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What Caused The Crash Of 2:45 PM

William RutherfordOn May 6, at 2:45 p.m., the equity markets in the U.S. crashed without warning. During a unique 17- minute period, the market suffered the largest intraday decline in market history. Stock prices fell about 9 percent only to recover much of the loss moments later. Shares in Procter & Gamble, one of the most liquid stocks on the exchange, fell 35 percent in moments. Accenture slid from $40 to a penny. With a cascade of sell orders coming in, traders, specialists and even computers stood aside as prices plummeted. Many stocks, including Procter & Gamble, did not trade for several minutes. This has become known as the “flash crash.

While it is unknown exactly what caused the crash, some people believe that a large, $12 billion sell order in mini S&P futures, entered by a Midwestern brokerage firm, may have been the catalyst.

About 70 percent of the orders on the New York Stock Exchange are now done by computers in what is known as flash or high-frequency trading (I wrote about this previously in an August 2009 column for the Daily Journal of Commerce). When the computers saw this huge trade, they instantly sold and started the crash. The NYSE shifted into “slow mode,” which caused incoming orders to shift to humans (specialists charged with maintaining an orderly market) and to other exchanges. (There are more than fifty other exchanges.)

Both the specialists and the other exchanges were swamped. Floor traders at first thought a large European bank must have failed, but then realized that was not true. But the specialists and the computers did get out of the way. Their action […]

June 15th, 2010|Categories: Daily Journal of Commerce|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on What Caused The Crash Of 2:45 PM

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Dow sheds 486 points: Post-election worries about the weak economy are front and center.

by Alexandra Twin, senior writer

NEW YORK ( — Stocks fell sharply Wednesday, with the Dow sliding as much as 513 points, as Barack Obama’s historic victory gave way to renewed worries about the struggling economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) lost 486 points or 5%. The blue-chip average lost as much as 513 points earlier. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (SPX) index lost 5.3% and the Nasdaq composite (COMP) gave up 5.5%.

Investors were taking a classic “buy the rumor, sell the news” response to President-elect Barack Obama’s victory over John McCain, said Bill Stone, chief investment strategist at PNC Financial Services Group. […]

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Stocks rally on housing rescue

Dow surges 290 points as investors consider what the Fannie and Freddie bailout means for the broader economy.

by Alexandra Twin, senior writer

NEW YORK ( — Stocks surged Monday, with the Dow gaining 290 points and the broader market also gaining as investors breathed a sigh of relief that the government has swooped in to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) added 290 points or 2.6%. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 (SPX) index added 1.8%, paring its morning gains. The Nasdaq composite (COMP) added 0.6%, after climbing in the morning and then falling in the afternoon. […]

Bill Rutherford Quoted By Reuters

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UPDATE 3-HP results top Street despite stronger dollar

by Robert MacMillan and Eric Auchard

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 19 (Reuters) – Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) results beat Wall Street targets, overcoming fears that slowing global economies and a stronger dollar would substantially weaken the world’s biggest computer and printer maker.

Shares rose 3.2 percent in after-hours trading on Tuesday after HP posted solid fiscal third-quarter international sales and said it expects fourth-quarter earnings also ahead of expectations.

“What we’re seeing here is that despite the concerns we had coming into the third quarter, they are not being overwhelmed by a currency hit yet,” said Jason Pride, director of research at Haverford Trust Co in Philadelphia. […]

Bill Rutherford Quoted In The Wall Street Journal

Anchor Bancorp Drops 16%; Pioneer Drilling Up 8.4%

by Kejal Vyas

Renewed concerns over large financial firms and their ability to withstand a global economic correction trickled over to other sectors Tuesday, helping small-capitalization stocks close in negative territory.

Weighing on the financial sector was an avalanche of less-than-encouraging news, starting with several analysts warning about Goldman Sachs’s earnings.

Additionally, J.P. Morgan Chase said it is taking a $1.5 billion write-down on mortgage-backed securities, Morgan Stanley said it is buying back $4.5 billion in auction-rate securities and Wachovia revised its second-quarter loss lower.

Among small-cap financials, regional banks made up the biggest losers as Anchor Bancorp Wisconsin dropped $1.48, or 16%, to $7.97 after posting a 44% drop in fiscal-first-quarter net income. Not too far behind were shares of Sterling Financial, which slumped a dollar, or 10%, to 9.17. […]

Bill Rutherford Quoted By Reuters

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US STOCKS-Techs rise, helped by falling oil price

by Walker Simon

* Oil price tumble helps techs, airlines, retailers
* Citigroup shares fall on CFO warning on write-downs
* Financials weigh on the broader market (Updates to midafternoon)

NEW YORK, June 19 (Reuters) – The Nasdaq rose on Thursday as top technology companies and other exporters benefited from tumbling oil prices, seen as easing strains on global economic growth.

But the Dow and the S&P 500 indexes were little changed, restrained by an extended slide in financial companies that was triggered by Citgroup’s warning of write-downs in subprime mortgages.

U.S. oil prices Clc1 fell $4.13 a barrel to $132.53 a barrel on the belief that demand will take a hit after China raised gasoline and diesel prices by 18 percent, its first domestic fuel hike in eight months.

Shares of big manufacturers, including Boeing Co (BA.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and DuPont Co (DD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), rose on the back of the lower oil prices. Retailers’ shares also benefited, with Costco Wholesale Corp (COST.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) up 0.7 percent. Both sectors were helped by the view that lower oil prices would take less of a toll on business and consumer spending. […]

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