The National Association of Realtors reported that contracts for pending existing home sales fell 5.5% in April, missing estimates calling for a 0.1% increase. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded down to 12,396.40 on Wednesday. The NASDAQ traded down to 2825.64 on Wednesday, but traded above 2840 in the final half hour of trading.
Asian stocks were lower on Wednesday. The Nikkei 225 ended the day at 8,633 – down 0.28%. The Hang Seng ended the day at 18,690 – down 1.92%. European exchanges traded lower on Wednesday on Spain’s debt fears. The FTSE 100 ended the day at 5,297 – down 1.74%. The DAX ended the day at 6,281 – down 1.81%. The CAC 40 ended the day at 3,016 – down 2.24%. The yield on the 10-Year US Treasury traded down from 1.741 percent to 1.617, which is a new all time low.
Gold traded down from $1555.8 the Troy ounce to $1530.4, then rebounded to $1569.0, well below the “Death Cross” 50-day and 200-day simple moving averages are at $1626.8 and $1690.5. Crude oil traded down from $90.92 per barrel to $87.35 well below its 200-day simple moving average at $96.48. The euro versus the dollar traded down from 1.2504 to 1.2365 well below its 50-day simple moving average at 1.3026.
Yingli Green Energy (YGE) missed Q1 EPS estimates by three cents with better than expected revenue. Anadarko Petroleum (APC) and Noble Corp. (NE) settled their legal dispute over the termination of a drilling rig lease after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Patriot Coal (PCX) has been downgraded to Fair Value from Buy at CRT Capital. Sunoco Logistics (SXL) has been upgraded to Neutral from Underperform by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Dow components – Chevron (CVX) down 2.25%, Exxon Mobil (XOM) down 2.29%.
Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was trading at $64.29 at 3:30 PM on Wednesday, down 2.91% on the day – down 7.00% year-to-date.
Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM) has been downgraded to Hold from Buy at Dahlman Rose due to valuation concerns. Sterne Agee begins coverage with Neutral ratings for Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM), Barrick Gold (ABX), Hecla Mining (HL), and Pan American Silver (PAAS), and Buy ratings on Gold Resource (GORO), Coeur d’Alene Mines (CDE), and Newmont Mining (NEM). Dow components – Alcoa (AA) down 3.26%, DuPont (DD) down 1.2%.
The Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB) was trading at $34.03 at 3:30 PM on Wednesday, down 1.59% on the day – up 1.58% year-to-date.
General Electric (GE) began an $80 million research and development center in China and plans to open others, as GE gets closer to customers in faster-growing regions. Delta Air Lines (DAL), United Continental (UAL), and US Airways (LCC) are all initiated with Outperform ratings at Imperial Capital.Dow components – Boeing Co (BA) down 1.21%, Caterpillar (CAT) down 2.31%, General Electric (GE) down 1.34%, 3M Company (MMM) down 1.45%, United Technologies (UTX) down 1.40%.
The Industrial Select Sector SPDR (XLI) was trading at $34.86 at 3:30 PM on Wednesday, down 1.50%% on the day – up 3.29% year-to-date.
Pearson (PSO) and McGraw-Hill (MHP) plus other publishers should benefit from the introduction national curriculum for public schools in 45 states. The will increase demand for new textbooks, tests and teaching , and could be worth $1 to $8 billion, if states can afford the costs. Sony (SNE) and Panasonic (PC) are leading contenders to take an equity stake in Olympus (OCPNY.PK). Dow Components – Disney (DIS) down 0.16%, Home Depot down 0.42%, McDonalds (MCD) down 0.34%.
The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) was trading at $43.27 at 3:30 PM on Wednesday, down 1.39% on the day – up 10.89% year-to-date.
