24/7 Wall St. Closing Bell (BBY, SD, ALL, JCP, KIM, AEP, CVX, D, F, HON, PG, SOA, CPHD, INFI, NRGY, RVBD)

All three major US indexes opened lower this morning following the report that US GDP grew by 2.8% in the fourth quarter. A rise of 3% was expected. Combined with the lack of a solution the Greek debt swap and lackluster earnings from several major US companies, the DJIA has remained down all day though the Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 have turned positive (barely). There’s still about half an hour to go before the close, so there’s still some hope that all the indexes will finish the week on an uptick, no matter how small. WTI crude oil is down -0.13% at $99.57/barrel and Brent crude is up 0.55% at $111.40/barrel. Gold is higher by 0.50% at $1,738.50.

The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA down about 74 points to 12,660.61 (-0.58%), the NASDAQ rose more than 11 points (0.40%) to 2,816.55, and the S&P 500 fell -0.16% or about 2 points to 1,316.33.

There were several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY) started as ‘outperform’ with a $32 target price at Credit Suisse; Sandridge Energy Inc. (NYSE: SD) started as ‘buy’ at Canaccord Genuity; The Allstate Corp. (NYSE: ALL) started as ‘outperform’ at William Blair; J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (NYSE: JCP) raised to ‘overweight’ at Piper Jaffray and maintained as ‘buy’ with target price raised to $49 at Argus; and Kimco Realty Crop. (NYSE: KIM) cut to ‘neutral’ at Citigroup.

Earnings reports since markets closed on last night have led to some price changes as of the last half hour of trading today: American Electric Power Co. Inc. (NYSE: AEP) is down -2.62% at $40.20; Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) is down -2.10% at $104.35; Dominion Resources Inc. (NYSE: D) is down -1.91% at $49.88; Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) is down -3.69% at $12.27; Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE: HON) is up 1.31% at $58.59; and Proctor & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) is down -0.51% at $64.47.

Other standouts from today include the following stocks:

Solutia Inc. (NYSE: SOA) is up more than 40% at $27.35, after posting a new 52-week high of $27.85 earlier today. The specialty chemicals company has agreed to be acquired by Eastman Chemical Co. (NYSE: EMN) for $3.4 billion in cash and stock.

Cepheid (NASDAQ: CPHD) is up more than 25% at $42.98 after posting new 52-week high of $43.03 earlier today. The medical diagnostics equipment maker has boosted its sales outlook and is enjoying a halo effect from the hostile takeover bid for Illumina Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN).

Infinity Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: INFI) is down -40% at $5.97. The drug maker has cancelled further trials of a pancreatic cancer drug that does not perform better than placebo.

Inergy L.P. (NYSE: NRGY) is down nearly -24% at $17.31 after posting a new 52-week low of $17.23 earlier today. The natural gas distribution company is cutting payouts to its unitholders.

Riverbed Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: RVBD) is down nearly -19% at $24.38. The networking technology company warned this morning that first-quarter sales growth would not meet previous expectations.

Stay tuned for Monday. We have noted the following events on the schedule (all times Eastern):

  • 8:30 a.m. – Personal income and outlays
  • 11:30 a.m. – 3- and 6-month Treasury bill auctions

Have a great weekend.

Paul Ausick

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