24/7 Wall St. Closing Bell — January 3, 2013: Markets Fight Back from Lower Open, But Can’t Buck the Fed (C, PCLN, SPWR, CSCO, ALU, FDO, SONC, MOS, AA, BRK-A, LDK, TSL, YGE, HSOL, LPH, VRNG, GOOG)January 3, 2013 by Paul Ausick
The U.S. dollar index rose 0.67% today, now at 80.358. The GSCI commodity index is up 0.9% at 652.56, with commodities prices mixed again today. WTI crude oil closed down 0.2% today, at $92.92 a barrel. Brent crude trades down 0.3% at $112.12 a barrel. Natural gas is down 1.1% today at about $3.20 per thousand cubic feet. Gold settled down 0.8% today at $1,674.60 an ounce.
The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA down more than 22 points to 13,390.05 (-0.17%), the NASDAQ fell more than 11 points (-0.37%) to 3,100.57, and the S&P 500 fell -0.21% or about 3 points to 1,459.34.
There were a several analyst upgrades and downgrades of note today, including Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) raised to ‘buy’ at Sterne Agee and ‘market perform’ at JMP Securities; Priceline.com Inc. (NASDAQ: PCLN) raised to ‘buy’ at BofA/ML; SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) raised to ‘buy’ at Lazard; Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) raised to ‘outperform’ at RBC; and Alcatel-Lucent SA (NYSE: ALU) raised to ‘neutral’ at Credit Suisse.
After U.S. markets close today and before they open again tomorrow we are scheduled to get earnings reports from Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ: SONC) and Mosaic Co. (NYSE: MOS). Earnings season begins in earnest next Tuesday, when Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) is scheduled to report results.
Some standouts from today include the following stocks:
SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) is up 43.9% at $8.82. The solar panel maker sold two projects to Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) late yesterday (more coverage here) and shares were upgraded by one investment firm. The sale has renewed interest in the solar sector, with LDK Solar Co. Ltd. (NYSE: LDK), Trina Solar Ltd. (NYSE: TSL), Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd. (NYSE: YGE), and Hanwha SolarOne Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ: HSOL) all trading up more than 15% today.
Longwei Petroleum Investment Holding Ltd. (NYSEMKT: LPH) is down 72.9% at $0.624 after posting a new 52-week low of $0.46 earlier today. The Chinese fuel distributor was the subject of a scathing report that called its “purported business operations … massively overstated and a brazen fraud.” Ouch.
Vringo Inc. (NYSEMKT: VRNG) is up 16.8% at $3.41. The intellectual property company is seen as having gained some ground in its lawsuit against Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) based on a comment Google made in a request for a postponement of a ruling setting an ongoing royalty payment from Google to Vringo.
Stay tuned for Friday. Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser, Fed Vice-chair Janet Yellen, and St. Louis Fed President James Bullard are giving speeches. We have also noted the following events on the schedule (all times Eastern):
- 8:30 a.m. – Employment situation
- 10:00 a.m. – Factory orders
- 10:00 a.m. – Institute for Supply Management non-manufacturing PMI
- 10:30 a.m. – EIA weekly natural gas storage report
- 11:00 a.m. – EIA weekly petroleum status report