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US markets opened higher this morning and traded higher for most of the day. The DJIA briefly rose above 13,000 for the first time in nearly 3 years. But in the early afternoon, apparently as a result of a failure to break through the 13,000 barrier, stocks turned south and all three indexes fell below their openings. The announced settlement in Greece boosted the market early, and climbing crude oil prices helped energy stocks all day. Commodity prices also rose today as the dollar lost strength. Crude oil was up sharply, with WTI crude up more than 2% at $105.50/barrel and Brent up 0.81% at $121.02/barrel. Gold settled at $1,758.50, up 1.9%, and a two-week high.

The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA up about 16 points to 12,965.99 (0.12%), the NASDAQ fell more than 3 points (-0.11%) to 2,948.57, and the S&P 500 rose 0.07% or nearly 1 point to 1,362.23.

There were several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including Oracle Corp. (NASDAQ: ORCL) cut to ‘market perform’ at JMP Securities; Itron Inc. (NASDAQ: ITRI) cut to ‘neutral’ at Credit Suisse; CSX Corp. (NYSE: CSX) cut to ‘neutral’ at JPMorgan; ABB Ltd. (NYSE: ABB) cut to ‘equal weight’ at Morgan Stanley; and Gilead Sciences Inc. (NYSE: GILD) cut to ‘equal weight’ at Barclays.

Earnings reports since markets closed last Friday have led to some price changes as of the last half hour of trading today: Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE: BKS) is down -4.65% at $12.50 (more coverage here); Boyd Gaming Corp. (NYSE: BYD) is down -10.6% at $8.57; Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CCO) is down -3.65% at $12.16; Cobalt International Energy Inc. (NYSE: CIE) is down -6.9% at $31.67; Dollar Thrifty Auto Group Inc. (NYSE: DTG) is up 2.3% at $75.08; Hecla Mining Co. (NYSE: HL) is up 9.6% at $5.50; JAKKS Pacific Inc. (NASDAQ: JAKK) is up 0.7% at $15.16; Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M) is up 0.8% at $36.53 after posting a new 52-week high earlier today of $38.21; Medtronic Inc. (NYSE: MDT) is down -2.6% at $38.92; Pioneer Drilling Co. (NYSE: PXD) is down -0.2% at $113.45; Saks Inc. (NYSE: SKS) is up 3.4% at $11.24; Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) is down -4.1% at $59.90; and Westlake Chemical Corp. (NYSE: WLK) is down -4.2% at $57.93.

We have a preview of tomorrow’s earnings reports here.

Other standouts from today include the following stocks:

Threshold Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: THLD) is up more than 43% at $5.06 after posting a new 52-week high of $6.65 earlier today. The pharmaceutical maker announced positive results for its pancreatic cancer treatment.

Corcept Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: CORT) is up 49% at $4.52. The drug maker has received FDA approval for its Cushing Syndrome treatment.

GTx Inc. (NASDAQ: GTXI) is down more than -36% at $3.70. The drug maker reported that the FDA issued a clinical hold on further trials of its prostate cancer treatment.

Chelsea Therapeutics International Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHTP) is down nearly -18% at $2.75 after posting a new 52-weekl low of $2.18 earlier today. The development stage drug maker meets with an FDA panel on Thursday to review clinical data on a new drug application. More coverage here.

Weatherford International Ltd. (NYSE: WFT) is down nearly -14% at $15.34. The oil field services company will restate prior earnings due to what the company calls “material weakness in internal controls over financial reporting for income taxes relating to current taxes payable, certain deferred tax assets and liabilities, reserves for uncertain tax positions, and current and deferred income tax expense.” Weatherford expects to take a charge for $225-$250 million for the years before 2010. More coverage here.

Stay tuned for Wednesday. We have noted the following events on the schedule (all times Eastern):

  • 7:00 a.m. – Mortgage Bankers Association purchase applications
  • 10:00 a.m. – Existing home sales
  • 11:30 a.m. – 4-week bill auction
  • 1:00 p.m. – 5-year note auction

Paul Ausick

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