house price index posted another sharp jump in May. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index came in lower than expected.July 30, 2013: U.S. equity markets opened higher this morning as traders and investors wait for tomorrow’s announcement from the FOMC. There was little economic data published today. In the U.S., the S&P Case-Shiller
The U.S. dollar index is trading higher today, now at 81.8620. The GSCI commodity index is down 0.1% at 636.48. WTI crude oil closed down 1.4% today, at $103.08 a barrel. Brent crude trades down 0.8% at $106.69 a barrel. Natural gas is down 1.3% today at about $3.43 per million BTUs. Gold for August delivery settled down 0.4% today at $1,324.80 an ounce.
The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA down less than 2 points to 15,520.59 (-0.01%), the NASDAQ rose more than 17 points (0.48%) to 3,616.47, and the S&P 500 rose 0.04% or less than 1 point to 1,685.96.
There were a several analyst upgrades and downgrades<<LINK>> today, including:
- Nasdaq OMX Group (NASDAQ: NDAQ) cut to ‘sell’ and price target cut to $28 at Goldman Sachs;
- Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX) reiterated as ‘buy’ and price target raised to $84 at Argus;
- SanDisk Corp. (NASDAQ: SNDK) cut to ‘neutral’ at Goldman Sachs;
- D.R. Horton Inc. (NYSE: DHI) cut to ‘underperform’ at Raymond James; and
- Sohu.com Inc. (NASDAQ: SOHU) cut to ‘equal weight’ at Morgan Stanley.
Earnings reports since markets closed last night resulted in some prices move today:
- Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: APC) is up 0.3% at $88.92;
- Bankrate Inc. (NYSE: RATE) is up 17.2% at $18.49 after posting a new 52-week high of $19.75 earlier today;
- Express Scripts Holding Co. (NASDAQ: ESRX) is down 3% at $64.90;
- Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE: HLF) is down 0.3% at $60.40 after posting a new 52-week high of %66.23;
- 3D Systems Corp. (NYSE: DDD) is down 5.1% at $47.99 on less-than-stellar earnings;
- Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET) is down 0.4% at $63.15;
- Arch Coal Inc. (NYSE: ACI) is down 4.9% at $3.92 on a weak forecast;
- Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW) is down 1.3% at $15.20;
- Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. (NYSE: MSO) is down 0.5% at $2.46;
- Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: OXY) is down 2.3% at $88.43;
- Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) is up 0.7% at $29.74; and
- United States Steel Corp. (NYSE: X) is down 6.6% at $17.73.
Before markets open tomorrow morning we are scheduled to hear earnings results from Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN), IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ: IACI), Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), Boston Beer Company Inc. (NYSE: SAM), Burger King Worldwide Inc. (NYSE: BKW), Hess Corp. (NYSE: HES), Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX), and Weatherford International Inc. (NYSE: WFT).
Some standouts among heavily traded stocks today include:
Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. (NYSE: POT) is down 16.2% at $31.76. The Canadian fertilizer maker after a Russian potash producer fled a cartel and threatened to go after market share by cutting prices.
Stereotaxis Inc. (NASDAQ: STXS) is up 233.1% at $5.92 after posting a new high of $6.90 earlier. The medical device maker received FDA clearance to market its robotic instrument navigation systems in the U.S.
Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) is up 7.2% at $37.94. The social media company announced a new distribution system for games developers, on top of a very well-received earnings report last week. Just a few more pennies and the stock will hit its IPO price.
Stay tuned for Wednesday. The FOMC ends a two-day meeting today. We have also noted the following events on the schedule (all times Eastern):
- 7:00 a.m. – Mortgage Bankers Association purchase applications
- 8:15 a.m. – ADP employment report
- 8:30 a.m. – GDP report
- 8:30 a.m. – Employment cost report
- 9:45 a.m. – Chicago PMI
- 10:30 a.m. – EIA weekly petroleum status report
- 2:00 p.m. – FOMC meeting announcement
- 3:00 p.m. – Farm prices