Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) fell by 6% last week, closing at $213.85 on Friday. The online retailer’s stock performance over the past three months has been rather volatile, trading around $178 - $232. While Amazon is currently up 23% for the year, it has been on the decline since peaking at $232 in end April.
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Stock Market Commentary
Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) continued its third consecutive weekly decline, falling by 5.15% to close at $25.61 last Friday. Oracle, which is currently down 0.7% for the year, was previously trading around $28 - $30, before falling precipitously since early May. Although the enterprise software giant’s fundamentals remain strong, its lack of a clear strategic direction thus far has not endeared it to investors in recent months.
I just did this podcast with David Bannister of www.activetradingpartners.com in which we discussed his outlook for the stock market.
David uses trend psychology and Elliot Wave theory to understand and forecast the moves in the financial markets. In this interview we talked about his trend reversal trading method and what he thinks the stock market will do over the next few months.
A lightly traded ETF indexed to Greek stocks – Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF (NYSE:GREK) - fell by 14.1% last week on worries that Greece will be forced to leave the euro zone amid political uncertainty as the country heads for another round of polls in June. Closing at $10.72 last Friday, the ETF has been on a downward trajectory since peaking at $19.40 in mid-February. In fact, GREK’s performance has been a close barometer of Greece’s economic and political conditions.
Last week, iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN (NYSE:VXX) continued its upward trajectory that started in early May. On Friday, it closed at $22.40, marking a 28% gain for the week. Currently down 36% for the year, VXX fell precipitously in the first three months of this year, before trading between $16.50 and $20.50 in April. It was only on 1 May did it begin its remarkable rise of 38% over a period of less than three weeks.
The fallout from European debt, economic, and political problems again took their toll this week, as markets continued their downward lurch.
Despite Germany’s economy rebounding strongly, the Eurozone only narrowly managed to avoid a second quarter of declining economic contraction. After a 0.3% contraction in the fourth quarter of last year, Europe’s economy remained unchanged in the first quarter, helped by Germany’s 0.5% growth. France’s economy remained unchanged, while Italy and Spain both contracted (0.8% and 0.3% respectively).
I just did this fascinating interview with Ike Iossif of marketviews.tv.
Ike interviews many people each week for his Marketviews.tv website, including myself, and has them categorized by methodology. These people are many of the top thinkers and traders when it comes to the financial markets, such as people like Frank Barbera and Dan Zanger who turned less than $30,000 into millions in less than a year.
Facebook. It is going to start to trade today on the Nasdaq under the symbol FB. It has been the talk of the financial news all week and I have even gotten a few emails about it from people asking if I think they should buy it.
Most of these people remember Google. They remember that back before Google went public there were financial commentators saying that it was overvalued and that they shouldn't buy it. And of course Google went up and became one of the strongest stocks in the market.
Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) closed at $605.23 last Friday, marking a 1.4% gain for the week. The stock is currently down 5.8% for the year. After peaking at $651 in mid-April, Google has generally been on a downward trajectory, trading around $592 - $615. The stock has been trending lower after its quarterly numbers showed a decline in advertising rates and other worrisome business trends.
Tech giant Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) closed at $31.16 last Friday, eking out a 0.58% gain for the week. For the past three months, Microsoft has been trading around $30 - $32.85. The stock is currently up 19.8% for the year. Microsoft last posted its quarterly earnings on 19 April, when it reported earnings of $5.1 billion or 60 cents per share, above the consensus estimate of 58 cents. Its revenue reached $17.4 billion, up 6% over the previous year.
Online social games company Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ:ZNGA) continued its decline last week, closing at $7.48, which marked a 10.2% drop for the week. On Friday, it also set a new 52-week low of $7.34. After peaking at $14.69 in early March, Zynga has been on a downward trend ever since. In the past three weeks, it has been trading below the $10 level. (Zynga went public last December at the price of $10.)
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) closed at $566.71 last Friday, marking a flat performance for the week. The stock has yet to recover from the $600 level, which was last reached in late April. While Apple is still up 40% for the year, it has been on a downward trajectory since the start of May. Recent trends suggest that the stock may continue to consolidate over the next few trading weeks since its recent intra-day high of $618 just after its earnings announcement in April.
The Facebook IPO saga continues to seize the public imagination. In fact, many analysts and traders are now speculating that the “jubilation” over the IPO would even outride any negative repercussions in the financial markets from developments in Europe or the JPMorgan Chase’s losses. Meanwhile, Facebook, which is already assured of becoming one of the most valuable companies when it goes public, has been on an intense marketing drive in the run-up to its expected trading launch on NASDAQ on 18 May.
