The three major US stock indexes opened higher this morning as markets treated the Moody’s downgrade of 15 major banks as old news that was already baked into share prices (our coverage here and here). A slowdown in the German economy has affected business confidence in the country (our coverage here), and the IMF shouted into the wind (more coverage here). Overall, share prices gained back less than a quarter of yesterday’s steep losses.
The US dollar index fell today, now down -0.09% at 82.217. The GSCI commodity index is down -2.9% at 559.00, with commodities prices mixed today. WTI crude oil closed up 2% at $79.76/barrel, but finished the week down more than -5%. Brent crude trades up 2.11% at $91.11/barrel. Natural gas rose about 1.7% today to $2.627/thousand cubic feet. Gold settled up 0.1%, at $1,566.90/ounce, to finish the week down -3.8%.
The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA up more than 77 points to 12,650.77 (0.61%), the NASDAQ rose more than 33 points (1.17%) to 2,892.42, and the S&P 500 rose 0.75% or nearly 10 points to 1,335.44.
There were several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) started as ‘buy’ at Nomura; Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW) raised to ‘neutral’ at JPMorgan; Kimberly-Clark Corp. (NYSE: KMB) raised to ‘buy’ with a target price of $92 at Argus; Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ONXX) raised to ‘equalweight’ at Morgan Stanley; and Jefferies Group Inc. (NYSE: JEF) started as ‘neutral’ at Goldman Sachs.
Earnings reports since markets closed last night have been scarce, but here are some price changes for reporting companies as of the last half hour of trading today: Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE: DRI) is down about -0.6% at $50.10 and Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL) is down -2.5% at $33.73.
Other standouts from today include the following stocks:
Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ARNA) are down -14.7% at $XX. The drug maker gave back some of its gains from yesterday, likely on profit-taking. An FDA decision on the company’s weight loss drug is due next week.
Stay tuned for Monday. We have noted the following events on the schedule (all times Eastern):
- 8:30 a.m. – Chicago Fed national activity index
- 10:00 a.m. – New home sales
- 10:30 a.m. – Dallas Fed manufacturing survey
- 11:30 a.m. – 3- and 6-month bill auctions
Have a great weekend.