All three major US stock indexes opened lower this morning and the day was mostly a gentle slide for the rest of the trading session. The failed Greek debt deal weighed on futures this morning and nothing came along during the day to lift anyone’s spirits. US consumer sentiment fell slightly in January, the US trade deficit grew, and the federal budget deficit shrank, but now by enough to ignite buyers. Remarks by Fed chairman Bernanke on how to fix the housing mess didn’t offer anything new either. With equities and commodities all lower, the dollar index rose 0.523% today to 79.140. Crude oil is down today, with WTI down -1.04% at $98.80/barrel and Brent down -1.05% at $117.35/barrel. Gold settled down -0.9% at $1,725.30/ounce.

The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA down more than 89 points to 12,801.23 (-0.69%), the NASDAQ fell more than 23 points (-0.8%) to 2,903.88, and the S&P 500 fell -0.69% or more than 9 points to 1,342.64.

There were several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) raised to ‘buy’ at Deutsche Bank; Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) started as ‘overweight’ at both Barclays and Morgan Stanley; American Superconductor Corp. (NASDAQ: AMSC) raised to ‘buy’ at Goldman Sachs; Mastercard Inc. (NYSE: MA) reiterated as ‘buy’ and target price raised to $450 at Argus; and Coach Inc. (NYSE: COH) started as ‘buy’ at Citigroup.

Earnings reports since markets closed last night have led to some price changes as of the last half hour of trading today: LinkedIn Corp. (NASDAQ: LNKD) is up more than 18% at $90.44 (more coverage here); Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) is down -2.84% at $12.30; Capstone Turbine Corp. (NASDAQ: CPST) is down -9.8% at $1.26; Green Plains Renewable Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: GPRE) is down -3.5% at $11.20; Kona Grill Inc. (NASDAQ: KONA) is down -3.8% at $6.05; True Religion Apparel Inc. (NASDAQ: TRLG) is down more than -27% at $26.75; Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (NYSE: LGF) is up 6.5% at $11.73 after posting a new 52-week high of $12.24 earlier today; Move Inc. (NASDAQ: MOVE) is up 14% at $8.65; Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL) is down -2.7% at $100.70; Pharmacyclics Inc. (NASDAQ: PCYC) is up more than 14% at $22.65 after posting a new 52-week high of $23.57 earlier today; Alcatel Lucent (NYSE: ALU) is up more than 13% at $2.2 (more coverage here); FLIR Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: FLIR) is down -3.3% at $24.90; and Ruth’s Hospitality Group Inc. (NASDAQ: RUTH) is up 3.2% at $6.19.

Other standouts from today include the following stocks:

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) is down more than -10% at $43.94. The thin-film solar panel maker is having trouble meeting a financing requirement related to the sale of one of its solar farms to Exelon Corp. (NYSE: EXC). More coverage here.

Tandy Brands Accessories Inc. (NASDAQ: TBAC) is up nearly 71% at $1.77. The clothing accessories maker announced strong earnings and two new brand licensing agreements today.

Cobalt International Energy Inc. (NYSE: CIE) is up 35% at $32.27 after posting a new 52-week high of $36.51 earlier today. The independent oil & gas producer reported significantly better-than-expected flows from a test well offshore of Angola.

RPX Corp. (NASDAQ: RPXC) is up more than 11% at $19.21. The patent risk management company has a contract with Alcatel Lucent that could be very valuable as the larger company begins more aggressively to license its 29,000 patents.

Amyris Inc. (NASDAQ: AMRS) is down more than -28% at $6.95 after posting a new 52-week low of $6.85 earlier today. The biofuel maker’s stock was downgraded following a negative outlook from the company for 2012.

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

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

Have a great weekend.

Paul Ausick

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