24/7 Wall St. Closing Bell — May 18, 2012

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The three major US stock indexes opened somewhat higher this morning as investors paid little attention to last night’s downgrade of Spain’s banks (more coverage here). With little economic data on tap today, US markets waited for the IPO of Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) — and waited and waited. The first trade went off about half an hour late at $42.05, well above the announced price of $38, but the stock wasn’t able to hold on to the gain, ending the day at $38.08. The US dollar index fell today, now down -0.11% at 81.291. The GSCI commodity index is down 0.04% at 633.67, with commodities mostly mixed today. Wheat is the big gainer again today, up 5.7% in Chicago and 4.9% in Kansas City. WTI crude oil closed down -1.2% at $91.48/barrel, and Brent crude trades down at -0.38% at $107.08/barrel. Natural gas continues its climb, up 5.7% today at $2.74/thousand cubic feet. Gold settled up 1.1% today, at $1,591.90/ounce, ending a four-day losing streak.

The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA down 74 points to 12,368.47 (-0.59%), the NASDAQ fell nearly 35 points (-1.24%) to 2,778.79, and the S&P 500 fell -0.74% or nearly 10 points to 1,295.17.

There were several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE: LNKD) reiterated as ‘buy’ with a target price of $135 at Canaccord Genuity; Dendreon Inc. (NASDAQ: DNDN) started as ‘sell’ at Maxim; Bank of Ireland (NYSE: IRE) cut to ‘sell’ at Deutsche Bank; Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX) started as ‘buy’ at UBS; and Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE: S) raised to ‘buy’ at Guggenheim.

Earnings reports since markets closed last night have led to some price changes as of the last half hour of trading today: ANN Inc. (NYSE: ANN) is up 3.25% at $26.69; Brown Shoe Co. Inc. (NYSE: BWS) is up 21.4% at $10.63 (more coverage here); Progressive Corp. (NYSE: PGR) is down -0.1% at $21.32; and Footlocker Inc. (NYSE: FL) is up 8.9% at $30.50.

Next week we are scheduled to get earnings reports fromTech Data Corporation (NASDAQ: TECD); Urban Outfitters Inc. (NASDAQ: URBN); Autozone Inc. (NYSE: AZO); Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY); Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL); PetSmart Inc. (NASDAQ: PETM); Ralph Lauren Corporation (NYSE: RL); Big Lots Inc. (NYSE: BIG); and Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) among others.

Other standouts from today include the following stocks:

Renren Inc. (NYSE: RENN) is down -20% at $4.99. The Chinese Internet company is getting whacked on Facebook’s IPO. More coverage here.

GSV Capital Corp. (NASDAQ: GSVC) is down -18.6% at $13.10. The investment company had a nice hunk of Facebook shares at a very low price — all the value is in today. More coverage here.

Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA) is down -16.3% at $6.92 after posting a 52-week low of $6.90 earlier today. Another stock that climbed on Facebook’s back during the run-up to the IPO, shares were stopped by an automatic trigger shortly after FB shares opened today. More coverage here.

Stay tuned for Monday. Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart is giving a speech. We have also noted the following events on the schedule (all times Eastern):

  • 10:00 a.m. – Existing home sales
  • 10:00 a.m. – Richmond Fed manufacturing index
  • 11:30 a.m. – 3- and 6-month bill auctions

Have a great weekend!

Paul Ausick