Equity markets got off to a good start this morning as all three major US stock indexes opened higher on the news that the Greek parliament had approved a new round of austerity measures, which the country hopes will lead to a $172 billion bailout package from the EU, the IMF, and the European Central Bank. There wasn’t much else to boost stocks this morning, other than Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) finally busting through the $500/share barrier (our coverage here). The dollar gained strength versus the euro as the day went on, putting a little more pressure on equity prices. Crude oil moved up sharply on improving global economic conditions and reports from tanker owners that they would be avoiding Persian Gulf crude supplies (our coverage here). WTI crude rose more than 2% to $100.71/barrel and Brent crude rose 0.19% to $117.52/barrel. Gold settled down less than -0.1% at $1,724.90/ounce.

The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA up nearly 73 points to 12,874.04 (0.57%), the NASDAQ rose more than 27 points (0.95%) to 2,931.39, and the S&P 500 rose 0.68% or more than 9 points to 1,351.76.

There were several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including U.S. Steel Corp. (NYSE: X) cut to ‘hold’ at KeyBanc; Nvidia Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA) raised to ‘outperform’ at FBR; Anheuser Bush InBev (NYSE: BUD) started as ‘neutral’ at Credit Suisse; Alcatel Lucent SA (NYSE: ALU) cut to ‘sell’ at SocGen; and Monster Worldwide Inc. (NYSE: MWW) cut to ‘sell’ at Citigroup.

Earnings reports since markets closed last Friday have led to some price changes as of the last half hour of trading today: Diebold Inc. (NYSE: DBD) is up 9.3% at $37.97 after posting a new 52-week high of $39.72 earlier today; KVH Industries Inc. (NASDAQ: KVHI) is down -8.7% at $9.04; Nam Tai Electronics Inc. (NYSE: NTE) is down more than -12% at $5.83; and Earthstone Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: ESTE) is up 22% at $21.35. See our preview of companies announcing earnings tomorrow.

Other standouts from today include the following stocks:

Blue Dolphin Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: BDCO) is up about 69% at $8.75 after posting a new 52-week high of $10.48. The pipeline and oil & gas producer has no news, but crude prices are rising today and Blue Dolphin is appealing to investors.

Complete Genomics Inc. (NASDAQ: GNOM) is up nearly 40% at $4.60. The DNA-sequencing company has been selected by the Mayo Clinic to supply outsourced whole human genome sequencing.

Chelsea Therapeutics International Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTP) is down more than -38% at $3.08 after posting a new 52-week low of $2.90 earlier today. The development stage pharmaceutical company reported that it would present additional information for its new drug application currently pending before the FDA. More coverage here.

Crawford & Co. (NYSE: CRD-A) is down more than -13% at $3.95. The claims management service reported weaker than expected earnings this morning.

Gevo Inc. (NASDAQ: GEVO) is up nearly 20% at $$10.18. The alternative energy company has no news today. See more coverage here.

Stay tuned for Tuesday. Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser and Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart are giving speeches. We have noted the following events on the schedule (all times Eastern):

7:30 a.m. – Small business optimism index
8:30 a.m. – Retail sales
8:30 a.m. – Export and import prices
10:00 a.m. – Business inventories
11:30 a.m. – 4-week Treasury bill auction

Paul Ausick

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