July 23, 2013: U.S. equity markets opened higher this morning, but only the DJIA was able to stay in positive territory throughout the day. There was little economic data out of Europe today, but Spain did raise its own estimate of second quarter GDP from a negative 0.5% to a negative 0.1%. In Asia, China’s premier set a floor for 2013 GDP growth at 7% and he made clear that the country’s growth should not fall below that level. In the U.S., the FHFA reported that the May housing price index rose 0.7%. The Richmond Fed’s manufacturing survey came in at a an unexpectedly low level in July after rising nicely in June.
The U.S. dollar index is trading down 0.29% today, now at 81.9780. The GSCI commodity index is down 0.3% at 648.43. WTI crude oil closed up 0.3% today, at $107.23 a barrel, marking the first day of trading on futures September as the prompt month contract. Brent crude trades up 0.4% at $108.53 a barrel. Natural gas is up 1.6% today at about $3.74 per million BTUs. Gold for August delivery settled down 0.1% today at $1,334.70 an ounce.
The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA up about 22 points to 15,567.74 (0.14%), the NASDAQ fell 21 points (-0.59%) to 3,579.27, and the S&P 500 fell -0.19% or about 3 points to 1,692.39.
There were a several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including:
- Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) cut to ‘hold’ at Needham;
- General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) reiterated as ‘outperform’ and price target raised to $27 at Credit Suisse;
- Charter Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR) reinstated as ‘outperform’ with a $147 price target at Credit Suisse;
- Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) raised to ‘outperform’ at Cowen & Co.; and
- Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE: HON) reiterated as ‘outperform’ and price target raised to $91 at Oppenheimer.
Earnings reports since markets closed last night resulted in some prices move today:
- Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) is down 4.7% at $249.66 on a low new subscribers number;
- Texas Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ: TXN) is up 4.2% at $39.01;
- E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (NYSE: DD) is down 0.1% at $57.10 after posting a new 52-week high of $60.40 on strong earnings;
- Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE: FCX) is up 3.2% at $30.08 after beating pretty low expectations;
- Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) is up 1.9% at $117.80 after posting a new 52-week high of $119.61 earlier today after solid earnings and raised guidance;
- Peabody Energy Corp. (NYSE: BTU) is up 4.9% at $17.12 after a positive earnings surprise; and
- Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE: VLO) is up 0.1% at $35.31 after meeting lowered earnings expectations.
Before markets open tomorrow morning we are scheduled to hear earnings results from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Broadcom Corp. (NASDAQ: BRCM), Panera Bread Co. (NASDAQ: PNRA), Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA), Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT), Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL), Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F), PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE: PEP), and WellPoint Inc. (NYSE: WLP).
Some standouts among heavily traded stocks today include:
Stay tuned for Wednesday. We have noted the following events on the schedule (all times Eastern):
- 7:00 a.m. – Mortgage Bankers Association purchase applications
- 10:00 a.m. – New home sales
- 10:30 a.m. – EIA weekly petroleum status report
- 1:00 p.m. – 5-year note auction