The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded around the 12,900 mark between 12,846.41 and 12,924.71. The NASDAQ stayed above 2900 in a range and was trading above 2930 going into the final half hour of trading. The S&P 500, Dow Transports and Russell 2000 continue to lag their 2011 highs at 1370.58, 5627.85 and 868.57 respectively.
Asian stocks closed slightly lower on Thursday with the Nikkei 225 ending their session 9,002 – down 0.15% on the day. The Hang Seng closed at 21,010 – down 0.04% on the day. European stocks were higher on Thursday as the Greece accepted austerity measures that allow their bailout to proceed. The FTSE 100 ended their session at 5,895 – up 0.33% on the day; the DAX ended their session at 6,789 – up 0.59% on the day; and the CAC 40 ended their session at 3,425 – up 0.43% on the day.
The yield on the 10-Year US Treasury rose to 2.076 trending above its 50-day simple moving average at 1.948. Initial Jobless Claims fell to 358,000 getting closer to breaking below the recessionary threshold of 350,000. Gold traded up from $1728.3 the Troy ounce to $1755.5 then fell back to $1728.1. Crude oil traded between $98.66 per barrel to $100.18 versus 50-day and 200-day simple moving averages at $99.24 and $94.68. The euro versus the dollar rebounded from 1.3219 to 1.3320.
BP (BP) is reportedly in negotiations with U.S. officials to settle pollution claims related to the Deepwater Horizon spill. The government is seeking fines of up to $4,300 for each of the 4.1M barrels spilled, which could leave BP liable for as much as $17.6B. Sonoco Products Company (SON) missed estimates by a penny with revenue in-line with estimates. Noble Energy (NBL) beat estimates by 2 cents and revenue by $20M. Precision Drilling (PDS) beat estimates by 7 cents on revenue of $587M. In afternoon trading: Shares of Trina Solar (TSL) are up about 24.5%. Shares of Yingli Green Energy (YGE) are up about 21.5%. Shares of LDK Solar (LDK) are up about 14.5%. Shares of Canadian Solar (CSIQ) are up about 10.25%.
Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was trading at $73.78 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, up slightly on the day – up 6.73% year-to-date. The January change was +2.26%. The 2011 change was -1.29%.
Sealed Air (SEE) missed estimates by 5 cents, while beating revenue by $760M. International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF) beat estimates by a penny, while missing revenue by $7M. Rio Tinto’s (RIO) FY net profit -59% to $5.8B because of an $8.9B impairment charge relating to its aluminum business. Underlying earnings rose 11% to $15.5B. Celanese (CE) is moved to Buy from Hold at Jefferies. In afternoon trading: Shares of Cemex (CX) are up about 1.2%. Shares of Alcoa (AA) are down about 0.4%. Shares of Freeport McMoran (FCX) are up slightly.
The Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB) was trading at $37.71 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, up 0.11% on the day – up 12.57% year-to-date. The January change was +10.99%. The 2011 change was -12.78%.
United Technologies (UTX) is considering selling its pump- and compressor-making division, which would be worth at least $2B, to raise money for the proposed $16.5B acquisition of Goodrich (GR). RailAmerica (RA) beat estimates by 12 cents and revenue by $10M. General Cable (BGC) missed estimates by 7 cents on revenue of $1.37B. Alaska Air (ALK) is resumed with a Buy at Knight Research. Ingersoll-Rand (IR) is upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform with Wells Fargo. 3M Co (MMM) is cut to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank. A123 Systems (AONE) is slashed to Sell from Hold with Wunderlich. Joy Global (JOY) gets downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies. In afternoon trading: Shares of A123 Systems (AONE) are down about 24.5%. Shares of Genco Shipping (GNK) are up about 16.5%.
The Industrial Select Sector SPDR (XLI) was trading at $37.31 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, up 0.27% on the day – up 10.55% year-to-date. The January change was +7.32%. The 2011 change was -3.21%.
