After opening higher this morning, markets rebounded from an early dip following a better-than-expected reading on consumer confidence and a bullish report on US new home sales. But sellers took over in the afternoon and the three major indexes turned south, with the DJIA falling into negative territory for the day. Crude oil continues to set new multi-month highs, with WTI ending up 1.8% for the day at $109.77/barrel, and a gain for the week of 6.3%. Brent crude is up 1.42% at $125.37/barrel. Gold settled down -0.6% at $1,776.40/ounce, but posted a weekly gain of 2.9%.

The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA down nearly 2 points to 12,983.02 (-0.01%), the NASDAQ rose more than 6 points (0.23%) to 2,963.75, and the S&P 500 rose 0.17% or more than 2 points to 1,365.74.

There were several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) cut to ‘neutral’ at Susquehanna; Monster Beverage Corp. (NASDAQ: MNST) reiterated as ‘Conviction Buy List’ and estimates raised at Goldman Sachs; Trina Solar Ltd. (NYSE: TSL) cut to ‘market perform’ at Wells Fargo and cut to ‘negative’ at Susquehanna; ARM Holdings plc (NASDAQ: ARMH) started as ‘overweight’ at Piper Jaffray; and Marriott International Inc. (NYSE: MAR) raised to ‘Conviction Buy List” at Goldman Sachs.

Earnings reports since markets closed last night have led to some price changes as of the last half hour of trading today: Allegheny Corp. (NYSE: Y) is up 4.4% at $315.72; Crocs Inc. (NASDAQ: CROX) is down -5.8% at $19.24 (more coverage here); Deckers Outdoor Corp. (NASDAQ: DECK) is down -14.2% at $77.39; Marvel Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ: MRVL) is down -3.7% at $15.46; Molycorp Inc. (NYSE: MCP) is down -7.9% at $26.80 (more coverage here); Superior Energy Services Inc. (NYSE: SPN) is down -1.8% at $29.92; Alpha Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE: ANR) is down -2.9% at $20.40 (more coverage here); J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (NYSE: JCP) is down -0.72% at $41.63; and Newmont Mining Corp. (NYSE: NEM) is down -2.3% at $62.32.

Other standouts from today include the following stocks:

Chelsea Therapeutics International Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTP) is up 61% at $3.88. The drug maker yesterday received an FDA panel approval for a drug to treat symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Bazaarvoice Inc. (NASDAQ: BV) is up about 37% at $16.40. Today is the social commerce site’s IPO and trading volume has topped 8.1 million on an original issue of about 9.5 million shares at $12/share. More coverage here and here.

Kenneth Cole Productions Inc. (NYSE: KCP) is up about 19% at $15.55 after posting a new 52-week high of $16.00 earlier. The apparel maker is being taken private at $15/share. More coverage here.

Rubicon Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: RBCN) is down nearly -19% at $9.87. The LED maker missed estimates and offered weak guidance for the current quarter.

Kindred Healthcare Inc. (NYSE: KND) is down nearly -15% at $10.66. The healthcare services company posted a loss last night and announced that it would not renew 7 of 10 master leases with Ventas Inc. (NYSE: VTR).

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

  • 10:00 a.m. – Pending home sales index
  • 10:30 a.m. – Dallas Fed manufacturing survey
  • 11:30 a.m. – 3- and 6-month Treasury bill auction

Have a great weekend!

Paul Ausick