Markets opened lower this morning, and a modest gain of 80,000 non-farm jobs and a slight improvement of the US unemployment rate to 9.0% didn’t lift investors’ spirits before the opening. Today’s confidence vote in Greece kept financial stocks down as investors try to figure out what it will mean if the Greek prime minister is booted out and the country doesn’t accept the latest batch of austerity tied to the country’s $180 billion bail-out package. The IPO of Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) went off at $20, with shares rising to $31.44 before pulling back to $26.11 in the last half hour of trading. Crude oil is basically flat and gold has pulled back less than -0.5%. The dollar is slightly stronger against both the euro and the yen, putting weight on commodities.
The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA down more than 61 points to 11,983.32 (-0.51%), the NASDAQ fell more than 11 points (-0.44%) to 2,686.15, and the S&P 500 fell -0.63% or more than 7 points to 1,253.23.
There were several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE: BIG) raised to ‘outperform’ at Wedbush. Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) was raised to ‘outperform’ at Zack’s and was named the firm’s Bull of the Day; Royal Gold Inc. (NASDAQ: RGLD) was cut to ‘sector perform’ at National Bank; SandRidge Energy Inc. (NYSE: SD) was cut to ‘hold’ at Stifel Nicolaus; Sunpower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWRA) was cut to ‘underperform’ at Macquarie; and Trina Solar Ltd. (NYSE: TSL) was cut to ‘neutral’ at Macquarie. We noted a change in the solar sector earlier today.
Here are today’s big post-earnings news reactions with prices during the last half-hour of trading: Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX) is up about 6.4%, at $44.04, after posting a new 52-week high earlier in the day; LinkedIn Corp. (NASDAQ: LNKD) is down more than -6%, at $82.09; Analysts International Corp. (NASDAQ: ANLY) is up nearly 28%, at $4.67; Oxigene, Inc. (NASDAQ: OXGN) is down -33%, at $1.22; Rosetta Stone, Inc. (NYSE: RST) is down more than -23%, at $7.77, after posting a new low earlier today; and MasTec, Inc. (NYSE: MTZ) is down -20%, at $17.52.
Several other standouts from today are as follows…
Alon USA Energy, Inc. (NYSE: ALJ) is up nearly 46%, at $11.40. The Israeli-based oil refiner has struck a deal to receive 25,000 barrels/day of WTI crude at its Louisiana refinery, which will give its margins a sharp boost.
DragonWave, Inc. (NASDAQ: DRWI) is up 36%, at $4.91. The company has agreed to buy the microwave business from the joint venture Nokia Siemens Networks.
SemiLEDS Corp. (NASDAQ: LEDS) is up nearly 37%, to $4.04. The company got a huge boost from the Chinese government’s announcement that it will ban incandescent light bulbs beginning next year.
Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) is down more than -6%, at $27.24. The company reported better-than-expected earnings this morning, but asset sales to generate cash are causing concerns among investors.
Imperial Sugar Co. (NASDAQ: IPSU) is down more than -12%, at $6.01, after posting a new 52-week low of $5.75 earlier today. The company is suspending its quarterly dividend.
Seattle Genetics Inc. (NASDAQ: SGEN) is down about -18%, at $18.02. The shares posted an all-time high earlier this week, but the stock price run-up may have exaggerated the company’s growth prospects.
Stay tuned for Monday. Boston Federal Reserve president Eric Rosengren is giving a speech in the morning. We have noted the following events (all times Eastern):
- 11:00 a.m. – Four-week Treasury bill announcement
- 11:30 a.m. – Three- and six-month Treasury bill auction
- 3:00 p.m. – Federal Reserve consumer credit report