Allstate, Techs lead S&P 500 Gains

by Jonathan Yates | August 29, 2011 11:49 am

As investors were relieved by Hurricane Irene doing less damage than expected, gains in insurance companies were leading the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index higher by more than 18 points, a rise of around 1.6%, to over 1,195. Still down by more than 4.6% for the year, the S&P is up more than 6.6% for the last week of trading. Advancing stocks outnumbered those declining by more than 5-to-1.

Property insurer Allstate (NYSE:ALL[1]) was up more than 6%, picking up about $1.50 per share to over $26. Allstate was upgraded by UBS on Aug. 11. However, Allstate is down more than 10% for the month and 20% for the quarter.

JDS Uniphase (NASDAQ:JDSU[2]) was up more than 7%, about 80 cents, to over $12. The entire tech sector was up in early-morning buying and selling as it is beginning to recover on hopes of a stronger economy with possible help from the Fed. For the past week, JDS Uniphase is up more than 13%. For the quarter, however, it is down more than 40%.

After being punished by Wall Street for disappointing earnings, Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU[3]) continued its recovery with a bump of more than 30 cents this morning to about $6 a share, a gain of more than 5.6%. Disappointing second-quarter earnings has Micron Technology down more than 43% for the quarter and trading more than 34% below its 200-day moving average. However, on Aug. 25, it received positive recommendations from Wedbush, Sterne Agee and Barclays Capital.

Monsanto (NYSE:MON[4]) was off around 4% to under $68 per share, dropping about 2.7%. Higher corn prices will increase costs for the agricultural chemicals company. Monsanto is up more than 7% for the week and more than 27% for the year.

Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM[5]) lost more than 34 cents per share in early trading but recovered to trade flat around $62.17. Newmont is up more than 3.4% for the week, 7% for the month and 10% for the quarter.

Down about 0.6% was NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP[6]), shedding more than 20 cents to around $36.30 per share. While up more than 1.6% for the past week on the rebound of the tech sector, the data storage devices company is down more than 20% for the month and 30% for the quarter.

Jonathan Yates does not own any of the stocks mentioned in this article.

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