Traders started off this morning on a bit of a selling spree, but for most of the morning the indexes were roughly flat. In the afternoon, however, selling picked up and all indexes were down sharply by the last hour of trading. A good report on new unemployment claims and some good news on new housing starts and building permits did nothing to put a positive jolt into trading. Gold closed down -3%, at $1,720.20 and silver finished at $31.50, down -7%. Crude oil slid about -3% as well and looks like it will close below $100/barrel today.The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA down nearly 135 points to 11,770.80 (-1.13%), the NASDAQ fell more than 51 points (-1.96%) to 2,587.99, and the S&P 500 fell -1.67% or more than 20 points to1,216.18.There were several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK), which was cut to ‘sell’ at Argus. Other action included Enbridge Inc. (NYSE: ENB) raised to ‘buy’ at TD; Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ: LULU) raised to ‘buy’ at Stifel Nicolaus; NetApp, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTAP) cut to ‘neutral’ at Collins Stewart; and Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) reiterated as ‘buy’ with a $74 target at Canaccord Genuity. See our story on Enbridgeand its acquisition of a pipeline to transport crude oil to the Gulf Coast.Here are today’s big post-earnings news reactions with prices during the last half-hour of trading: China Sunergy Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ: CSUN) is down about -4.6%, at $0.89; Donaldson Co. Inc. (NYSE: DCI) is down more than -4%, at $65.29; Game Stop Corp. (NYSE: GME) is down more than -3%, at $21.79; Helmerich & Payne Inc. (NYSE: HP) is down about -3%, at $53.63; The J.M. Smucker Co. (NYSE: SJM) is down about -2%, at $71.69; Sears Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: SHLD) is down about -4.7%, at $65.11; and Dollar Tree Inc. (NASDAQ: DLTR) is up a fraction, at $76.09.

Several other standouts from today are as follows…

Zoll Medical Corp. (NASDAQ: ZOLL) is up nearly 23%, at $43.80. The medical equipment maker beat quarterly earnings estimates and announced a $50 million stock buyback program.

Angie’s List Inc. (NASDAQ: ANGI) is up more than 25%, at $16.32. The company had its IPO today, and shares have risen briskly from the $13 offering price.

Rambus Inc. (NASDAQ: RMBS) is up more than 23%, at $8.78. The company’s shares were torched yesterday following an adverse ruling in a patent case. Today’s comeback will help, though its a long ways back to the $18 level the stock was trading at yesterday morning.

Viasystems Group Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAS) is up more than 22%, at $18.25. The company withdrew a proposed offering of 4 million shares.

Daqo New Energy Corp. (NYSE: DQ) is down about -19%, at $1.82, after setting a new 52-week low earlier today. The company’s CFO will leave the company at the end of this month. Shares fell -3% early this week when the solar PV company missed earnings estimates.

Stay tuned for Friday. New York Federal Reserve Bank president William Dudley is speaking tomorrow morning and Dallas Federal Reserve Bank president Richard Fisher is speaking tomorrow afternoon. Here’s a list of other noteworthy events (all times Eastern):

  • 10.00 a.m. – Conference Board index of leading economic indicators
Paul Ausick

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