Investing

24/7 Wall St. Closing Bell -- July 26, 2012: Market Jumps on ECB President’s Vow

The three major US stock indexes opened higher this morning following European Central Bank president Mario Draghi’s promise to “do whatever it takes to preserve the euro” (our coverage here). What he didn’t say is that the ECB’s options are both well-known and the subject of intense debate within the Eurozone. US durable goods orders rose more than expected (our coverage here), and the weekly report on new claims for unemployment benefits also came in better than expected (our coverage here). The pending home sales index fell by -1.4% in June, due mainly to a lack of inventory, which is not altogether bad news (our coverage here). The anticipation for tonight’s first quarterly results release from Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) is not nearly as great as the IPO flutter. Wonder why?

The US dollar index fell today, now down -0.83% at 82.833. The GSCI commodity index rose about 0.6% to 633.92, with commodities prices mostly lower today. WTI crude oil rose 0.5% today, closing at $89.39/barrel. Brent crude trades up 0.78% at $105.19/barrel. Natural gas is up 0.85% today to $3.096/thousand cubic feet following an in-line storage report. Gold settled at $1,615.10/ounce, up 0.4%.

The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA up more than 211 points to 12,887.32 (1.67%), the NASDAQ rose about 39 points (1.37%) to 2,893.25, and the S&P 500 rose 1.65% or more than 22 points to 1,360.02.

There were several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including Altria Group Inc. (NYSE: MO) cut to ‘neutral’ at UBS; Wellpoint Inc. (NYSE: WLP) cut to ‘market perform’ at BMO; Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) cut to ‘market perform’ at Wells Fargo; The Fresh Market (NASDAQ: TFM) raised to ‘buy’ at Deutsche Bank; and Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ: MRVL) raised to ‘outperform’ at JMP Securities.

Earnings reports since markets closed last night have led to some price changes as of the last half hour of trading today: Akamai Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM) is up 24.5% at $35.18; Angie’s List Inc. (NASDAQ: ANGI) is down -10.6% at $13.01; LSI Corp. (NYSE: LSI) is up 17% at $7.08; O’Reilly Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ: ORLY) is down -3.4% at $87.06; Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) is down -2.8% at $28.15; 3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) is up 2.3% at $90.77 after posting a new 52-week high of $92.00; Alaska Air Group Inc. (NYSE: ALK) is up 0.35% at $34.57; Alcatel Lucent SA (NYSE: ALU) is down -3.8% at $1.02 after posting a new 52-week low of $0.99 earlier today; Barrick Gold Corp. (NYSE: ABX) is down -2.4% at $32.97 after posting a new 52-week low of $31.00 earlier today (more coverage here); Agco Corp. (NASDAQ: AGCO) is up 5.9% at $43.40; CME Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CME) is up 2.5% at $52.52; Colgate-Palmolive Co. (NYSE: CL) is up 4.2% at $106.50 after posting a new 52-week high of $106.83 earlier today; CONSOL Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNX) is up 2.4% at $28.54; MetroPCS Communications Inc. (NYSE: PCS) is up 38.4% at $8.69; and Syngenta AG (NYSE: SYT) is up 5.7% at $68.52.

After markets close today we are set to hear from Acme Packet Inc. (NASDAQ: APKT), Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), Clearwire Corp. (NASDAQ: CLWR), Deckers Outdoor Corp. (NASDAQ: DECK), Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD), Green Dot Corp. (NYSE: GDOT), Healthsouth Corp. (NYSE: HLS), and Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX).

Before markets open tomorrow we are scheduled to get earnings results from Arch Coal Inc. (NYSE: ACI), Barclays PLC (NYSE: BCS), Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX), D.R. