July 1, 2013: U.S. equity markets opened higher this morning after a blast of economic data from both Asia and Europe. In China, June manufacturing PMI slid lower. Japan’s economics minister said the country’s real economy is improving, boosting the Nikkei by 1.3%, while the Hang Sang was closed for a holiday. In Europe, eurozone PMI ticked up, but unemployment also rose. German PMI fell slightly while France, Italy, and Spain saw some improvement. In the U.K. mortgage lending was way down, but consumer credit rose. In the U.S. the ISM manufacturing index came in higher, but the unemployment data was lower. Spending on new construction rose sharply in May.
The U.S. dollar index is trading down 0.13% today, now at 83.0320. The GSCI commodity index is down 0.7% at 611.30. WTI crude oil closed up 1.5% today, at $97.98 a barrel. Brent crude trades up 0.8% at $102.99 a barrel. Natural gas is up 0.5% today at about $3.58 per million BTUs. Gold for August delivery settled up 2.6% today at $1,255.70.
The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA up nearly 65 points to 14,974.88 (0.44%), the NASDAQ rose more than 31 points (0.92%) to 3,434.49, and the S&P 500 rose 0.54% or nearly 9 points to 1,614.96.
There were a several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including:
- Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) raised to ‘strong buy’ at Raymond James;
- Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE: VLO) cut to ‘underweight’ at Morgan Stanley;
- BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY) cut to ‘sell’ at Deutsche Bank;
- Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY) started as ‘outperform’ at Credit Suisse; and
- Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) raised to ‘overweight’ at JPMorgan.
There were no earnings releases of note are scheduled before markets open this morning.
A number of ETF reverse stock splits took place today. Among them were the Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSEMKT: GDXJ) and the Market Vectors Rare Earth/Strategic Metals ETF (NYSEMKT: REMX).
Some standouts among heavily traded stocks today include:
Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ONXX) is up 51% at $131.13 after posting a new 52-week high of $132.98 earlier today. The cancer-drug developer turned down a $120 a share buyout from Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN), leading to speculation that a higher bid is likely on the way.
Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA) is up 10.1% at $3.06. The social games maker is expected to announce a new CEO. Rumors point to Don Mattrick, currently the head of the Xbox division of Microsoft Corp. (NYSE: MSFT).
Stay tuned for Tuesday. Car makers will be releasing June sales figures throughout the day. New York Fed President William Dudley and Fed Governor Jerome Powell are giving speeches. We have also noted the following events on the schedule (all times Eastern):
- 10:00 a.m. – Factory orders
- 11:30 a.m. – 4-week bill auction