Stocks opened firmly higher this morning and the DJIA rose by more than 130 points in the first hour of trading. The dollar gained strength against the euro putting more enthusiasm into the market. Investors were also hoping that the Fed would indicate that a new round of quantitative easing would be available instantly if necessary. That didn’t work out however, and equities tumbled following the Fed’s mid-afternoon statement. Crude oil also rose on a threat from Iran to block the Strait of Hormuz. WTI crude is up more than 2%, at $99.81/barrel after topping $100 earlier in the day, and Brent crude is up 1.9% at 109.30/barrel. Gold is down nearly -2%, at $1,636.90.
The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA down more than 66 points to 11,954.94 (-0.55%), the NASDAQ fell nearly 33 points (-1.26%) to 2,579.27, and the S&P 500 fell -0.87% or nearly 11 points to 1,225.73.
There were several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) maintained ‘outperform’ but estimates cut at Credit Suisse and maintained ‘hold’ with a $24 price target at Canaccord Genuity. Other ratings actions today include Kaiser Aluminum Corp. (NASDAQ: KALU) started as ‘buy’ at BofA/Merrill Lynch; Noranda Aluminum Holding Corp. (NYSE: NOR) started as ‘buy’ at BofA/ML; Mastercard Inc. (NYSE: MA) and Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) both started as ‘buy’ at Nomura.
Here are today’s post-earnings news reactions with prices during the last half-hour of trading: Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY) is down more than -15.5% at $23.68 (more details here); FactSet Research Systems, Inc. (NYSE: FDS) is down more than -8% at $87.01; FuelCell Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: FCEL) is down more than -15% at $0.93; The Pantry Inc. (NASDAQ: PTRY) is down more than -12% at $10.41, after posting a new 52-week low earlier today of $9.52; and Miller Energy Resources, Inc. (NYSE: MILL) is down nearly -11% at $2.90.
Other standouts from today include the following stocks:
LiveDeal Inc. (NASDAQ: LIVE) is up more than 236%, at $4.88. The customer acquisition company issued 1.6 million shares of new stock, raising its capital by by $2 million and enabling it to meet Nasdaq listing requirements.
Synovis Life Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNO) is up more than 50%, at $27.78. The medical device maker agreed to be acquired by Baxter International Inc. (NYSE: BAX) for $28/share, a 52% premium to the stock’s Monday closing price. The deal is worth $325 million.
RADVision Ltd. (NASDAQ: RVSN) is up more than 14%, at $9.62. The communications equipment maker is said to be an acquisition target for Avaya at a price of around $200 million.
Endocyte Inc. (NASDAQ: ECYT) is down more than -65%, at $3.56, a new 52-week low. The pharmaceutical maker announced that trials of a new cancer drug have not shown that the drug helps patients live longer.
Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. (NYSE: IVN) is down nearly -22%, at $16.16. The junior miner lost a court decision to Rio Tinto plc (NYSE: RIO) which essentially kills Ivanhoe’s poison pill plan. Rio owns 49% of Ivanhoe and can maintain that stake regardless of new share issuances until April 2013.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR) is down more than -11%, at $50.03. The coffee merchant has lost some market share for its single-cup coffee products, and prices are also falling.
Forest Oil Corp. (NYSE: FST) is down nearly -13%, at $14.01. The oil & gas E&P company announced its outlook for 2012, and analysts were disappointed with the level of capital expenditures and cash flows.
Stay tuned for Wednesday. Dennis Lockhart, president of the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank, is giving a speech in the morning. Here are some other noteworthy events on the schedule (all times Eastern):
- 7:00 a.m. – Mortgage Bankers Association purchase applications
- 10:30 a.m. – EIA weekly petroleum status report
- 1:00 p.m. – 30-year Treasury bond auction