The three major US stock indexes opened slightly higher this morning following the data on new US unemployment benefits claims (more coverage here) and 10-year Spanish bond yields that topped 7% (more coverage here). The Swiss National Bank also encouraged Credit Suisse (NYSE: CS) to raise more capital (our coverage here). US data related to consumer prices came in pretty much as expected and did not influence markets much.
The US dollar index fell today, now down -0.07% at 81.999. The GSCI commodity index is down about -0.7% at 576.87, with commodities prices mixed again today. WTI crude oil closed up 1.6% at $83.91/barrel. Brent crude trades up 0.34% at $97.05/barrel. Natural gas rose nearly 14% today to $2.487/thousand cubic feet, following a smaller than expected build in US inventories. Gold settled up fractionally, at $1,619.60/ounce. A late afternoon rumor related to coordinated central bank actions in Europe pushed shares sharply higher in the last hour of trading today (our story here).
The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA up more than 155 points to 12,651.76 (1.24%), the NASDAQ rose nearly 18 points (0.63%) to 2,836.33, and the S&P 500 rose 1.08% or more than 14 points to 1,329.10.
There were several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including Adobe Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: ADBE) cut to ‘hold’ at Jefferies; Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY) raised from ‘sell’ to ‘neutral’ at Citigroup; Brinker International (NYSE: EAT) raised to ‘buy’ at Argus; Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) started as ‘buy’ at Lazard; and BP plc (NYSE: BP) maintained as ‘hold’ but estimates cut at Argus.
Earnings reports since markets closed last night have been scarce, but here are some price changes for reporting companies as of the last half hour of trading today: Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) is up 5.6% at $22.48; Pier 1 Imports Inc. (NYSE: PIR) is up 1.5% at $15.82; Smithfield Foods Inc. (NYSE: SFD) is down -5.8% at $18.43; and Winnebago Industries Inc. (NYSE: WGO) is up 3.1% at $9.27. Capstone Turbine Corp. (NASDAQ: CPST) and Rubicon Minerals Corp. (AMEX: RBY) are scheduled to report quarterly earnings after markets close today.
Other standouts from today include the following stocks:
Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) is down -15% at $2.37 after posting a new 52-week low of $2.30 earlier today. The Finnish wireless phone maker announced an additional 10,000 firings and more cost-cutting measures. More coverage here.
Lattice Semiconductor Corp. (NASDAQ: LSCC) is down -14.9% at $3.82 after posting a new 52-week low of $3.70 earlier today. The chip maker warned on second quarter revenues and margins.
Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) is down -4.3% at $56.41. The chipmaker is suffering from a report that sales of cutomer Samsung’s smartphones are down.
Stay tuned for Friday. We have noted the following events (all times Eastern):
- 8:30 a.m. – Empire State manufacturing survey
- 9:00 a.m. – Treasury International Capital (TIC) data
- 9:15 a.m. – Industrial production
- 9:55 a.m. – University of Michigan/Reuters consumer sentiment index