Investing

24/7 Wall St. Closing Bell (DELL, EW, AKS, STLD, BRCM, GMCR, EDMC, NDAQ, QCOM, BZH, BSX, BCO, DO, LEA, MRK, TTWO, VIAB, ZNGA, MNOV, RGDX, BIOS, URG)

All three major US stock indexes opened higher this morning, and spent the rest of the day bouncing around the neutral line. The reports from retailers on same-store sales in January were mixed, but overall sales failed to meet expectations. Fed chairman Ben Bernanke testified in Congress today, but did not really give the market much of a push one way or the other. The IPO filing from Facebook after markets closed last night pushed some social media stocks up on a halo effect. WTI crude oil is down 1% at $96.63/barrel and Brent crude is up 0.78% at $112.43/barrel. Gold closed up 0.67% at $1,761.30/ounce.

The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA down about 11 points to 12,705.41 (-0.09%), the NASDAQ rose more than 11 points (0.4%) to 2,859.68, and the S&P 500 rose 0.11% or nearly 1.5 points to 1,325.54.

There were several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) raised to ‘overweight’ at JPMorgan; Edwards Lifesciences Corp. (NYSE: EW) cut to ‘neutral’ at Credit Suisse; AK Steel Holding Corp. (NYSE: AKS) cut to ‘underperform’ at BofA/Merrill Lynch; Steel Dynamics Inc. (NASDAQ: STLD) cut to ‘neutral’ at BofA/Merrill Lynch; and Broadcom Corp. (NASDAQ: BRCM) started as ‘buy’ at Canaccord Genuity.

Earnings reports since markets closed last night have led to some price changes as of the last half hour of trading today: Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR) is up nearly 24% at $66.30; Education Management Corp. (NASDAQ: EDMC) is down -17% at $21.19; Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. (NASDAQ: NDAQ) is down -0.6% at $24.62; Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) is up 2.2% at $60.88 after posting a new 52-week high of $61.93 earlier today; Beazer Homes USA Inc. (NYSE: BZH) is up 3.2% at $3.27; Boston Scientific Corp. (NYSE: BSX) is down -3.9% at $5.85; Brinks Co. (NYSE: BCO) is down -17.5% at $24.43; Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. (NYSE: DO) is up 0.35% at $63.29; Lear Corp. (NYSE: LEA) is down -1.2% at $42.48; Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK) is down -0.3% at $38.51; Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO) is down -0.3% at $15.71; and Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB) is down -0.9% at $46.53.

Other standouts from today include the following stocks:

Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA) is up nearly 18% at $12.49 after posting a new post-IPO high of $12.91 earlier today. The social games company got a big boost from Facebook’s IPO filing. Our coverage is here.

MediciNova Inc. (NASDAQ: MNOV) is up nearly 31% at $2.47. The company received a favorable patent notice for a multiple sclerosis treatment device.

Response Genetics Inc. (NASDAQ: RGDX) is up more than 27% at $1.50. The drug maker announced the private placement of about 5.3 million shares at $1.50/share, about 28% higher than last night’s closing price.

BioScrip Inc. (NASDAQ: BIOS) is up more than 15% at $6.73. The pharmacy services provider has sold a portion of its assets to Walgreen Co. (NYSE: WAG) for $225 million.

Ur-Energy Inc. (AMEX: URG) is down more than -13% at $1.22. The uranium miner has issued 1.5 million shares of new stock to agents who will attempt to sell at CDN$1.00.

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

  • 8:30 a.m. – Non-farm payroll report
  • 10:00 a.m. – Factory orders
  • 10:00 a.m. – ISM non-manufacturing (services) index

Paul Ausick