The three major US stock indexes opened higher this morning as European markets responded positively to reports that Greece is less likely to leave the eurozone. There was also speculation that China would add additional stimulus to its economy which is slowing more than investors would like to see. In the US, consumer confidence fell during May (our coverage here). The US dollar index rose today, now up 0.09% at 82.478. The GSCI commodity index is up fractionally at 620.51, with commodities prices mixed. WTI crude oil closed down -0.1% at $90.76/barrel, and Brent crude trades down -0.43% at $106.65/barrel. Natural gas fell -5.4% today to $2.43/thousand cubic feet. Gold is settled down -1.3% today, at $1,551.00/ounce.
The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA up nearly 126 points to 12,580.69 (1.01%), the NASDAQ rose more than 33 points 1.18%) to 2,870.99, and the S&P 500 rose 1.11% or nearly 15 points to 1,332.42.
There were several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) raised to ‘buy’ at Citigroup; Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) started as ‘buy’ at CLSA; Peabody Energy Corp. (NYSE: BTU) raised to ‘buy’ at Goldman Sachs; Western Digital Corp. (NYSE: WDC) cut to ‘equal-weight’ at Barclays; and Footlocker Inc. (NYSE: FL) raised to ‘buy’ at Deutsche Bank.
Earnings reports since markets closed last Friday have led to some price changes as of the last half hour of trading today: Sanderson Farms Inc. (NASDAQ: SAFM) is down -3.3% at $52.53 and Seanergy Maritime Holdings Group Corp. (NASDAQ: SHIP) is down -14.4% at $2.31.
On Wednesday, we are scheduled to get earnings reports from Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp (NYSE: BAH), Cosan Ltd. (NYSE: CZZ), Fresh Market Inc. (NYSE: TFM), Hanwha Solarone Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ: HSOL), Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (NYSE: LGF), Tivo Inc. (NASDAQ: TIVO), and Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd. (NYSE: YGE).
Other standouts from today include the following stocks:
Interline Brands Inc. (NYSE: IBI) is up 39.8% at $25.08 after posting a new 52-week high of $25.21. The distributor of janitorial, plumbing, and lighting products is being acquired for $1.1 billion (including debt) by the private equity unit of Goldman Sachs and P2 Capital Partners LLC.
LDK Solar Co. Ltd. (NYSE: LDK) is down -19.6% at $1.80 after posting a new 52-week low of $1.79. The Chinese solar panel maker was singled out in an article by Digitimes on weakness among the country’s solar makers. More coverage here.
Stay tuned for Wednesday. New York Fed President William Dudley, Dallas Fed Richard Fisher, and Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren are giving speeches. We have also noted the following events on the schedule for Tuesday (all times Eastern):
- 7:00 a.m. – Mortgage Bankers Association purchase applications
- 7:30 a.m. – Challenger job-cut report
- 10:00 a.m. – Pending home sales index
- 11:30 a.m. – 4- and 52-week bill auctions
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