Elections held on 6 May in Greece unfortunately brought about no greater clarity than before. Neither the pro- nor the anti-bailout camp won enough seats to form a ruling coalition, resulting in a hung parliament. To make things worse, neither side has been willing to compromise, further exasperating voters who are already hard pressed by tax hikes and wage cuts.
Last Friday, Itau Unibanco Holding SA (NYSE:ITUB), the largest financial conglomerate in the Southern Hemisphere and the world’s 10th largest bank by market value, closed at $14.85, marking a 5.8% drop for the week. Seemingly with no end in sight, the stock has been on the decline after peaking at $21.70 in early March. The stock is also currently down 19% for the year.
Sirius XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRI) closed at $2.16 last Friday, marking a 2.3% decline for the week. While the stock is currently up 18.7% for the year, it has been trading around $2.14-$2.40 for the past two months. Moreover, after peaking at $2.40 in early April, Sirius Radio has been declining ever since.
Last week, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) posted a decline of 3.7%, closing at $41.75. This meant that much of the gains for the past six weeks have been erased, although the stock is still up 24.9% for the year. After peaking at $46.27 in late March, JPMorgan has been generally on a downward trajectory, though there had been occasions when it spiked above $44.
Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) continued its decline last week, closing at $7.74 on Friday, marking a 6.2% drop for the week. The stock has been on a downward trajectory since peaking at $9.93 in late March. (On the other hand, the stock remains in positive territory for the year, having risen by 41.7% since last December.)
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR) closed at $25.10 last Friday, marking a 47.6% drop for the week. The stock dramatically fell by 48% last Thursday, after Wall Street expressed its loss of confidence when the company cut its outlook and missed sales estimates again. This was the company’s lowest point in about two years, compared to a lifetime high of $115.98 only last September. Its earnings announcement last week gave credence to critics who alleged that the company had been inflating sales and that its high-growth figures were no longer sustainable.
Though Facebook's IPO date has not been made official, analysts and journalists have been saying that the social media giant is aiming for an IPO sometime in May. However, recent events, such as Facebook’s billion-dollar Instagram acquisition or its $550 million patent deal with Microsoft, might have pushed the IPO to June instead, as the company now needs to make more financial disclosures.
Networking gear manufacturer Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO), which is reporting its third quarter earnings after the market close on Wednesday (9 May), closed at $19.42 last Friday, marking a 3% drop for the week. The stock has generally been on the decline since peaking at $21.19 in early April. Cisco, which is currently up 4.7% for the year, has a 52-week low of $13.30 and a 52-week high of $21.30.
Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ:SBUX) fell 5.3% last Friday to close at $57.43, after the announcement of its second-quarter financial performance. The stock, which has been on an upward trajectory, is currently up 23.6% this year.
While Starbucks increased its net income by 18%, its sales figures showed weakness in parts of Europe. Earnings for the second quarter reached $309.9 million or 40 cents per share, compared to $261.6 million or 34 cents per share a year ago. Revenue rose to $3.2 billion, up from $2.79 billion a year ago.
Online social games provider Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ:ZNGA) fell by 9.5% last Friday to close at $8.52. This also marked a 0.9% drop for the week. Zynga has been on a price decline since peaking at $14.69 in early March. (The stock is currently down 9% for the year.) Zynga’s dismal stock performance came even after it reported better-than-expected first quarter results last week.
Tech giant Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) rose above the $600 level last week, closing at $603 on Friday. This was also the company’s best stock performance over the past six weeks. Nonetheless, while last week’s performance represented a 5.2% gain, the stock is still away from the $644 peak achieved in early April. Nonetheless, after announcing a much better than expected second-quarter performance that was primarily boosted by strong iPhone sales, Apple shares soared by 9% last Wednesday. This was also Apple’s biggest one-day gain since November 2008.
Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:ABX) reversed a two-month slide last week, closing at $40.66, a 1% gain for the week. Last week’s stock performance was a much-welcomed improvement after the stock has been falling from $49.46 since late February. The stock is currently down 10% for the year. The gold producer will be announcing its first-quarter results on before the market open on 2 May.
Caesars Entertainment Corporation (NASDAQ:CZR) closed at $14.17 last Friday, marking at 13.2% gain for the week. The casino-entertainment company, which will be announcing its first-quarter results on 1 May, reversed its downward slide last week but is still down 7.9% since its IPO in February this year.