24/7 Wall St. Closing Bell -- July 25, 2012: Markets Mixed on Spotty Earnings Reports

The three major US stock indexes opened mixed this morning with the Nasdaq Composite slightly negative on an unexpectedly weak earnings report from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) (more coverage here). A weak reading of consumer confidence in Germany (our coverage here

), a negative rate of growth in the UK economy (our coverage here), and a negative report from the IMF on China (our coverage here) were offset by solid earnings reports from a number of big US companies, including Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) and Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) (more coverage here).

The US dollar index fell today, now down -0.55% at 83.539. The GSCI commodity index fell about -0.5% to 631.79, with commodities prices mostly higher today on the falling dollar. WTI crude oil rose 0.5% today, closing at $88.97/barrel. Brent crude trades up 0.98% at $104.43/barrel. Natural gas is down -3.5% today to $3.075/thousand cubic feet. Gold settled at $1,608.10/ounce, up 2%.

The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA up nearly 59 points to 12,676.05 (0.47%), the NASDAQ fell nearly 9 points (-0.31%) to 2,854.24, and the S&P 500 fell -0.03% or less than 1 point to 1,337.89.

There were several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including RF Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: RFMD) cut to ‘sell’ at UBS; Regions Financial Corp. (NYSE: RF) raised to ‘buy’ at SunTrust; ConAgra Foods Inc. (NYSE: CAG) started as ‘buy’ at KeyBanc; Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) raised to ‘buy’ at Miller Tabak; and Apple Inc. cut to ‘outperform’ from ‘strong buy’ at Raymond James.

Earnings reports since markets closed last night have led to some price changes as of the last half hour of trading today: Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. (NYSE: COG) is down -0.3% at $39.37; Edwards Lifesciences Corp. (NYSE: EW) is up 6.2% at $104.76 after posting a new 52-week high of $106.94; EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) is down -0.75% at $25.15; Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) is up 12.3% at $16.63; Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE: NSC) down -0.3% at $71.77; AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) is up 6.6% at $29.31 after posting a new 52-week high of $29.60 earlier today; ARM Holdings PLC (NASDAQ: ARMH) is up 9.9% at $24.55 (more coverage here); Caterpillar Inc. is up 1.3% at $82.52 (more coverage here); ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) is down -2.8% at $53.13 (more coverage here); Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE: LLY) is up 2.9% at $43.21; General Dynamics Corp. (NYSE: GD) is down -2.2% at $62.00; Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) is down -1.1% at $8.96 (more coverage here); JetBlue Airways Corp. (NASDAQ: JBLU) is down -0.9% at $5.23 (more coverage here); Pepsico Inc. (NYSE: PEP) is up 2.1% at $70.25 (more coverage here); and Wellpoint Inc. (NYSE: WLP) is down -12.3% at $53.85 after posting a new 52-week low of $53.26.

After markets close today we are set to hear from Akamai Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM), Angie’s List Inc. (NASDAQ: ANGI), Citrix Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CTXS), LSI Corp. (NYSE: LSI), O’Reilly Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ: ORLY), and Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) among many others.

Before markets open tomorrow we are scheduled to get earnings results from 3M Co. (NYSE: MMM), Alaska Air Group Inc. (NYSE: ALK), Alcatel Lucent SA (NYSE: ALU), Barrick Gold Corp. (NYSE: ABX) (more coverage here), Agco Corp. (NYSE: AGCO), CME Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CME), Colgate-Palmolive Co. (NYSE: CL), CONSOL Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNX), Green Dot Corp. (NYSE: GDOT), MetroPCS Communications Inc. (NYSE: PCS), PulteGroup Inc. (NYSE: PHM), and Syngenta AG (NYSE: SYT).

Some standouts from today include the following stocks:

Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) is down -24.4% at $60.75 after posting a new 52-week low of $59.20. The company flubbed quarterly results last night. More coverage here.

RadioShack Corp. (NYSE: RSH) is down -30.6% at $2.54 after posting a new 52-week low of $2.46 earlier today. The electronics retailer badly missed expectations. More coverage here.

Riverbed Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: RVBD) is up 26.9% at $18.47. The networking company handily beat estimates this morning.

Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc. (NYSE: LL) is up 27.6% at $41.58 after posting an all-time high of $42.04 earlier today. The hardwood flooring company posted very strong results this morning.

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

  • 8:30 a.m. – Durable goods orders
  • 8:30 a.m. – New claims for unemployment benefits
  • 10:00 a.m. – Pending home sales
  • 10:30 a.m. – EIA weekly natural gas storage report
  • 11:00 a.m. – Kansas City Fed manufacturing index
  • 1:00 p.m. – 7-year note auction
  • 4:30 p.m. – Fed balance sheet and money supply

Paul Ausick