Markets opened up a bit this morning, but by 10:00 a.m. equities had turned back down, with the DJIA sliding down nearly -200 points before rallying back to its opening mark in the early afternoon. Shares simply couldn’t get any traction in any sector, with heath care stocks losing the least. Crude oil rose to just above $95/barrel, and the firing of two California state oil & gas officials by the governor has raised hopes for speedier permitting in that state, where an estimated trove of 15 billion barrels of shale oil is at stake. In the last half hour of trading, equities rebounded on their way to a gain for the day.

The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA up more than 85 points to 12,068.39 (0.71%), the NASDAQ rose more than 9 points (0.34%) to 2,695.25, and the S&P 500 rose 0.63% or nearly 8 points to 1,261.12.

There were several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including Kellogg Co. (NYSE: K) cut to ‘market perform’ at William Blair. Other changes included Alcatel-Lucent SA cut to ‘sell’ at Citigroup; Toll Brothers, Inc. (NYSE: TOL) raised to ‘buy’ at Citigroup; VeriFone Systems Inc. (NYSE: PAY) started at ‘buy’ at Citigroupl; YRC Worldwide, Inc. (NASDAQ: YRCW) maintained at ‘underperform’ with a price target of $0.05 at Credit Suisse; and Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) started at ‘buy’ at Benchmark.

Here are today’s big post-earnings news reactions with prices during the last half-hour of trading: Tesco Corp. (NASDAQ: TESO) is down about -18%, at $13.34; BroadSoft, Inc. (NASDAQ: BSFT) is down less than -0.5%%, at $36.28; Cameco Corp. (NYSE: CCJ) is down nearly -7%, at $20.00; Coeur d’Alene Mines Corp. (NYSE: CDE) is up nearly 8%, at $29.42; Quicksilver Resources Inc. (NYSE: KWK) is down more than -9%, at $7.62; and Nordic American Tankers Ltd. (NYSE: NAT) is down nearly -4%, at $13.64.

Several other standouts from today are as follows…

Force Protection, Inc. (NASDAQ: FRPT) is up more than 30%, at $5.50. The armored truck maker is being acquired by General Dynamics Corp. (NYSE: GD for $5.52/share in a deal worth $360 million.

American Dental Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADPI) is up nearly 79%, to $18.57. The company is being acquired by a private equity firm for $317 million, or $19/share, an 83% premium to Friday’s closing price.

Tekelec (NASDAQ: TKLC) is up more than 13%, at $11.20. The telecom equipment maker is being acquired by a private equity firm for about $760 million.

OmniVision Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: OVTI) is down nearly -18%, at $14.23. The company revised its outlook to include a sharp drop in fourth-quarter revenues. Shares are down about -50% since the beginning of the calendar year.

Diamond Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ: DMND) is down about -15.5%, at $39.21, after posting a new 52-week low of $38.45 earlier in the day. The company’s stock continues to get beaten up due to a delay in its acquisition of the Pringles business from Proctor & Gamble (NYSE: PG) and an investigation into payments to walnut growers.

Stay tuned for Tuesday. Philadelphia Federal Reserve president Charles Plosser is giving a speech in the morning and Minneapolis Federal Reserve president Narayana Kocherlakota gives a speech in the afternoon. We have noted the following events (all times Eastern):

  • 7:45 a.m. – International Council of Shopping Centers-Goldman Sachs same-store sales
  • 8:55 a.m. – Redbook weekly report on retail sales
  • 1:00 p.m. – US Treasury 3-year note auction

Paul Ausick