The three major US stock indexes opened higher this morning as despite weak data from the UK and higher debt yields on Eurozone sovereign debt. Spanish 10-year bonds rose to a record yield of 6.8% (our coverage here), and Italian bond yields also rose to 5.52%. The news that the US budget deficit grew to $125 billion was in-line with expectations, and actually gave the markets a little boost going into the last 90 minutes of trading.
The US dollar index fell slightly today, now down -0.08% at 82.451. The GSCI commodity index is down -0.09% at 582.43, with commodities prices mostly lower today. WTI crude oil closed up 0.8% at $83.32/barrel. Brent crude trades down -0.68% at $97.33/barrel. Natural gas rose about 0.5% today to $2.23/thousand cubic feet. Gold settled up 1.1% today, at $1,613.80/ounce.
The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA up more than 162 points to 12,573.80 (1.31%), the NASDAQ rose more than 33 points (1.19%) to 2,843.07, and the S&P 500 rose 1.17% or more than 15 points to 1,234.18.
There were several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) reiterated as ‘outperform’ with a $675 target price at FBR and maintained as ‘buy’ with an $800 target price at Cannacord Genuity; HollyFrontier Corp. (NYSE: HFC) raised to ‘buy’ with a $40 target price at Argus; Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ: LULU) maintained as ‘hold’ at Argus; Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) raised to ‘outperform’ at Bernstein; and The Blackstone Group LP (NYSE: BX) raised to ‘overweight’ at Barclays.
Earnings reports since markets closed last night have been scarce, but here are some price changes for reporting companies as of the last half hour of trading today: Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: KORS) is up 7% at $40.86; Finisar Corp. (NASDAQ: FNSR) is up 3.8% at $13.99; FactSet Research Systems Inc. (NYSE: FDS) is down -12% at $92.04; Shanda Games Ltd. (NASDAQ: GAME) is up 1.7% at $4.12; and Majesco Entertainment Co. (NASDAQ: COOL) is up 1.1% at $1.91.
Other standouts from today include the following stocks:
Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA) is down -10.3% at $4.98 after posting a new post-IPO low of $4.78 earlier today. The social network game maker got a negative call from an analyst at Cowen today. More coverage here.
Stay tuned for Wednesday. We have noted the following events (all times Eastern):
- 7:00 a.m. – Mortgage Bankers Association purchase applications
- 8:30 a.m. – Producer price index
- 8:30 a.m. – Retail sales from the US Census Bureau
- 10:00 a.m. – Business inventories
- 10:30 a.m. – EIA weekly petroleum status report
- 1:00 p.m. – 10-year note auction