Monday, July 21, 2008

Oil Up, Stocks Retreat

A couple of pharmaceuticals, one a blue chip - Merck (MRK 35.33, -2.35) - and Schering-Plough (SGP 18.95, -2.49) helped drive down the Dow on unsatisfactory news concerning cholesterol drug Vytorin. Bank of America (BAC, 28.56, +1.07), another Dow component, helped stabilize the market by reporting earnings that were not as bleak as analysts had expected.

It was a pretty dull day considering the number of companies reporting earnings on the day (85+). Of course, heavyweights Apple (AAPL) and American Express (AXP) report after the closing bell.

Volume was dishearteningly light. We're still in a major bear trend, despite recent gains. Look for more sideways trading over the next few weeks and days. We're back to a directionless market for the time being.

Dow 11,467.34 -29.23; NASDAQ 2,279.53 -3.25; S&P 500 1,260.00 -0.68; NYSE Composite 8,499.74 +45.89

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Advancers: 3760
Decliners: 2509

New Highs: 68
New Lows: 187

Oil: 131.82, +2.35
Gold: 963.70, +5.70
Silver: 18.43, +0.23

NYSE Volume 1,037,603,000
NASDAQ Volume 1,760,719,000

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