sovereign debt crisis

Wall Street Looks To Recoup After European Fears Push Markets Down, Stocks To Watch Include: AAPL, NFLX, IBM, GE, MAT, MMM

Wall Street will be looking at home for some good news this week as the European debt crisis has taken its toll on financial markets worldwide. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has been down for a third week out of four. The Dow joined other benchmarks and entered negative territory for 2011.

The Street has been riding a wave of uncertainty not knowing what European leaders are doing from one moment to the next in trying to stem the contagion from the sovereign debt crisis that threatens the entire European region.

“There is a lack of leadership on that side of the pond that is concerning — we want them to come up with decisions and execute them. It feels like we’re turning what could be a 12-month project into a 32-month project,” Art Hogan, market strategist at Lazard Capital Markets, said of Europe’s ongoing troubles.

After being caught up in the woes of the Europeans and mostly casting aside the better than expected domestic data over the past few weeks, analysts are hopeful market watchers will focus back on the United States.

This week on the home-front is jobs data week. ADP will report employment figures on Wednesday as well as the Labor Department’s unemployment figures on Thursday. Then, Friday will see a release for nonfarm payroll reports. Hopefully the trend of jobless claims below 400,000 will continue and get some notice from Wall Street.

The holiday shopping season is in full swing with retailers reporting brisk sales on Black Friday and throughout the weekend. Cyber Monday will get kicked off at midnight as online retailers hope to cash in with success. The Reuters-University of Michigan consumer sentiment index released earlier this month inched higher, showing consumers feel a little better now than a month ago.

The Institute for Supply Management’s November factory activity due out Thursday with an expected rise in demand. Economists are predicting an increase to 52.0 from 50.8 last month. Factory activity is a direct indicator of demand. Weak consumer demand for U.S. goods has crippled the economic recovery for months.

Stocks to watch at the start of the week include, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM), General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT) and 3M Company (NYSE:MMM)

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) fell 0.93% on Friday and closed at $363.57. AAPL traded 9.10 million shares on the shortened trading day and trades 17.67 million shares on average. AAPL shares fell more than $10 during the week after closing last Friday at $375. The company has a current market cap of 337.91 billion.

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) closed Friday at $63.86, a loss of 6.8%. NFLX traded 5.43 million shares on Friday and trades 8.82 million shares on average daily. NFLX shares continue to fall as they lost more nearly $15 over the past week. The company has a current market cap of 3.35 billion.

International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) finished Friday down 0.5% at $177.06. IBM traded 2.23 million shares on Friday and trades 5.55 million shares on average. Shares of IBM were down more than $8 during Thanksgiving week. The company has a current market cap of 208.69 billion.

General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) closed Friday down 0.20% at $14.70. GE traded 23.16 million shares on the shortened day Friday and trades on average 60.32 million shares daily. GE lost about $1 per share during the whole week. The company has a current market cap of 155.19 billion.

Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT) closed Friday up 0.51% at $27.55. MAT traded 1.24 million shares on Friday and trades 3.34 million shares on average. MAT stock finished the week slightly in the red after seesawing during the middle of the week. The company has a current market cap of 9.33 billion.

3M Company (NYSE:MMM) rose 0.78% on Friday at $76.13. MMM traded 2.09 million shares and trades 4.75 million shares a day on average. MMM followed the overall market last week and lost more than $4 per share for the week. The company has a current market cap of 53.36 billion.

Wall Street Has Worst Week In Two Months

Although Black Friday proved to be rich with bargains for American consumers, Wall Street had a much sleepier day as European debt fears continue to pound financial market worldwide.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 25.6 points, or 0.23%, to 11,232, the S&P 500 skidded 3.1 points, or 0.27%, to 1,159 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 18.5 points, or 0.75%, to 2,442. The Dow, S&P and Nasdaq all finished the shortened trading week by more than 4.7% to the downside, and have now been down for two weeks in a row. All three markets haven fallen into the red for the year after a short-lived rally in the fall.

Investors have been worried about Europe’s inability to get its sovereign debt crisis in check. While Belgium had its credit rating reduced one notch from AA+ to AA by Standard & Poor’s rating agency, Hungary’s debt rating was slashed to junk status by Moody’s late on Thursday. While this came as no real surprise, it still serves as a reminder just what a mess the whole European region is facing.

Also in Europe, Italy was forced to pay an average yield of 6.5% on a roughly $10.7 billion auction of six-year bonds, far higher than the 3.5% it paid at its October auction, signaling a much higher risk premium.

European blue chips jumped 1%, while the euro fell 0.76% to $1.324. The English FTSE 100 climbed 1.4% to 5,198 and the German DAX rose 1.7% to 5,421.
In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 edged lower by 0.06% to 8,160 and the Chinese Hang Seng tumbled 1.4% to 17,689.

The benchmark crude oil contract traded in New York rose $1.03, or 1.1%, to $97.20 a barrel. Wholesale RBOB gasoline slipped less than a penny, or 0.15%, to $2.51 a gallon.

Gold dropped $2.30, or 0.14%, to $1,697 a troy ounce. The yield on U.S. government debt ticked higher. The benchmark 10-year note yields 1.939% from 1.883%.

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