The three major US stock indexes opened higher this morning following data showing that GDP in several countries grew better than expected (more coverage here). Which indicates that if the bar is set low enough, jumping over it is sometimes easier than crawling beneath it (more coverage here). Asian markets responded positively to the European GDP data, and most finished their day higher. July retail sales were better than expected, but the PPI showed an unexpected rise in inflation as well (more coverage here). We’ll get the official consumer price index (CPI) report tomorrow morning before the markets open in the US. Shares closed today right about where they started this morning.
The US dollar index rose slightly today, now up 0.05% at 82.478. The GSCI commodity index fell -0.04% to 653.61, with most commodities prices down today. WTI crude oil finished up 0.8% today, closing at $93.43/barrel. Brent crude trades up 0.25% at $113.88/barrel. Natural gas is up 4% today to $2.838/thousand cubic feet. Gold settled at $1,604.50/ounce, down -0.5%.
The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA up nearly 3 points to 13,172.14 (0.02%), the NASDAQ fell nearly 6 points (0.18%) to 3,016.98, and the S&P 500 fell -0.01% or less than 1 point to 1,403.92.
There were several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) cut to ‘neutral’ at Citigroup; The Wendy’s Co. (NASDAQ: WEN) cut to ‘underweight’ at KeyBanc Capital Markets; Molycorp Inc. (NYSE: MCP) started as ‘overweight’ at Morgan Stanley; Expedia Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE) cut to ‘hold’ at Stifel Nicolaus; and Vale S.A. (NYSE: VALE) cut to ‘neutral’ at BofA/ML.
Earnings reports since markets closed last last night have led to some price changes as of the last half hour of trading today: Iamgold Corp. (NYSE: IAG) is up 1.6% at $11.41; Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. (NYSE: DKS) is down -3.6% at $48.74; Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) is up 3.5% at $54.65 after posting a new 52-week high of $54.98 earlier today (more coverage here); Kior Inc. (NASDAQ: KIOR) is down -13.9% at $6.87; Saks Inc. (NYSE: SKS) is up 6.4% at $11.54 (more coverage here); Esteé Lauder Companies Inc. (NYSE: EL) is up 9.9% at $60.44; and TJX Companies Inc. (NYSE: TJX) is up 1.6% at $44.95 (more coverage here).
Earnings releases are slowing down, but reports scheduled before tomorrow’s open include JDS Uniphase Corp. (NASDAQ: JDSU), Pacific Ethanol Inc. (NASDAQ: PEIX), Pan American Silver Corp. (NASDAQ: PAAS), Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF), Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A), Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ), Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE), Staples Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS), and Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT).
Some standouts from today include the following stocks:
Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) is down -26.6% at $5.54 after posting a new 52-week low of $5.46 earlier today. The Internet coupon company reported lower-than-expected revenues last night and short sellers are very likely unloading shares today. More coverage here.
Ascent Solar Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: ASTI) is up 8.7% at $1.75 after posting a new 52-week high of $2.31 earlier today. The solar cell and module maker announced a solar recharging case for the Samsung Galaxy S3 phone yesterday and shares had gained more than 50% in two days before giving some of the gain back. More coverage here.
Stay tuned for Tuesday. Minneapolis Fed president Naryana Kocherlakota is giving a speech. We have noted the following events on the schedule (all times Eastern):
- 7:00 a.m. – Mortgage Bankers Association purchase applications
- 8:30 a.m. – Consumer price index
- 8:30 a.m. – Empire State manufacturing survey
- 9:00 a.m. – Treasury International Capital (TIC) data
- 9:15 a.m. – Industrial production
- 10:00 a.m. – Housing Market Index
- 10:30 a.m. – EIA weekly petroleum status report