24/7 Wall St. Closing Bell

The major US stock indexes opened significantly lower this morning as investors reacted to the surprise loss of $2 billion by JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) disclosed by the bank’s CEO after trading closed last night (more coverage here and on the 24/7 Wall St. Wire. A drop in the producer price index (coverage here) and a rise in consumer sentiment (coverage here) put some air back into equities, particularly in the tech sector. Only the Nasdaq has been able to show a positive gain today, with about an hour left to closing, but the other two major indexes are down only fractionally. The US dollar index rose today, now up 0.20% at 80.272. The GSCI commodity index is down about 0.1% at 647.50, with commodities mostly lower today on the stronger dollar. Soybeans and canola were the big losers. WTI crude oil closed down -1% at $96.13/barrel and Brent crude trades down -0.54% at $112.12/barrel. Gold settled down -0.7% today, at $1,584.00/ounce, down 4% for the week.

The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA down more than 34 points to 12,820.53 (-0.27%), the NASDAQ rose less than 1 point (0.01%) to 2,933.82, and the S&P 500 fell -0.34% or nearly 5 points to 1,353.38.

There were several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) maintained ‘outperform’ but estimates cut at Credit Suisse (more coverage here); AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) raised to ‘outperform’ at Credit Suisse; Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY) cut to ‘neutral’ with a target price of $20 at Credit Suisse; Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) raised to ‘outperform’ at Credit Suisse; and Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ARNA) raised to ‘buy’ at Jefferies and to ‘outperform’ at Leerink Swann.

Earnings reports since markets closed last night have led to some price changes as of the last half hour of trading today: Dillard’s Inc. (NYSE: DDS) is up 7.3% at $70.99 after posting a new 52-week high of $72.47 earlier today (more coverage here); ReneSola Ltd. (NYSE: SOL) is up 5.6% at $1.89 (more coverage here); Nvidia Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA) is up 6.9% at $13.28 (more coverage here); and Uranium Resources Inc. (NASDAQ: URRE) is down -2.4% at $0.80.

On Monday we are scheduled to get earnings from Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN), InterOil Corp. (NYSE: IOC), JA Solar Holdings Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ: JASO), Kior Corp. (NASDAQ: KIOR), and Silver Wheaton Corp. (NYSE: SLW).

Other standouts from today include the following stocks:

A number of ETFs had reverse splits of 1-for-5 today, and showed gains of 400% as a result. These included the ProShares UltraPro Short S&P500 (AMEX: SPXU) and other ProShares funds.

Arena Pharmaceuticals is up 76.2% at $6.45 after posting a new 52-week high of $7.01 earlier today. The drug maker received FDA approval to sell its lorcaserin diet drug in the US. Orexigen Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: OREX) and Vivus Inc. (NASDAQ: VVUS) also have similar drugs in development and posted nice gains today as well.

Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) is down -10.7% at $15.35 after posting a new 52-week low of $15.21 earlier today. The company filed is proxy statement with the SEC today and it’s a doozy. More coverage 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 bill auction

Have a great weekend!

Paul Ausick

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