The major US stock indexes opened lower this morning following a weak report on non-farm payrolls (our coverage here). The lack of any further data to chew over left the markets with nothing to do but worry about slowing growth. Energy stocks led the slide as crude prices continued to fall (more coverage here). The US dollar index rose today, now up 0.35% at 79.495. The GSCI commodity index is down about -1.3% at 6769.36, with commodities mixed on the gains for the dollar. WTI crude oil closed down -4.6% at $97.81/barrel, its lowest level since mid-February, and Brent crude trades down -2.48% at $113.20/barrel. Gold settled up 0.6% today, at $1,645.20/ounce.

The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA down more than 168 points to 13,038.04 (-1.28%), the NASDAQ fell nearly 68 points (-2.25%) to 2,956.34, and the S&P 500 fell -1.62% or more than 22 points to 1,369.09.

There were several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE: LNKD) target price raised to $140 at Susquehanna; FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) raised to ‘strong buy’ at Raymond James; The Allstate Corp. (NYSE: ALL) raised to ‘overweight’ at Barclays; Red Hat Inc. (NYSE: RHT) started as ‘outperform’ at BMO; and Saks Inc. (NYSE: SKS) reiterated ‘buy’ and target price of $14 at Argus.

Earnings reports since markets closed last night have led to some price changes as of the last half hour of trading today: First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) is down -6% at $16.98 after posting a new 52-week low of $16.80 earlier today (more solar coverage here); SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) is down -2.1% at $5.58; AES Corp. (NYSE: AES) is down -0.7% at $12.13 (more utilities coverage here); Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE: DUK) is up 0.9% at $21.60; Estée Lauder Companies Inc. (NYSE: EL) is down -5.8% at $60.44 (more coverage here); The Washington Post Co. (NYSE: WPO) is down -5.4% at $355.88; Exelon Corp. (NYSE: EXC) is down -0.7% at $38.54; and The Madison Square Garden Co. (NASDAQ: MSG) is up 3.7% at $37.87 after posting a new 52-week high of $38.38..

On Monday we get earnings from American States Water Co. (NYSE: AWR), Breitburn Energy Partners L.P. (NASDAQ: BBEP), Dendreon Corp. (NASDAQ: DNDN), Dish Network Corp. (NASDAQ: DISH), Louisiana Pacific Corp. (NYSE: LPX), Kid Brands Inc. (NYSE: KID), Jinkosolar Holding Co. Ltd. (NYSE: JKS), and Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE: TSN).

Other standouts from today include the following stocks:

Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: BAGL) is up 19.9% at $16.84 after posting a new 52-week high of $17.68 earlier today. The bagel maker and restaurateur reported strong earnings and said it would begin to explore strategic options.

Dolby Laboratories Inc. (NYSE: DLB) is up 17.5% at $44.22. The company reported strong earnings and has signed a deal with Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT). More coverage here.

Body Central Corp. (NASDAQ: BODY) is down -47.8% at $15.11. The young women’s apparel seller reported poor earnings and forecast more of the same until at least back-to-school season.

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

  • 11:30 a.m. – 3- and 6- month bill auction
  • 3:00 p.m. – Consumer credit report

Have a great weekend.

Paul Ausick

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