Factory Orders rose by 1.5% in February. The markets fell sharply after the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting indicated that the central bank was considering additional economic stimulus measures, but is not ready to act yet. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined to 13,131.21 following the Fed minutes staying below its 52-week high set at 13,297.11 on April 2nd. The NASDAQ’s declined from 3126.82 to 3097.41 shy of its 52-week high at 3134.17 set on March 27th.
Asian stocks were mixed again on Tuesday. The Nikkei 225 ended their session at 10,050 – down 0.59% on the day. The Hang Seng ended their session at 20,791 – up 1.31% on the day. European stocks opened higher then drifted lower with weakness into their closes. The FTSE 100 ended their session at 5,838 – down 0.62% on the day. The DAX ended their session at 6,982 – down 1.05% on the day. The CAC 40 ended their session at 3,407 – down 1.62% on the day. The yield on the 10-Year US Treasury declined from 2.202 percent to 2.150 then rose to 2.297 following the Fed minutes that suggest no near term additional easing of monetary policy.
Gold rebounded from $1672.4 the Troy ounce to $1682.7 then declined to $1640.2 staying below its 200-day simple moving average at $1686.9. Crude oil declined from $105.13 per barrel to $104.13 then rebounded to $105.18 before declining again to $103.59 versus its 50-day simple moving average at $103.73. The euro versus the dollar declined from 1.3366 to 1.3217 testing its 50-day simple moving average at 1.3217.
Fuel Systems Solutions (FSYS) and Clean Energy Fuels (CLNE) are initiated with Neutral ratings at Macquarie. Schlumberger (SLB) has been upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee with a $93 price target. Morning losers were Baker Hughes (BHI), Chesapeake Energy (CHK), Chevron (CVX) and Exxon Mobil (XOM).
Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was trading at $71.47 at 3:30 PM on Tuesday, down 1.35% on the day – up 3.38% year-to-date.
Goldcorp (GG) is initiated with a Neutral rating at Citigroup with a $47 price target. Kinross Gold (KGC) is initiated with a Buy rating and a $13 price target. Newmont Mining (NEM) has been downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup. Morning losers were Alcoa (AA), DuPont (DD), Freeport McMoRan (FCX) and US Steel (X).
The Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB) was trading at $37.06 at 3:30 PM on Tuesday, down 1.15% on the day – up 10.63% year-to-date.
Fastenal (FAST) has been downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at William Blair. Dow components were mixed on Tuesday; Boeing Co (BA), Caterpillar (CAT), General Electric (GE), 3M Company (MMM) and United Technologies (UTX).
The Industrial Select Sector SPDR (XLI) was trading at $37.26 at 3:30 PM on Tuesday, down 1.06% on the day – up 10.40% year-to-date.
Grand Canyon Education (LOPE) is initiated with a Buy rating at Deutsche Bank with Bridgepoint Education (BPI) and Capella Education (CPLA) initiated with Hold ratings. Western Union (WU) is initiated with a Neutral rating at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch. AutoZone (AZO) has been added to the Conviction Buy List at Goldman Sachs. Urban Outfitters (URBN) has been upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Citigroup. Best Buy (BBY) has been downgraded to Sell from Buy at McAdams Wright Ragen, as confidence in management’s desire to prudently deploy its cash flows has waned. Netflix (NFLX) has been downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight by Barclays.
The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) was trading at $45.04 at 3:30 PM on Tuesday, down 0.38% on the day – up 15.43% year-to-date.
Molson Coors (TAP) will buy StarBev from CVC Capital for $3.5 billion in a deal that l allows Molson to expand in the central and eastern European beer markets. The SEC is is reviewing Groupon (GRPN) following the company’s first revisions as a public company. GRPN gets initiated with a Neutral rating at Sterne Agee. Imperial Tobacco (ITYBY.PK) is initiated with an Underperform rating at BNP Paribas while British American Tobacco (BTI) gets tapped with an Outperform rating. Constellation Brands (STZ) has been upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman. Coca-Cola (KO) has been downgraded to Hold at Stifel Nicolaus due to valuation. Beam Inc (BEAM), the recent alcoholic spirits spin-off has been downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman.
The Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was trading at $34.09 at 3:30 PM on Tuesday, down 0.76% on the day – up 4.92% year-to-date.
The Danish drug maker Novo Nordisk (NVO) has been added to the Europe 1 List at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch. Accretive Health (AH) has been downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman. Dow Components were mixed on Tuesday; Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Merck (MRK) and Pfizer (PFE). Bio Rad Laboratories (BIO) gained 12.7% in morning trading.
The Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) was trading at $37.62 at 3:30 PM on Tuesday, down 0.32% on the day – up 8.45% year-to-date.
The CFTC has charged Royal Bank of Canada (RY) of wash trading using futures contracts to create tax benefits from its shareholdings. The SEC may soon bring charges against Goldman Sachs (GS) over another mortgage-bond deal – Fremont Home Loan Trust. Western Alliance Bancorp (WAL) has been upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee. Global Payments (GPN) will likely have higher security spending following the recent credit card data breach and thus Nomura cuts its rating to Neutral from Buy with a price target of $46.US Bancorp (USB) has been downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel Nicolaus. Waddell & Reed (WDR) has been downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee.
The Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) was trading at $15.76 at 3:30 PM on Tuesday, down 1.01% on the day – up 21.23% year-to-date (the strongest performing sector).
Oracle (ORCL) and Google (GOOG) have come to an impasse in settlement negotiations relative to Oracle’s patent and copyright lawsuit against Google over programming language Java. The EU has started two probes into Motorola Mobility (MMI) over complaints from Microsoft (MSFT) and Apple (AAPL) that Motorola set unfair fees for use of its patents. Apple Inc (AAPL) traded to another all time high as shares are initiated with a Buy rating and $700 price target at Auriga. Amazon.com (AMZN) was initiated as a Market Perform at JMP Securities with Pandora Media (P) as an Outperform.
The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) was trading at $30.33 at 3:30 PM on Tuesday, down 0.49% on the day – up 19.17% year-to-date.
The NASDAQ Telecommunications Index (IXTC) was trading at $218.66 at 3:30 PM on Tuesday, down 1.76% on the day – up 11.03% year-to-date.
It was a quiet day in the Utilities sector. Sempra Energy (SRE) has been upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital. In late morning trade; (DUK) -0.15%, (GEN) -1.86%, (CNP) -0.33%, (EXC) -0.54%, (AES) flat, (AEP) flat, (PPL) -0.57%.
The Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) was trading at $35.12 at 3:30 PM on Tuesday, down 0.28% on the day – down 2.39% year-to-date (the weakest performing sector / the only negative sector).
STOCKS: FSYS, CLNE, SLB, BHI, CHK, CVX, XOM, GG, NEM, AA, DD, FCX, X, FAST, BA, CAT, GE, MMM, UTX, LOPE, BPI, CPLA, WU, AXO, URBN, BBY, NFLX, TAP, GRPN, ITYBY.PK, BTI, STZ, KO, BEAM, NVO, AH, JNJ, MRK, PFE, BIO, RY, GPN, GS, WAL, USB, WDR, ORCL, GOOG, MMI, MSFT, AAPL, AMZN, P, T, V, SRE, DUK, GEN, CNP, EXC, AES, AEP, PPL