24/7 Wall St. Closing Bell (AAPL, LNKD, DIS, MJN, GOLD, WDFC, GBX, SVU, AA, AOL, MSFT, CKSW, WOLF)

Markets opened lower this morning on the first trading day in the US following last week’s poor report on non-farm payrolls. Higher-than-expected inflation in China also caused led some observers to suggest that the Chinese government may introduce more measures to cool the economy. The US dollar index fell today, now down -0.21% at 79.720. Commodities were mixed, with wool posting the largest gain and orange juice the biggest loss. WTI crude oil closed down -0.8% at $102.46/barrel, and Brent crude trades down -0.60% at $122.69/barrel. Gold settled up 0.9% today, at $1,643.90/ounce.

The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA more than 130 points to 12,929.59 (-1.0%), the NASDAQ fell more than 33 points (-1.08%) to 3,047.08, and the S&P 500 fell -1.14% or nearly 16 points to 1,382.20.

There were several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) cut to ‘neutral’ at BTIG; LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE: LNKD) started as ‘hold’ at Needham; Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) cut to ‘neutral’ at Citigroup; Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. (NYSE: MJN) reiterated ‘outperform’ with target price of $82 at Credit Suisse; and Randgold Resources Ltd. (NASDAQ: GOLD) raised to ‘buy’ at Stifel Nicolaus.

Earnings reports since markets closed last night have led to some price changes as of the last half hour of trading today: WD-40 Co. (NASDAQ: WDFC) is up 0.56% at $45.03, and Greenbrier Companies (NYSE: GBX) is down -6.4% at $18.45. The new earnings season begins in earnest tomorrow with Supervalu Inc. (NYSE: SVU) reporting before markets open and Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) reporting after the markets close.

Here’s our preview of the coming week’s top earnings reports.

Other standouts from today include the following stocks:

AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) is up 43% at $26.37 after posting a new 5-week high of $27.47 earlier today. The company sold a package of patents to Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) More coverage here.

ClickSoftware Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: CKSW) is down nearly -16% at $10.56. The workforce management software company lowered its first quarter outlook. More coverage here.

Great Wolf Resorts Inc. (NASDAQ: WOLF) is up more than 12% at $7.39 after posting a new 52-week high of $7.45 earlier today. The company is the target of a bidding war. More coverage here.

Soon-to-be-public Facebook Inc. paid $1 billion in cash and stock for photo-sharing site Instagram. More coverage here.

Stay tuned for Tuesday. Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren, Minneapolis Fed President Naryana Kocherlakota, Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher, and Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart are all giving speeches. We have noted the following events on the schedule (all times Eastern):

  • 7:30 a.m. – NFIB small business optimism index
  • 10:00 a.m. – Wholesale trade
  • 11.30 a.m. – 4-week bill auction
  • 1:00 p.m. – 3-year note auction

Paul Ausick

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