U.S. equity markets opened higher this morning following some mixed economic data released in China. The country’s CPI rose less than expected, producer prices fell, fixed asset investment rose a little less than expected, industrial production was also higher, and retail sales rose the expected 12.9%. Chinese markets are closed until Thursday for a holiday. Japan’s first quarter GDP growth was revised up to 1% and household confidence rose more than 1 point. No significant data was released in either Europe or the U.S. today.
The U.S. dollar index is trading up 0.03% today, now at 81.6910. The GSCI commodity index is up 0.4% at 631.05. WTI crude oil closed down 0.2%, at $95.77 a barrel. Brent crude trades down 0.5% at $104.01 a barrel. Natural gas is down 0.4% today at about $3.81 per million BTUs. Gold settled up 0.2% today at $1,386.00.
The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA down about 10 points to 15,238.06 (-0.07%), the NASDAQ rose more than 4 points (0.13%) to 3,473.77, and the S&P 500 fell -0.04% or less than 1 point to 1,642.77.
There were a several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including:
- CVR Energy Inc. (NYSE: CVI) cut to ‘sell’ at Goldman Sachs;
- AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) raised to ‘buy’ with a price target of $42 at Argus;
- Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) raised to ‘buy’ at Stifel Nicolaus;
- BHP Billiton PLC (NYSE: BHP) raised to ‘buy’ at BofA/Merrill Lynch; and
- Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) cut to ‘market perform’ at Oppenheimer.
There were no earnings reports of note since markets closed last Friday. Before markets open tomorrow morning we are scheduled to hear earnings from Diamond Foods Inc. (NASDAQ: DMND), Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ: LULU), Majesco Entertainment Co. (NASDAQ: COOL), Pep Boys – Manny Moe and Jack (NYSE: PBY), and LDK Solar Co. Ltd. (NYSE: LDK).
Some standouts among heavily traded stocks today include:
Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ACAD) is up 13.9% at $19.39. The biopharmaceuticals company saw shares rise nearly 21% last week, and the stock has posted a gain of nearly 1,200% in the past 52 weeks.
Dynavax Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: DVAX) is down about 42.9% at $1.41. The biotechnology stock was hit hard by an FDA statement that the agency could not confirm the safety of the company’s experimental hepatitis B vaccine.
Kandi Technologies Group Inc. (NASDAQ: KNDI) is up 38.8% at $7.85, after posting a new 52-week high of $8.29 earlier today. The China-based electric car maker’s stock continues its meteoric rise since last Tuesday, more than doubling the share price in the past five sessions.
Stay tuned for Tuesday. We have also noted the following events on the schedule (all times Eastern):
- 7:30 a.m. – National Federation of Independent Business optimism index
- 10:00 a.m. – Wholesale trade
- 11:30 a.m. – 4-week bill auction
- 1:30 p.m. – 3-year note auction