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The major US stock indexes opened sharply lower this morning as weak performance in the European markets as traders try to figure out what last weekend’s elections mean. Crude oil was also sharply lower this morning. The three major indexes have all come back from losses greater than -1% in the afternoon, but still look set to finish the day down at least -0.5%. The US dollar index rose today, now up 0.14% at 79.716. The GSCI commodity index is down fractionally at 652.27, with commodities mixed on the slightly stronger dollar. WTI crude oil closed down -1% at $97.01/barrel and Brent crude trades down -0.23% at $112.90/barrel. Gold settled down -2.1% today, at $1,604.5/ounce, after briefly falling below $1,600/ounce earlier in the day.

The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA down more than 76 points to 12,932.01 (-0.59%), the NASDAQ fell more than 11 points (-0.39%) to 2,946.27, and the S&P 500 fell -0.43% or nearly 6 points to 1,363.71.

There were several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) maintained as ‘buy’ with a target price of $19 at Argus; Wynn Resorts Ltd. (NASDAQ: WYNN) maintained ‘outperform’ with a target price of $166 at Credit Suisse; Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE: COF) raised to ‘hold’ at Argus; BP plc (NYSE: BP) cut to ‘underweight’ at Barclays; and Synacor Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNC) cut to ‘underperform’ at BofA/ML.

Earnings reports since markets closed last night have led to some price changes as of the last half hour of trading today: Charter Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR) is down up 5.5% at $65.24 after posting a new 52-week high of $66.18 earlier today (more coverage here); Hecla Mining Co. (NYSE: HL) is up 4.1% at $4.04 (more coverage here); OfficeMax Inc. (NYSE: OMX) is up 10.5% at $4.85; Tenet Healthcare Corp. (NYSE: THC) is up 1.4% at $5.11; The Wendy’s Co. (NASDAQ: WEN) is down -4.3% at $4.66 (more coverage here); Rosetta Stone Inc. (NYSE: RST) is up 18.4% at $12.64; and Pioneer Drilling Co. (NYSE: PDC) is up 5.5% at $8.03.

On Wednesday we are scheduled to get earnings from AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL), Agrium Inc. (NYSE: AGU), CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL), Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc. (NYSE: DTG), Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M), Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. (NASDAQ: MPEL), News Corp. (NASDAQ: NWS), Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO), Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA), Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM), and priceline.com Inc. (NASDAQ: PCLN).

Other standouts from today include the following stocks:

Fossil Inc. (NASDAQ: FOSL) is down -36.8% at $79.50. The fashion accessories company revealed a weak forecast today. More coverage here.

Dendreon Corp. (NASDAQ: DNDN) is down -24.6% at $8.81. The drug maker’s earnings were not as strong as expected. More coverage here.

Avalon Rare Metals Inc. (AMEX: AVL) is down -24% at $1.67 after posting a new 52-week low of $1.58 earlier today. The rare earths miner is delaying a feasibility study. More coverage here.

Stay tuned for Wednesday. Cleveland Fed President Sandra Pianalto and Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser are giving speeches. We have noted the following events on the schedule (all times Eastern):

  • 10:00 a.m. – Wholesale trade report
  • 10:30 a.m. – EIA weekly petroleum status report
  • 1:00 p.m. – 10-year note auction

Paul Ausick

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