Groupon (GRPN) shares were -15.5% premarket after the company yesterday said it made a Q4 net loss of $0.02 a share, although revenue jumped 194% to $506.5M and surpassed predictions. Thomson Reuters’ (TRI) Q4: Segment revenue led by 19% Y/Y gain in Tax & Accounting to $369M. The company expects 2012 revenue growth in low single digits. Sirius XM Radio (SIRI) reported Q4 EPS of $0.01 (in-line) and revenue of $783.7M (in-line). Dunkin’ Brands (DNKN) reported Q4 EPS of $0.30 (versus consensus of $0.28), while beating revenue by $8.5M. O’Reilly Automotive (ORLY) beat estimates by 8 cents with revenue in-line with estimates. Dollar Tree (DLTR) is a new Overweight at JP Morgan. Lithia Motors (LAD) is a new Buy ant $30 price target at Stifel Nicolaus. Boyd Gaming (BYD) is cut to Equal Weight from Overweight by Barclays. DirecTV (DTV) gets downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie. iRobot (IRBT) is lowered by both JP Morgan (Underweight from Neutral) and EarlyBirdCapital (Hold from Buy). TripAdvisor (TRIP) is moved to Hold from Buy at The Benchmark Company with a $31 objective. In afternoon trading: Shares of iRobot (IRBT) are down about 32.5%. Shares of Groupon (GRPN) are down about 17.25%. Shares of TripAdvisor (TRIP) are down about 15%.
The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) was trading at $42.54 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, up 0.16% on the day – up 9.02% year-to-date. The January change was +5.89%. The 2011 change was +4.30%.
Pepsico (PEP) beat estimates by 3 cents and revenue by $300M. Corn Products International (CPO) reported Q4 EPS of $1.11 (in-line) and revenue of $1.63B (in-line). Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) reported Q4 EPS of $0.36 (in-line) and revenue of $1.89B (in-line). Bunge (BG) beat estimates by 11 cents and revenue by $2.6B. Imperial Sugar Company (IPSU) beat estimates by 47 cents on revenue of $227.6M. Prestige Brand’s (PBH) FQ3: OTC Healthcare segment revenue up 25.9% Y/Y to $84.9M led by sales of Little Remedies and The Doctor’s, while Household Cleaning sales fell off 7.8% to $21.3M. Diageo (DEO): FH1 net profit -20% to £953M ($1.51B) due to tax write-down of £524M, sales +8% to £5.76B. Nash Finch (NAFC) is a Buy at Cantor Fitzgerald. Walgreen (WAG) is moved to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie. CVS Caremark (CVS) is now Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie. Diamond Foods (DMND) is now Neutral from Buy at Suntrust. In afternoon trading: Shares of Imperial Sugar (IPSU) are up about 78%. Shares of Diamond Foods (DMND) are down about 35.5%.
The Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was trading at $32.68 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, up 0.55% on the day – up 0.58% year-to-date. The January change was -1.42%. The 2011 change was +10.85%.
Stryker (SYK) CEO Stephen MacMillan has resigned due to family reasons. Shire Pharmaceuticals Group (SHPGY) reported Q4 EPS of $0.44 (in-line) and revenue of $1.14B (in-line). Elan (ELN) gets a Neutral-from-Underperform boost by BNP Paribas. Thoratec (THOR) is moved to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray. Amgen (AMGN) gets reduced to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer. Elan (ELN) is now Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse. In afternoon trading: Shares of Thoratec (THOR) are up about 11.5%. Shares of Pharmacyclics (PCYC) are up about 10.25%. Shares of Alexza Pharmaceuticals (ALXA) are down about 15.5%. Shares of Anacor Pharmaceuticals (ANAC) are down about 14%.
The Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) was trading at $35.96 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, down 0.53% on the day – up 3.66% year-to-date. The January change was +3.20%. The 2011 change was +10.32%.
Officials are on the verge of announcing an agreement worth $26B-$39B, between over 40 states and the nation’s top mortgage banks over foreclosure abuse, with an announcement possible this morning. The five banks involved are Bank of America (BAC), Ally Financial, JPMorgan (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC) and Citigroup (C). The SEC reportedly plans to send Wells notices to several major banks over mortgage-related bonds linked to the crisis. Possible banks include: Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C), Deutsche Bank (DB) and Goldman Sachs (GS). CBOE Holdings (CBOE) beat estimates by 2 cents and revenue by $2M. Credit Suisse (CS) Q4 net loss of 637M Swiss francs ($698M) after taking a 981M franc charge to speed cost cutting and offload risky assets. Consensus had been for a 430M franc profit. CIT Group (CIT) is moved to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley. Calamos Asset Management (CLMS) is now Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse. Federated Investors (FII) is moved to underperform from Neutral at Macquarie.
The Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) was trading at $14.71 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, down 0.41% on the day – up 13.15% year-to-date. The January change was +8.12%. The 2011 change was -18.50%; the weakest performing sector for the year.
Cisco’s (CSCO) FQ2 beat Wall Street estimates, as adjusted EPS came in at $0.47 (versus EPS of $0.27 a year ago), while revenue climbed 10.6% to $11.5B. Sequans Communications (SQNS) beat estimates by a penny and revenue by $0.35M. TriQuint Semiconductor (TQNT) beat estimates by 2 cents and revenue by $8M. Mizuho has a new Neutral and $30 price objective on -Packard (HPQ). Apple Inc (AAPL) is assigned a Buy and $635 target price. Dell Inc (DELL) is also begun with a Buy and $20 target. Avid Technology (AVID) is moved to Overweight from Neutral. Cisco Systems (CSCO) is downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $22 target at ISI Group. NVIDIA (NVDA) is removed from the Catalyst Driven Idea List at Sterne Agee. United Micro (UMC) is now Neutral from Overweight at HSBC Securities. Sohu.com (SOHU) is lowered to Hold from Buy by Deutsche Bank. Wright Express (WXS) is moved to Neutral from Buy at Janney Montgomery Scott. In afternoon trading: Shares of Taleo (TLEO) are up about 17.25%. Shares of JinkoSolar (JKS) are up about 15.5%.Next >
The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) was trading at $28.24 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, up 0.97% on the day – up 10.96% year-to-date. The January change was +6.21%. The 2011 change was +1.03%.
Vodafone (VOD) Q3 revenue -2.3% to £11.62B, in-line with consensus. The company reaffirms FY guidance for adjusted operating earnings of £11.4B-11.8B. Time Warner Telecom (TWTC) beat estimates by a penny on revenue of $351.5M. Atmel (ATML) guides on its Q4 earnings call for Q1 revenue of roughly $341M-$361M (below a $386M consensus). Level 3 Communications (LVLT) is lifted to Outperform from Neutral at Cowen. In afternoon trading: Heavily Traded Stocks: Shares of Sprint Nextel (S) are down about 1.2%, while shares of AT&T (T) are down slightly and shares of Verizon (VZ) are relatively unchanged. Shares of Frontier Communications (FTR) are down about 2.4%. Shares of Atmel (ATML) are down about 1.7%.
The NASDAQ Telecommunications Index (IXTC) was trading at $216.60 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, down 0.91% on the day – up 9.99% year-to-date. The January change was +6.67%. The 2011 change was -12.62%.
In afternoon trading: Heavily Traded Stocks: Shares of Genon Energy (GEN) are down about 1.1%. Shares of Exelon (EXC) are down about 0.4%. Shares of Duke Energy (DUK) are up about 0.2%. Shares of PSE&G (PEG) are down about 1.6%. Shares of American Electric Power (AEP) are relatively unchanged.
The Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) was trading at $34.87 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, down 0.29% on the day – down 3.09% year-to-date. The January change was -3.61%. The 2011 change was +14.81%; the strongest performing sector for the year.
STOCKS: BP, SON, NBL, PDS, TSL, YGE, LDK, CSIQ, SEE, IFF, RIO, CE, CX, AA, FCX, UTX, GR, RA, BGC, ALK, IR, MMM, AONE, JOY, GNK, GRPN, TRI, SIRI, DNKN, ORLY, DLTR, LAD, BYD, DTV, IRBT, TRIP, PEP, CPO, CCE, BG, IPSU, PBH, DEO, NAFC, WAG, CVS, DKND, SYK, SHPGY, ELN, THOR, AMGN, PCYC, ALXA, ANAC, BAC, JPM, WFC, C, DB, GS, CBOE, CS, CIT, CLMS, FII, CSCO, SQNS, TQNT, HPQ, AAP, DELL, AVID, NVDA, UMC, SOHU, WXS, TLEO, JKS, VOD, TWTC, ATML, LVLT, S, T, VZ, FTR, GEN, EXC, DUK, PEG, AEP