All three major equity indexes opened lower this morning and while all have tracked back to last night’s close, only the Nasdaq Composite has managed to wobble to a small gain for the day. The stalled negotiations between Greece and its bondholders are weighing down European markets and the effects are felt on this side of the Atlantic. Earnings reports haven’t boosted the market at all today, even though some have been quite good. The euro has hit $1.30 again. In commodities, WTI crude oil is down -0.51% at $99.07/barrel and Brent crude is down -0.36% at $110.18/barrel. Gold closed off -0.77% at $1,665.30/ounce.
The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA down about 33 points to12,675.75 (-0.26%), the NASDAQ rose just 2 points (0.09%) to 2,786.64, and the S&P 500 fell -0.10% or just more than 1 point to 1,314.63.
There were several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) maintained as ‘outperform’ with a $100 target price at Credit Suisse; Pan American Silver Corp. (NASDAQ: PAAS) maintained as ‘outperform’ but estimates lowered at Credit Suisse; Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL) maintained as ‘buy’ but target price lowered to $54 at Argus; Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) reiterated as ‘buy’ and target price raised to $51 at Argus; ;and Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: KORS) started as ‘overweight’ at Morgan Stanley, as ‘outperform’ at Baird, and as ‘buy’ at Goldman Sachs.
Earnings reports since markets closed on last night have led to some price changes as of the last half hour of trading today: Air Products and Chemicals Inc. (NYSE: APD) is down nearly -3% at $87.29; Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) is down -0.57% at $47.46; Clearwire Corp. (NASDAQ: CLWR) is up 2% at $1.79; EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) is up 6.7% at $25.01; Western Digital Corp. (NYSE: WDC) is up 6.2% at $36.85; CSX Corp. (NYSE: CSX) is down -3.5% at $21.89; and Zions Bancorp. (NYSE: ZION) is down -7.6% at $17.15. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) reports earnings after markets close today. See our coverage here.
Other standouts from today include the following stocks:
BioLineRx Ltd. (NASDAQ: BLRX) is up nearly 79% at $5.88 after posting a new 52-week high today of $6.87. The biopharmaceutical company has signed an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with a French company to develop and market its hepatitis C drug.
Lee Enterprises Inc. (NYSE: LEE) is up more than 26% at $1.39. The newspaper company has been granted permission to exit bankruptcy protection.
The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. (NASDAQ: BONT) is up nearly 18% at $3.81. The department store operator has hired a new CEO who was previously the CEO at Lord & Taylor, before that chain was acquired by a Canadian company.
InterDigital Inc. (NASDAQ: IDCC) is down nearly -20% at $35.68. The wireless technology developed has shut down its “strategic review” without finding a buyer and will continue to seek additional patent sales and licensing agreements.
Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ACHN) is up more than 17% at $10.79. The drug company, which is developing its own hepatitis C drug, is enjoying a halo effect from BioLineRx’s announcement.
Stay tuned for Wednesday. President Barack Obama delivers his state of the union address at 9:00 P.M ET tonight. We have noted the following events on the schedule (all times Eastern):
- 7:00 a.m. – Mortgage Bankers Association purchase applications
- 10:00 a.m. – Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) house price index
- 10:30 a.m. – EIA weekly petroleum status report
- 10:30 a.m. – 5-year Treasury note auction
- 2:15 p.m. – Fed chairman Ben Bernanke press conference