US equities opened higher this morning following the report on a US non-farm payroll gain of 227,000 jobs (more coverage here). In Europe, the Greek debt swap deal went off smoothly, but the declaration late this afternoon by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) that the swap was, in fact, a “credit event” sent stocks down sharply though the three major indexes remain in positive territory about half an hour before the markets close. The dollar opened up this morning and got stronger as the day went on, with the dollar index now up 1.07% at 79.987. Crude oil was up today, with WTI crude settling up 0.8% at $107.40/barrel and Brent crude trading up 0.29% at $125.80/barrel. Gold settled higher by 0.8% at $1,711.50/ounce.

The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA up 14 points to 12,921.94 (0.11%), the NASDAQ rose nearly 18 points (0.6%) to 2,988.34, and the S&P 500 rose 0.36% or nearly 5 points to 1,370.87.

There were several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) started as ‘hold’ at Jefferies; Kohl’s Corp. (NYSE: KSS) raised to ‘buy’ at Jefferies; Weight Watchers International Inc. (NYSE: WTW) started as ‘overweight’ (!) at Barclays; D.R. Horton Inc. (NYSE: DHI), Lennar Corp. (NYSE: LEN), and Toll Brothers Inc. (NYSE: TOL) all raised to ‘outperform’ at Credit Suisse; and Arch Coal Inc. (NYSE: ACI) cut to ‘market perform’ at BMO.

Earnings reports since markets closed last night have led to some price changes as of the last half hour of trading today: Alimera Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: ALIM) is down -3.4% at $4.00; Zumiez Inc. (NASDAQ: ZUMZ) is up 5.7% at $34.16 after posting a new 52-week high of $34.44 earlier today; Aeropostale Inc. (NYSE: ARO) is up 2.6% at $19.45; Ann Inc. (NYSE: ANN) is up 6% at $27.36; Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL) is down -1.2% at $30.57 (more coverage here); Ferrellgas Partners LP (NYSE: FGP) is down -2.6% at $16.80; Halozyme Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: HALO) is down -1.8% at $11.30; and Uranium Resources Inc. (NASDAQ: URRE) is up 3.1% at $1.00.

Other standouts from today include the following stocks:

Coffee Holding Co. Inc. (NASDAQ: JVA) is up nearly 38% at $10.81. The integrated coffee roaster and distributor posted better-than-expected quarterly results this morning.

Quest Software Inc. (NASDAQ: QSFT) is up more than 24% at $24.09. The firm has agreed to be acquired at $23/share. More coverage here.

Aastrom Biosciences Inc. (NASDAQ: ASTM) is up more than 21% at $2.21. The biotechnology company has completed a private placement of $40 million in Series B convertible preferred stock. More coverage here.

Dynegy Inc. (NYSE: DYN) is down more than -38% at $0.72 after posting a new 52-week low of $0.59 earlier today. A Delaware court ruled that the company had engaged in a “fraudulent transfer” of assets prior to its bankruptcy filing.

Zogenix Inc. (NASDAQ: ZGNX) is down nearly -18% at $2.05. The drug maker posted a wider than expected loss after the markets closed yesterday.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR) is down nearly -16% at $52.61. The company is being hit hard by yesterday’s announcement from Starbucks Inc. (NASDAQ: SBUX) that it will launch a single-cup espresso and coffee machine to compete with the Keurig products from Green Mountain. More coverage here and here.

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 auction
  • 1:00 p.m. – 3-year Treasury note auction
  • 2.00 p.m. – US Treasury budget report

Have a great weekend.

Paul Ausick

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