Chicago PMI came in lower than expected and the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index rose slightly. In Europe, French consumer confidence tumbled and German retail sales rose sharply. In Asia, a Chinese official declared that the country’s economy is now under control and the Shanghai exchange responded with its first positive closing in several days.June 28, 2013: U.S. equity markets opened lower this morning after a few days of stronger openings, mainly because investors were waiting for some economic data. They didn’t have to wait long as the
The U.S. dollar index is trading up 0.31% today, now at 83.1600. The GSCI commodity index is up 0.8% at 615.88. WTI crude oil closed down 0.5% today, at $96.56 a barrel, closing the month up 4.7% and the quarter down about 1%. Brent crude trades up 1.2% at $102.82 a barrel. Natural gas is down 0.2% today at about $3.58 per million BTUs. Gold for August delivery settled up 1% today at $1,223.70, but gold futures posted their worst quarter ever.
The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA down nearly 115 points to 14,909.83 (-0.76%), the NASDAQ rose more than 1 point (0.04%) to 3,403.25, and the S&P 500 fell -0.43% or about 7 points to 1,606.26.
There were a several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including:
- Accenture plc (NYSE: ACN) cut to sell with a price target of $70 at SocGen;
- Palo Alto Networks Inc. (NYSE: PANW) raised to ‘outperform’ at Oppenheimer;
- GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME) started as ‘buy’ at BofA/Merrill Lynch;
- Vodafone Group plc (NASDAQ: VOD) raised to ‘buy’ at Deutsche Bank; and
- Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) raised to ‘buy’ at Citigroup.
Earnings reports since markets closed last night resulted in some price moves today, including these as of the last half hour of trading:
- Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) is up 2.6% at $63.96 and
- Finish Line Inc. (NASDAQ: FINL) is up 4.1% at $22.07.
No earnings releases of note are scheduled before markets open Monday morning.
Some standouts among heavily traded stocks today include:
Barrick Gold Corp. (NYSE: ABX) is up 6.5% at $15.82 after posting a new 52-week low of $14.67 earlier today. The gold miner is getting a bounce from investors who apparently believe that gold prices have reached a bottom. We covered this story a couple of days ago.
Stay tuned for Monday. We have noted the following events on the schedule (all times Eastern):
- 8:58 a.m. – PMI manufacturing index
- 10:00 a.m. – ISM manufacturing index
- 10:00 a.m. – Construction spending
- 11:30 a.m. – 3- and 6- month bill auctions
Have a great weekend!