The major US stock indexes opened lower this morning following a weekend of elections in Europe. A new Socialist party president in France and a still very cloudy future in Greece have left investors in a quandry. We have more coverage here on the French election and here on the election in Greece. By the last hour of trading, shares had recovered nearly all of the early losses and the three major indexes are either slightly positive or on the way to positive territory. The US dollar index rose today, now up 0.09% at 79.573. The GSCI commodity index is down about -2.3% at 653.60, with commodities mixed on the slightly stronger dollar. WTI crude oil closed down -0.6% at $97.94/barrel and Brent crude trades down -0.08% at $113.09/barrel. Gold settled down -0.4% today, at $1,639.10/ounce.

The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA down nearly 30 points to 13,008.53 (-0.23%), the NASDAQ rose less than 2 points (0.05%) to 2,957.76, and the S&P 500 rose 0.48% or less than 1 point to 1,369.58.

There were several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) cut to ‘neutral’ at Argus; Pepsico Inc. (NYSE: PEP) raised to ‘overweight’ at Morgan Stanley; Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) cut to ‘market perform’ at Wells Fargo; Illumina Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN) raised to ‘outperform’ with a price target of $55 at Credit Suisse; and Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL) cut to ‘neutral’ 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: Allied Nevada Gold Corp. (AMEX: ANV) is down about -10% at $25.59 after posting a new 52-week low of $25.37 earlier today; American States Water Co. (NYSE: AWR) is up 3.6% at $37.09; Breitburn Energy Partners L.P. (NASDAQ: BBEP) is down -2.4% at $17.54; Coeur d’Alene Mines Corp. (NYSE: CDE) is down -4.1% at $18.99 after posting a new 52-week low of $18.71; Dish Network Corp. (NASDAQ: DISH) is down -0.93% at $31.02; Louisiana Pacific Corp. (NYSE: LPX) is up 5.9% at $9.49; Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE: TSN) is up 3.4% at $18.65; and HollyFrontier Corp. (NYSE: HFC) is down -2.4% at $28.82 (more coverage here).

On Tuesday we are scheduled to get earnings from Charter Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR), Demand Media Inc. (NYSE: DMD), Hecla Mining Co. (NYSE: HL), OfficeMax Inc. (NYSE: OMX), Tenet Healthcare Corp. (NYSE: THC), The Wendy’s Co. (NYSE: WEN), and Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS).

Other standouts from today include the following stocks:

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: VRTX) is up about 55% at $58.05. The company’s cystic fibrosis drug study showed significant positive results. More coverage here.

Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. (NASDAQ: CTSH) is down more than -XX% at $XX. The IT-outsourcing firm showed good results, but guidance was weak. More coverage here.

BroadSoft Inc. (NASDAQ: BSFT) is down -17.6% at $33.68. The communications software maker posted good earnings, but followed that with soft guidance for the second quarter.

Stay tuned for Tuesday. Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker and Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher are giving speeches. We have noted the following events on the schedule (all times Eastern):

  • 7:30 a.m. – NFIB Small Business optimism index
  • 11:30 a.m. – 4-week bill auction
  • 1:00 p.m. – 3-year note auction

Paul Ausick

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