Stocks opened higher this morning and have mostly remained in positive territory throughout the day. Reports that China was considering lowering its banks’ capital reserve requirements boosted both Asian and European markets this morning, while early morning earnings reports put more air under the opening. Morning reports from the federal government on natural gas, crude oil, and refined products inventories weighed on both commodity prices and energy stocks. Crude is mixed today, with WTI down -0.28% at $100.31/barrel and Brent up 0.7% at $111.44. Gold fell about -0.45% today to $1,652.50.
The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA up about 46 points to 12,625.19 (0.37%), the NASDAQ rose more than 18 points (0.67%) to 2,788.33, and the S&P 500 rose 0.5% or more than 6 points to 1,314.52.
There were several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) started as ‘outperform’ at Credit Suisse; Mastercard Inc. (NYSE: MA) started as ‘outperform’ at Credit Suisse; Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) maintained ‘sell’ at Argus; Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) maintained as ‘buy’ with target price of $130 but lowered estimates at Argus; and Air Products and Chemicals Inc. (NYSE: APD) cut to ‘neutral’ at JPMorgan.
Earnings reports since markets closed yesterday have led to some price changes as of the last half hour of trading today: Ebay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) is up nearly 4% at $31.55; Sealy Corp. Inc. (NYSE: ZZ) is down nearly -18% at $1.51; Blackrock Inc. (NYSE: BLK) is down -0.75% at $186.39; Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) is up 2.65% at $6.98; Fairchild Semiconductor International Inc. (NYSE: FCS) is down -3.51% at $14.02; Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE: FCX) is down -0.22% at $44.37; Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is up 5.42% at $18.29; and Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) is up 3.33% at $9.32.
Other standouts from today include the following stocks:
8×8 Inc. (NASDAQ: EGHT) is up more than 26% at $4.30. The telecom services company reported much better-than-expected earnings for its third fiscal quarter.
Trina Solar Ltd. (NYSE: TSL) is down more than -15% at $8.32. The solar panel maker is falling following Germany’s announcement that it will begin lowering its solar subsidies.
JA Solar Holdings Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ: JASO) is down nearly -15% at $$1.80. This Chinese solar panel maker is suffering from the German subsidy cut as well.
Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. (NYSE: STP) is down -14% at $3.18. Another Chinese solar maker hit by the cuts to German subsidies. The list could go on, but you get the idea.
Stay tuned for Friday. We have noted the following event on the schedule (all times Eastern):
- 10:00 a.m. – Existing home sales