The three major US stock indexes opened a bit higher this morning, and after some volatility have managed to get to the final half hour of trading with a modest gain. Some news is leaking out about the Greek debt swap deal being done, but what’s being reported is not likely to be welcomed in by ordinary Greeks. The dollar has been down most of the day as everyone seemed to believe an announcement on the Greek debt deal was imminent. The dollar index is down -0.187% — a slight uptick from its lower level this morning — at 78.591. Crude oil is up strongly, with WTI crude up 1.15% at $99.85/barrel and Brent crude up 1.16% at $118.56/barrel. Gold settled up 0.6% at $1,741.20/ounce.
The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA up nearly 7 points to 12,890.61 (0.05%), the NASDAQ rose more than 11 points (0.39%) to 2,927.23, and the S&P 500 rose 0.15% or 2 points to 1,351.96.
There were several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including A123 Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: AONE) cut to ‘sell’ at Wunderlich; Expedia Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE) cut to ‘hold’ at S&P Capital IQ; Research in Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ: RIMM) reiterated as ‘hold’ with $15 target price at Cannacord Genuity; Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) cut to ‘perform’ at Oppenheimer and named ‘Bull of the Day’ at Zacks; and 3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) cut to ‘hold’ at Deutsche Bank. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) got a lift from a target price increase to $665, which we cover here. We’ve also got a story on how Apple gets 80% of the operating profit among all the phone makers.
Earnings reports since markets closed last night have led to some price changes as of the last half hour of trading today: Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) is down -2.1% at $20.00 (here’s our coverage); American Superconductor Corp. (NASDAQ: AMSC) is down -8.74% at $5.50; Bunge Ltd. (NYSE: BG) is up 5.9% at $63.25; Dunkin’ Brands Inc. (NASDAQ: DNKN) is down -2.35% at $28.33; Lorillard Inc. (NYSE: LO) is up 9.8% at $124.46 after posting a new 52-week high of $127.68 earlier today; Pepsico Inc. (NYSE: PEP) is down -3.6% at $64.37 (our coverage here); Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE: PM) is up 2.8% at $80.08 after setting a new 52-week high of $80.99 earlier today; Sirius XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) is nearly flat at $2.19 (additional coverage here); and Teradata Corp. (NYSE: TDC) is up 10% at $63.85 after posting a new 52-week high earlier today of $64.97.
Other standouts from today include the following stocks:
Imperial Sugar Co. (NASDAQ: IPSU) is up more than 79% at $6.02. The sugar refiner and marketer said it is nearing a sale of one of its divisions.
Trina Solar Ltd. (NYSE: TSL) is up 20% at $11.08. The solar panel maker is getting a big boost from a report that China will add about 3,000 megawatts of solar PV generation this year, although some analysts think the total will be double that. Other Chinese solar panel makers are also getting a nice bump from the news. We have another view of the sudden rise here.
Diamond Foods Inc. (NASDAQ: DMND) is down more than -36% at $23.36 after posting a new 52-week low of $21.44 earlier today. The snack food maker will re-state accounting and that jeopardizes the deal to purchase the Pringles brand from Proctor & Gamble (NYSE: PG). See our coverage here.
Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) is down more than -15% at $20.82. The Internet coupon company posted weak earnings last night. See our coverage here.
Taleo Corp. (NASDAQ: TLEO) is up more than 17% at $45.62 after posting a new 52-week high of $45.71. The maker of cloud-based software is being acquired by Oracle Corp. (NASDAQ: ORCL). More coverage here and here.
Ceasars Entertainment Corp. (NASDAQ: CZR) is down about -3.8% at $14.80. The share price nearly doubled at yesterday’s IPO, to a high of $17.90, but the stock is coming back to earth today.
Stay tuned for Friday. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and Cleveland Fed president Sandra Pianalto are speakingWe have noted the following events on the schedule (all times Eastern):
- 8:30 a.m. – International trade report
- 9:55 a.m. – Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment report
- 2:00 p.m. – US Treasury budget report