Friday, April 24, 2009

NASDAQ Ends Week With Overall Gain, Dow, S&P End Streak

The markets roared into positive ground again on Friday, with all major indices finishing off the week on a positive note. However, only the NASDAQ continued the string of weekly gains, as the S&P and the Dow both could not overcome severe losses from Monday.

Dow 8,076.29, +119.23 (1.50%)
NASDAQ 1,694.29, +42.08 (2.55%)
S&P 500 866.23, +14.31 (1.68%)
NYSE Composite 5,468.41, +96.31 (1.79%)

Overlaying the entire trading complex was the release of a government report which outlined the methodology of the banks' "stress tests." While the government will keep everybody on the edge of their seats until May 4, when the results of the tests on 19 of the nation's largest banks are released, today's report did little to tip their hand.

For the most part, nobody has a clue as to which banks will pass or fail, though various sources keep suggesting that none of the banks will actually fail.

With that lack of information in hand, investors continued bidding share prices higher, giving somewhat of an indication that the stress tests will probably amount to much ado about nothing. May 4 will come and go, and the government will continue to maintain that banks like Citigroup, Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase are "sufficiently capitalized" to weather any financial storm. In general, waiting for the stress test results is like watching paint dry - boring and anticlimactic.

On the day, advancing issues pummeled decliners, 4814-1652. New lows outnumbered new highs, 85-24. Volume was strong, as it has been all week, though Monday's was by far the highest volume of the week.

NYSE Volume 1,733,499,000
NASDAQ Volume 2,592,196,000

Oil gained $2.69 to $51.54. Gold was up $7.50, to $914.10. Silver finished up 17 cents, to $12.95 per ounce. Foodstuffs were mostly down, and natural gas has bottomed out at $3.40 per 1000 btu.

Aside from Monday's post-option expiration scare, the markets enjoyed another solid week. The NASDAQ stretched its winning streak to 7 straight, though the Dow and S&P are at or approaching solid resistance points.

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