July 19, 2013: U.S. equity markets opened lower this morning following earnings reports from some major tech companies after markets closed last night. The Detroit municipal bankruptcy, though expected, weighed on sentiment today. The Nasdaq hasn’t been able to overcome the start, but the DJIA and the S&P 500 have gained back some of the loss. There was no economic data of note released in the U.S. today, and little released elsewhere. In Europe, German PPI was unchanged and Italy’s new industrial orders rose more than expected. Spain’s trade balance came in better than expected. In China, the People’s Bank has indicated that it will eliminate its floor on bank lending rates while retaining its ceiling.
The U.S. dollar index is trading down 0.25% today, now at 82.6180. The GSCI commodity index is up 0.7% at 651.05. WTI crude oil closed flat today, at $108.05 a barrel, and showed a weekly gain of 2%. Brent crude trades down 0.7% at $108.00 a barrel, the first time in nearly three years that WTI has been priced higher than Brent. Natural gas is down 0.6% today at about $3.79 per million BTUs. Gold for August delivery settled up 0.7% today at $1,292.90 an ounce, closing the week up 1.2%.
The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA down about 5 points to 15,543.89 (-0.03%), the NASDAQ fell nearly 24 points (-0.66%) to 3,587.61, and the S&P 500 rose 0.16% or nearly 3 points to 1,692.09.
There were a several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including:
- ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) reiterated as ‘buy’ and price target raised to $72 at Argus;
- Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) raised to ‘neutral’ at J.P. Morgan;
- Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ: STX) raised to ‘neutral’ at Citigroup;
- Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) also raised to ‘neutral’ at Citigroup; and
- Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD) cut to ‘underperform’ at Credit Suisse and to ‘underweight’ at Morgan Stanley.
Earnings reports since markets closed last night resulted in some prices move today:
- Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) is down 1.9% to $893.77 after posting so-so results;
- Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) is up 7.8% at $406.15 after posting a new 52-week high of $410.12, but the company now has KFC on its trail;
- Intuitive Surgical Inc. (NASDAQ: ISRG) is down 7.6% at $389.40 after posting a new 52-week low of $357.02 earlier today;
- Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) is down 2.6% at $47.81 on decent earnings;
- General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) is up 5% at $24.80 after posting a new 52-week high of $24.95 earlier today following after in-line results and a strong order book;
- Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE: HON) is up 0.6% at $83.45 after posting a new 52-week high of $92.50 earlier today; and
- Schlumberger NV (NYSE: SLB) is up 5.5% at $82.82 after posting a new 52-week high of $83.55 earlier today following on improved quarterly results.
Before markets open Monday morning we are scheduled to hear earnings results from Federal-Mogul Corp. (NASDAQ: FDML), Gannett Co. Inc. (NYSE: GCI), Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL), Kimberly-Clark Corp. (NYSE: KMB), and McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD).
Some standouts among heavily traded stocks today include:
Advanced Micro Devices Inc.(NYSE: AMD) is down 13.9% at $3.99. The chipmaker issued lower margin guidance after beating quarterly expectations on revenues and net loss.
Stay tuned for Monday. We have noted the following events on the schedule (all times Eastern):
- 8:30 a.m. – Chicago Fed national activity index
- 10:00 a.m. – Existing home sales
- 11:30 a.m. 3- and 6-month bill auctions
Have a great weekend!