24/7 Wall St. Closing Bell — June 28, 2012: Obamacare Ruling Big News, But Hard to Figure Impact This QuicklyJune 28, 2012 by Paul Ausick
The three major US stock indexes opened lower this morning and stayed in losing territory all day as investors first figured out that the two-day Eurozone summit meeting would very likely end with no major change to the current lack of a coherent policy (our coverage here). New claims for jobless benefits in the US were slightly lower and the first quarter GDP reading of 1.9% was unchanged, so today’s data dosage was uninspiring. Finally, the eagerly anticipated Supreme Court decision on Obamacare was delivered mid-morning, with a surprising 5-4 decision upholding the majority of the law (our coverage here, here, and here).
The US dollar index rose today, now up 0.28% at 82.849. The GSCI commodity index is up 0.76% at 577.00, with commodities prices mostly lower today. WTI crude oil closed down -2.4% at $78.26/barrel. Brent crude trades down -2.06% at $91.57/barrel. Natural gas fell about -3.8% today to $2.69/thousand cubic feet for August delivery. The drop came after the US Energy Information Administration reported a larger than expected increase of US natural gas inventories (our coverage here). Gold settled down -1.8%, at $1,550.40/ounce (related story here).
The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA down more than 25 points to 12,601.27 (-0.20%), the NASDAQ fell nearly 26 points (-0.90%) to 2,849.49, and the S&P 500 fell -0.22% or nearly 3 points to 1,329.00.
There were several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) started as ‘market outperform’ at Wells Fargo; Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) started as ‘hold’ at Stifel Nicolaus; Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) reiterated as ‘buy’ with a price target of $80 at Canaccord Genuity; Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL), and International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) started as ‘market perform’ at Wells Fargo; and Charter Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR) maintained as ‘outperform’ with a target price of $74 at Credit Suisse.
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: Paychex Inc. (NASDAQ: PAYX) is down -3.6% at $30.77; American Greetings Corp. (NYSE: AM) is up 3.4% at $14.75; Family Dollar Stores Inc. (NYSE: FDO) is down -3.1% at $66.97 (more coverage here); and Greenbrier Companies Inc. (NYSE: GBX) is down -0.6% at $15.96.
After markets close today and before they re-open tomorrow we are scheduled to hear from Accenture plc (NYSE: ACN), Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE), Research in Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ: RIMM), Constellation Brands Inc. (NYSE: STZ), KB Home (NYSE: KBH), and Finish Line Inc. (NASDAQ: FINL).
Other standouts from today include the following stocks:
Synergetics USA Inc. (NASDAQ: SURG) is up 23.8% at $4.79. The medical device maker received FDA approval for its new eye surgery system.
HMS Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: HMSY) is up 13.6% at $31.56. The healthcare services company got the largest bump in its sector from today’s Supreme Court ruling.
Anthera Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ANTH) is down -70% at $0.82 after posting a new 52-week low of $0.81 earlier today. The drug maker reported weak results from a trial of its treatment for lupus.
Stay tuned for Friday. Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren, New York Fed President William Dudley, and St. Louis Fed President James Bullard are giving speeches. We have noted the following events on the schedule (all times Eastern):
- 8:30 a.m. – Personal income and outlays report
- 9:45 a.m. – Chicago PMI
- 9:55 a.m. – Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index