July 8, 2013: U.S. equity markets opened higher this morning following a long holiday weekend interrupted by Friday’s report on jobs and the unemployment rate. In Europe, the troika of the EC, the ECB, and the IMF said Greece needs to make more progress by firing more public sector workers, sparking more protests inside the country. Germany posted a trade surplus that was smaller than expected and industrial production in the country rose a tick. In Asia, Citigroup lowered its estimate of China’s 2013 GDP growth from 7.7% to 7.4%. This afternoon’s report on a sharp jump in U.S. consumer credit did not have much of an impact on stocks.
The U.S. dollar index is trading down 0.31% today, now at 84.1900. The GSCI commodity index is up 0.7% at 634.02. WTI crude oil closed down 0.1% today, at $103.14 a barrel. Brent crude trades down 0.4% at $107.34 a barrel. Natural gas is up 3.8% today at about $3.75 per million BTUs. Gold for August delivery traded up 1.8% today at $1,234.90.
The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA up about 60 points to 15,225.31 (0.65%), the NASDAQ rose more than 5 points (0.2%) to 3,484.83, and the S&P 500 rose 0.53% or nearly 9 points to 1,640.49.
There were a several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including:
- Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) cut to ‘underweight’ at Evercore;
- Royal Gold Inc. (NASDAQ: RGLD) started as ‘outperform’ at Cowen;
- Silver Wheaton Corp. (NYSE: SLW) started as ‘outperform’ at Cowen;
- LinnCo LP (NASDAQ: LNCO) raised to ‘outperform’ at Baird; and
- Dunkin Brands Inc. (NASDAQ: DNKN) reiterated as ‘buy’ and raised price target of $55 at Argus.
There were no earnings reports of note since markets closed last Friday.
Some standouts among heavily traded stocks today include:
National Bank of Greece (NYSE: NBG) is up 19.8% at $3.68. The Greek bank is getting a boost from the country’s negotiations for the next tranche of bailout funds..
Linn Energy LLC (NASDAQ: LINE) is up 8.6% at $25.09. The oil & gas producer is recovering some of last week’s losses on very heavy trading.
Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA) is down 3.6% at $3.31. The social games maker’s stock is finally running out of steam based on the recent appointment of a new CEO.
Stay tuned for Tuesday. We have noted the following events on the schedule (all times Eastern):
- 7:30 a.m. – National Federation of Independent Business optimism index
- 11:30 a.m. – 4-week bill auction
- 1:00 p.m. – 3-year note auction