Friday, July 17, 2009

Sorry for the Delay...

Stocks were up yesterday, but I was unable to report, as personal events took precedence over my work routine.

Nick Gagliano, my father, 84 years old, passed away overnight. I discovered him early Thursday morning, and, as any of you who have dealt with a family death know, spent the rest of the day consoling and being consoled by other family members, friends and neighbors.

My father was an investor, trader, and options player. It was he who introduced me to the world of finance and stocks. Not always the most prudent investor, he made some very savvy trades in his day. He was a survivor of the Great Depression, a WWII veteran, an attorney, a good and honest man. During the recent downturn in the fall of 2008, he, for once, had followed my advice and was out of the market. He will be missed by many, none more than this writer. He joins his wife of 55 years, Molly, who passed away in 2003.

I will try to keep up with events in the markets as much as possible over the next few days.

For the record, here are the results from Tuesday:

Dow 8,711.82, +95.61 (1.11%)
NASDAQ 1,885.03, +22.13 (1.30%)
S&P 500 940.74, +8.06 (0.84%)
NYSE Compos 6,043.05, +49.89 (0.78%)

Advancing issues did better than decliners, 4232-2045. There were 100 new highs to 74 new lows. Volume moderated back toward the low end, though the rally is now four days on the Dow and five for the NASDAQ.

NYSE Volume 1,144,284,500
NASDAQ Volume 1,908,150,750

Current commodity prices:
Crude oil: $62.02
Gold: $935.40
Silver: $13.24

One note on JP Morgan Chase (JPM) results, earning 28 cents per share in the second quarter, as analysts were seeking 4 cents per share profit, is that the estimate had been lowered dramatically over the past 30 days, from as high as 39 cents per share. Since the quarter was very robust, the bank received a good deal of government largess and the FASB allowed the banks to employ mark-to-market accounting in their reporting, it was no wonder that Morgan was gushing with fresh capital.

These bank earnings are more than just a little suspicious.

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