The major US stock indexes opened flat this morning but started to move higher following the better-than-expected ISM report on manufacturing (our coverage here). Construction spending in the US was a bit lower, but not enough to quell the enthusiasm over the manufacturing report. The US dollar index rose slightly today, now up 0.056% at 78.820. The GSCI commodity index is up fractionally at 684.88, with commodities mostly lower on the rising dollar. Cocoa put up a big gain today, while orange juice posted another sharp decline. WTI crude oil closed up 1.2% at $106.16/barrel, and Brent crude trades up 0.17% at $119.67/barrel. Gold settled up 0.1% today, at $1,662.40/ounce.
The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA up nearly 67 points to 13,280.31 (0.5%), the NASDAQ rose about 4 points (0.13%) to 3,050.44, and the S&P 500 rose 0.57% or nearly 8 points to 1,405.89.
There were several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NYSE: WPI) reiterated as ‘buy’ at Canaccord Genuity; AstraZeneca PLC (NYSE: AZN) raised to ‘neutral’ at BofA; Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF) raised to ‘buy’ at UBS; SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) raised to ‘buy’ at Citigroup; Yingli Green Energy Holdings Co. Ltd. (NYSE: YGE) raised to ‘buy’ at Citigroup; Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) cut to ‘hold’ at Deutsche Bank; and Meru Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: MERU) cut to ‘neutral’ at RW Baird.
Earnings reports since markets closed last night have led to some price changes as of the last half hour of trading today: Arch Coal Inc. (NYSE: ACI) is down -3.8% at $9.39 (more coverage here); Veeco Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ: VECO) is up 14.8% at $34.67 (more coverage here); Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack (NYSE: PBY) is down -21.8% at $11.67 (more coverage here); Archer Daniels Midland Co. (NYSE: ADM) is up 7.9% at $33.25; Corn Products International Inc. (NYSE: CPO) is down -0.14% at $56.98; Avon Products Inc. (NYSE: AVP) is down -7.6% at $19.95; Domino’s Pizza Inc. (NYSE: DPZ) is down -9.6% at $34.18; Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) is down -0.14% at $22.87; and Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE: VLO) is up 0.9% at $24.92.
Other standouts from today include the following stocks:
Stay tuned for Wednesday. Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo and Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker are giving speeches. We have noted the following events on the schedule (all times Eastern):
- 7:00 a.m. – Mortgage Bankers Association purchase applications
- 7:30 a.m. – Challenger job cut report
- 8:15 a.m. – ADP employment report
- 10:00 a.m. – Factory orders
- 10:30 a.m. – EIA weekly petroleum status report