Dunkin’ Brands (DNKN) will open 350 to 450 new stores next year outside the US in a big bet that global consumers still demand new American fast food options. Teavana Holdings (TEA) reported in-line Q1 EPS estimates with a miss on the revenue line. The Fresh Market (TFM) beat Q1 EPS estimates by a nickel with better than expected revenue. Jos. A. Bank Clothiers (JOSB) missed Q1 EPS estimates by nine cents with a miss on the revenue line. Pep Boys (PBY) shares declined 12.5% in after hours trading on Tuesday after announcing that its planned sale to P-E firm Gores Group has been called off. Dow components – Kraft (KFT) down 0.83%, Coca Cola (KO) down 0.48%, Procter & Gamble (PG) down 0.75%, Wal-Mart (WMT) down 0.12%.
The Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was trading at $33.85 at 3:30 PM on Wednesday, down 0.82% on the day – up 4.19% year-to-date.
A Delaware court Upheld two patents in favor of Pronova’s heart drug Lovaza in a ruling against Par Pharmaceutical (PRX) and Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA). The ruling prevents Par and Teva from selling generic Lovaza to lower very high levels of triglycerides in the bloodstream. Raptor Pharmaceutical (RPTP) said it acquired exclusive tights from McGill University to intellectual property related to a potential malaria treatment. Dow Components – Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) down 0.72%, Merck (MRK) down 0.52%, Pfizer (PFE) down 0.33%.
The Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) was trading at $36.31 at 3:30 PM on Wednesday, down 0.63% on the day – up 4.67% year-to-date.
Refinancing activity is about half of what it was during the boom years of the housing market. Wells Fargo (WFC), one of the four “too big to fail” banks issues one in three US mortgages. WFC reported a year over year gain of 127% on mortgage originations in the first quarter. American International Group (AIG) has been upgraded to Buy from Hold at Sandler O’Neill. Lloyds (LYG) has been upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at JP Morgan. Dow Components – American Express (AXP) down 1.41%, Bank of America (BAC) down 2.55%, JP Morgan Chase (JPM) down 1.61%, Travelers (TRV) down 1.20%.
The Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) was trading at $13.96 at 3:30 PM on Wednesday, down 1.83% on the day – up 7.38% year-to-date.
Research in Motion (RIMM) traded down 5.6% premarket after forecasting an operating loss for FQ1, and announcing more job cuts. RIM hired JPMorgan and RBC to assist in finding a strategic plan that will cover licensing and partnership opportunities. Sony (SNE) and Panasonic (PC) are leading contenders to take an equity stake in Olympus (OCPNY.PK). Research In Motion (RIMM) has been upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at JMP Securities. Cirrus Logic (CRUS) rallied on Tuesday on speculation that Apple (AAPL) will use Cirrus’ audio codec chips in its rumored TV. Apple already uses Cirrus’ chips in the iPhone and iPad, which accounts for a significant portion of CRUS revenue. Dow Components – Cisco Systems (CSCO) down 1.02%, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) down 0.26%, IBM (IBM) down 0.70%, Intel Corp (INTC) up 0.23%, Microsoft (MSFT) down 0.44%.
The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) was trading at $28.11 at 3:30 PM on Wednesday, down 0.46% on the day – up 10.45% year-to-date.
Research in Motion (RIMM) traded down 5.6% premarket after forecasting an operating loss for FQ1, and announcing more job cuts. RIM hired JPMorgan and RBC to assist in finding a strategic plan that will cover licensing and partnership opportunities. Research In Motion (RIMM) has been upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at JMP Securities. Ciena (CIEN) has been initiated with a Buy rating at Needham, on improving margins that should deliver value even in these economic conditions. Dow components – AT&T (T) up 0.33%, Verizon (VZ) down 0.91%.
The NASDAQ Telecommunications Index (IXTC) was trading at $180.28 at 3:30 PM on Wednesday, down 1.34% on the day – down 8.45% year-to-date.
The Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) was trading at $35.69 at 3:30 PM on Wednesday, down 0.56% on the day – down 0.81% year-to-date.
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