24/7 Wall St. Closing Bell (BAC, CHTR, HAL, EP, KO, IBM, JNJ, STT, APEI, BMI, CROX, HALO, HOG, HGSI, USU)

Today was a day of red that went to a day of green.  Earnings were at first a disappointment, and producer price index came out far hotter at +0.8% on the headline number before the +0.2% reading if you back out food and energy prices from the producer prices.  The market rallied with financial stocks from the start of the day and the market losses suddenly became gains.  Homebuilders also looked a bit less-pessimistic in their latest survey.  The big news came from a report out of England that France and Germany have supposedly agreed to increase the European Financial Stability Fund to up to $2 billion ahead of the Sunday meeting, although this seems to be a stretch based upon Europe’s slowness to act so far.

The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA up triple digits with a gain of 178 points to 11,575.46, the NASDAQ rose more than 42 (1.6%) to 2,657.43, and the S&P 500 rose 2% or 24 points to 1,225.28.  Today’s top analyst upgrade and downgrade calls were numerous and included Charter Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR), Halliburton Company (NYSE: HAL), and more than a dozen other companies.

There has been a turnaround from the indicated loss in Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC) after its earnings showed that book value managed to actually grow and the stock was up almost 10% at $6.63 late in the session.

Some food for thought… Now the MLP and pipeline sector may look cheap on the heels of the El Paso Corporation (NYSE: EP) buyout.

As far as the other big earnings report reactions today (prices within 20 minutes of the closing bell): The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) was down 0.3% at $66.79; International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE: IBM) was a huge drag on teh DJIA with shares still down 4.5% at $178.30; Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) was up 1.2% at $64.54; State Street Corporation (NYSE: STT) was up 9% at $36.97.

Several other standouts from today are as follows…

American Public Education Inc. (NASDAQ: APEI) lost more than 20% of its value to $30.05 after the American Military University will see far lower tuition assistance from the U.S. Marine Corps.

Badger Meter Inc. (NYSE: BMI) was a loser even if it is supposed to be a water winner after missing earnings estimates.  Shares were down 13% at $29.08 in the final minutes of the day.

Crocs Inc. (NASDAQ: CROX) was a disaster after an earnings warning that would not have been so bad had the stock not been up 100% from its 52-week lows before the report.  The stock was down a massive 39% at $16.20 right before the close on more than 8-times normal volume of 25 million shares.

Halozyme Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: HALO) was such a winner that it should be called “Master Chief” for its stock ticker.  Its subcutaneous Herceptin trial met the study goals and the stock was up over 18% at $7.34 right before the close.  This was not even a 52-week high.

Harley-Davidson Inc. (NYSE: HOG) was about 4% shy of sales targets in its earnings report and that had the stock down 7% to $34.56 right before the close.  With a 52-week high of $46.88, it seemed a bit harsh of a reaction even with slightly lower margin guidance.

Human Genome Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: HGSI) was up over 15% at $12.95 on reports that a $25.00 per share buyout could be headed its way.  We gave a handicap on the odds of a deal happening.

USEC Inc. (NYSE: USU) broke a major run higher today and still no news exists.  The belief is that the loan approval from the DOE may get a better review now that solar loan fraud seems to be prevailing after Solyndra.  Shares were down 4% at $2.10 right before the close.  Still, this was a $1.30 stock just last Thursday.

Stay tuned for Wednesday.  We have speeches to watch from Rosengren and Lockhart on the docket as well as a hearing about ETFs.  Here are some economic releases due in the morning and throughout the day:

  • 8:30 September CPI
  • 8:30 Housing Starts
  • 10:30 Weekly Oil Inventories
  • 2:00 PM Beige Book


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