The three major US stock indexes opened sharply higher this morning after a report from Brussels that the EU had agreed to proposal for bailing out the Eurozone’s banks (our coverage here). The impact of the report was felt immediately in the currency trade, where the euro leaped against the dollar, pulling commodities up as well. The latest survey of US consumer sentiment was weaker than expected (our coverage here), but that didn’t really slow the market down at all. Today was definitely a “risk-on” day on any market you care to look at, from Shanghai to Brazil. In the US, indexes were running higher right up to the bell.
The US dollar index fell sharply today, now down -1.43% at 81.619. The GSCI commodity index is down -0.9% at 567.47, with commodities prices almost uniformly higher today. WTI crude oil closed up 9.4% at $84.96/barrel. Brent crude trades up 6.9% at $97.66/barrel. Natural gas rose 3.8% today to $2.82/thousand cubic feet. Gold settled up 3.5%, at $1,604.20/ounce. Gold added 2% for the week, but the quarterly close has the yellow metal down -4%.
The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA up more than 277 points to 12,879.45 (2.2%), the NASDAQ rose more than 85 points (3%) to 2,935.05, and the S&P 500 rose 2.49% or more than 33 points to 1,362.13.
There were several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) started as ‘neutral’ at Macquarie; Anthera Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ANTH) cut to ‘sell’ at Citigroup; Ceasars Entertainment Corp. (NASDAQ: CZR) cut to ‘underperform’ at BofA/ML; Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) cut to ‘neutral’ at Sterne Agee and Baird, but maintained as ‘hold’ with a target price cut to $92 at Canaccord Genuity; and Saks Inc. (NYSE: SKS) raised to ‘overweight’ at JPMorgan.
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: Nike is down -9.3% at $87.88; Research in Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ: RIMM) is down -19% at $7.39 after posting a new 52-week low of $7.34 (more coverage here); Constellation Brands Inc. (NYSE: STZ) is up 25.9% at $27.39 after posting a new 52-week high of $27.44; Finish Line Inc. (NASDAQ: FINL) is up 13% at $21.10; and KB Home (NYSE: KBH) is up 12.9% at $9.82 (more coverage here).
Other standouts from today include the following stocks:
ServiceNow Inc. (NYSE: NOW) is up 34.7% at $24.25. The cloud-based IT automation company held its IPO today with shares going out at $18.
Anthera Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ANTH) is down -15.7% at $0.68, a new 52-week low. The drug maker continued to suffer from yesterday’s results of a trial of its treatment for lupus and an analyst downgrade today.
Stay tuned for Monday. We have noted the following events on the schedule (all times Eastern):
- 9:00 a.m. – PMI manufacturing index
- 10:00 a.m. – ISM manufacturing index
- 10:00 a.m. – Construction spending
- 11:30 a.m. – 3- and 6-month bill auctions
Have a great weekend!