US stocks opened mixed this morning, with the Nasdaq opening lower than both the DJIA and the S&P 500. The Nasdaq briefly crossed into positive territory this morning, but has traded lower otherwise. There was no further news from Europe today, and the dollar traded weaker against both the euro and the British pound. Most commodities traded higher on the weaker dollar. Crude oil finished the day mixed, with WTI up 1.17% at $103.51/barrel and Brent crude down -0.46% at $119.56/barrel. Gold settled at $1,725.90, down -0.1%, and flat for the week.

The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA up nearly 46 points to 12,949.95 (0.36%), the NASDAQ fell more than 8 points (-0.27%) to 2,951.78, and the S&P 500 rose 0.23% or more than 3 points to 1,361.22.

There were several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) raised to ‘buy’ at Stifel Nicolaus; Wynn Resorts Ltd. (NYSE: WYN) reiterated as ‘outperform’ with a target price of $145 at Credit Suisse; Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA) cut to ‘hold’ at Argus; Ralph Lauren Corp. (NYSE: RL) raised to ‘buy’ with a price target of $202 at Argus; and Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) cut to ‘neutral’ at Baird.

Earnings reports since markets closed last night have led to some price changes as of the last half hour of trading today: Constellation Energy Group Inc. (NYSE: CEG) is down -0.38% at $36.53 (more coverage here); Enbridge Inc. (NYSE: ENB) is down -3.9% at $37.86; SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) is up 11.6% at $8.35 ;(more coverage here); H.J. Heinz Co. (NYSE: HNZ) is up 4.3% at $54.35; and Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE: CPB) is up 2.6% at $32.90 (more coverage here).

Other standouts from today include the following stocks:

Demand Media Inc. (NYSE: DMD) is up nearly 32% at $7.83. The Internet media company reported better-than-expected earnings last night.

Blue Dolphin Energy Co. (NASDAQ: BDCO) is up more than 25% at $10.87 after posting a new high of $11.60 earlier today. The pipeline and oil & gas producer has no news, but crude prices are rising today and Blue Dolphin is likely thought of as an acquisition target.

Cell Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: CTIC) is up 23% at $1.37. The drug maker received a positive opinion for approval of its non-Hodgkin lymphoma drug from a European regulator.

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) is down nearly -15% at $46.74. The drug maker reported a setback on its hepatitis C trials. More coverage here and here.

Superconductor Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: SCON) is down nearly -18% at $1.03 after posting a new 52-week low of $0.90 earlier today. The superconductor materials company completed a private placement of 4.6 million shares at $1.05/share. We have more coverage here.

US markets are closed Monday in observance of the President’s Day holiday.

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

  • 11:30 a.m. – 6-month bill auction
  • 1:00 p.m. – 2-year note auction

Have a great holiday weekend.

Paul Ausick