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Week in Review: August 1, 2008


A look back at the week that was.


Market Recap

Another volatile week concluded on Wall Street that saw four days of at least 175 Dow points of movement. Given this week's wild path, the SPX finished nearly in the same spot as last Friday. After a woeful Monday, stocks snapped back Tuesday after Merrill Lynch's (MER) fire-sale on hopes the move would add more transparency to the credit debacle. Stocks retreated later in the week on disappointing GDP data and a spike in jobless claims.
A bear market is characterized by these violent market swings. The environment bodes well for trading, but always define your risk level and do not overstay your welcome in any given trade…in other words take what this crazy tape gives you. With that said, given the markets attempt to bottom over the last three weeks, we feel there is some compelling evidence this rally has more legs. Please read the latest Morning Cup of 'Jo for further analysis.

The Four Sisters Performance

ETF Watch

Click to enlarge

Top Headlines

Merrill Lynch (MER) surprised the Street late Monday announcing a fire sale of its bad assets for less than a quarter on the dollar and bolstering its balance sheet by selling $8.5 billion in new stock. Shares moved higher after shaking off early weakness. (7/29)

The S&P/Case-Shiller Index reported a 15.8% home price decline in 20 U.S. metropolitan areas, a larger drop than what was reported in May. (7/29)

Employers cut 51,000 jobs in July, less than the estimated 72,000 job loss. However, the unemployment rate ticked up to a four year high. (8/1)

General Motors (GM) continues to sputter as it posted a $15.5 billion loss for the quarter. North American sales plunged 20% and deep discounts hurt margins. (8/1)

Shares of MasterCard (MA) came under pressure Thursday as investors questioned if it deserved a high multiple in light of its recent earnings. Credit card spending in the U.S. slowed as the credit crunch takes its toll. (7/31)

United States Steel (X) moved sharply higher after posting record results and giving an optimistic outlook for the third quarter. (7/29)

Amgen (AMGN) jumped this week on a favorable drug trial and better-than-expected earnings. (7/28)

Market Movers: Winners and Sinners

No positions in stocks mentioned.

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