the first time in four months. However, building permits declined which forecasts lower activity ahead. (Wed 18th)
Dow component Caterpillar (CAT) missed analysts' expectations and lowered guidance sending shares sharply lower. (Fri 20th)
Google (GOOG) continues to silence critics by nearly doubling its 3rd quarter profit and easily surpassing Wall Street estimates. (Fri 20th)
After a disappointing 2nd quarter, 3M (MMM) reported refreshing results highlighted by a 6.4% growth in 3rd quarter profit. (Fri 20th)
Cell phone maker Motorola (MOT) badly missed revenue estimates and the stock tumbled. (Tue 17th)
Merck (MRK) was able to beat estimates by a penny despite flat sales, restructuring costs, and higher overhead. Fellow drug maker Pfizer (PFE) reported strong 3rd quarter earnings, but investors remain cautious on one of the firm's experimental drugs. (Thurs 19th & Fri 20th)
Citigroup (C) experienced weakness in their capital market business which led to a revenue disappointment. JP Morgan Chase (JPM) reported stellar investment banking and market activity, but its retail operations suffered from a tough interest environment. (Tue 17th & Thurs 19th)
Bank of America (BAC) posted strong quarterly results driven by its acquisition of MBNA and consumer product sales. However, investors were cautious on compressing margins. (Thurs 19th)
Intel (INTC) announced positive developments in its chip battle with rival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), but increasing price competition continues to hurt margins at both companies. (Thurs 19th)
Apple Computer (AAPL) once again impressed with strong sales of its popular iPod and continued success in the PC market. (Thurs 19th)
Strong prescription drug sales helped Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) beat analysts' expectations. (Tue 17th)
Market Movers: Winners and Sinners
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