Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wells Fargo, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Help Power the Market

Well, the financials finally decided they had enough and came back strong today. The Financial Sector "Spider" (XLF) finished the day with its largest gain ever of 13.10% or $2.25. The Dow finished up 277 points (2.52%), the NASDAQ was up 69 points (3.12%), and the S&P 500 finished up 30 points (2.51%).

Wells Fargo (WFC) started the day with its second-quarter earnings that fell 22 percent as more customers at the nation's fifth-largest bank failed to repay loans. The news though was that the company's results beat Wall Street expectations, and Wells Fargo also decided to to raise its quarterly dividend to 34 cents from 31 cents. Wells Fargo finished the day higher by 32.8 percent to $27.23.

Both Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE) also closed up more than 30% on continued comments by Fed Chairman Bernanke on Capitol Hill. Bernanke stated that the companies were both adequately capitalized and in no danger of failing. The main issue hurting the stocks and the companies was a "crisis of confidence". Additional comments by Fannie Mae's CEO says that their business is fine, and they do not need a bailout.

Is this the beginning of the financial rally we discussed in previous blog entries? Well, time will tell, but it is a good start.

Thursday will be a big day as several large companies from the Dow and S&P 500 report their earnings including large financial and tech firms. The highlights from Thursday's earnings reports will be from: Google (GOOG), IBM (IBM), JP Morgan Chase (JPM), Microsoft (MSFT), Coca-Cola (KO), Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE), Merrill Lynch (MER), Nokia (NOK), and United Technologies (UTX).

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