Investing

24/7 Wall St. Closing Bell -- July 24, 2012: Markets Fall on Weak Quarterly Results

The three major US stock indexes opened roughly flat this morning as Spanish 10-year bond yields rose to 7.5% and Moody’s cut Germany’s outlook to ‘negative’ after the markets closed last night (more coverage here). In Asia, China’s flash PMI reading came in better than expected (our coverage here

). European PMI was flat, but the indications are that Germany’s slowdown continues (our coverage here). In the US, the FHFA housing price index rose slightly in May (our coverage here), but the rise had little effect on equities. Relatively weak earnings reports and lowered guidance is keeping volume low and prices underwater today.

The US dollar index rose today, now up 0.38% at 84.024. The GSCI commodity index fell about -2.8% to 633.47, with commodities prices mostly lower today on the stronger dollar. Corn fell to around $7.725/bushel today. WTI crude oil rose 0.4% today, closing at $88.50/barrel. Brent crude trades up 0.38% at $103.65/barrel. Natural gas is up 2% today to $3.179/thousand cubic feet. Gold settled at $1,576.20/ounce, down -0.1% (more coverage here).

The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA down more than 104 points to 12,617.32 (-0.82%), the NASDAQ fell more than  27 points (-0.94%) to 2,862.99, and the S&P 500 fell -0.90% or more than 12 points to 1,338.32.

There were several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including RadioShack Corp. (NYSE: RSH) cut to ‘sell’ at UBS; Wisconsin Energy Corp. (NYSE: WEC) cut to ‘sell’ at Goldman Sachs; American International Group Inc. (NYSE: AIG) started as ‘overweight’ at Evercore; MetroPCS Communications Inc. (NYSE: PCS) raised to ‘outperform’ at Macquarie; and Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) cut to ‘hold’ at Argus.

Earnings reports since markets closed last night have led to some price changes as of the last half hour of trading today: Steel Dynamics Inc. (NASDAQ: STLD) is down -2.5% at $11.92; Baidu Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU) is up 7.6% at $115.26 (more coverage here); Celanese Corp. (NYSE: CE) is up 5.7% at $37.54; VMWare Inc. (NYSE: VMW) is down -0.9% at $88.44; AK Steel Holding Corp. (NYSE: AKS) is down -1.4% at $4.93; Altria Group Inc. (NYSE: MO) is up 0.2% at $35.56 (more coverage here); AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is down -2.5% at $34.51 (more coverage here); Boyd Gaming Corp. (NYSE: BYD) is down -17% at $5.53; E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (NYSE: DD) is down -2% at $47.74 (more coverage here); Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) is up 1% at $87.80; Peabody Energy Corp. (NYSE: BTU) is down -11.1% at $20.59 after posting a new 52-week low of $20.29 earlier today (more coverage here); and United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE: UPS) is down -5% at $74.02 (more coverage here).

After markets close today we are set to hear from Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. (NYSE: COG), Edwards Lifesciences Corp. (NYSE: EW), EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), and Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE: NSC) among many others.

Before markets open tomorrow we are scheduled to get earnings results from AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL), ARM Holdings PLC (NASDAQ: ARMH), Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT), ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP), Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE: LLY), General Dynamics Corp. (NYSE: GD), Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F), JetBlue Airways Corp. (NASDAQ: JBLU), Pepsico Inc. (NYSE: PEP), and Wellpoint Inc. (NYSE: WLP).

Some standouts from today include the following stocks:

Sarepta Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: SRPT) is up 153% at $8.75. The drugmaker announced strong positive results for a muscular dystrophy treatment.

Chuy Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: CHUY) is up 17.5% at $15.28. The restaurant chain held its IPO today at an offering price of $13/share.

DeVry Inc. (NYSE: DV) is down -24.8% at $20.72 after posting a new 52-week low of $19.30 earlier today. The for-profit education company reported awful quarterly results today, with more to come. More coverage here.

Elan Corp. (NYSE: ELN) is down -14.7% at $11.53. The drugmaker’s jointly developed Alzheimer’s drug failed a late stage trial. More coverage here.

Stay tuned for Wednesday. We have noted the following events on the schedule (all times Eastern):

  • 7:00 a.m. – Mortgage Bankers Association mortgage purchase applications
  • 10:00 a.m. – New home sales
  • 10:30 a.m. – EIA weekly petroleum status report
  • 1:00 p.m. – 5-year note auction

Paul Ausick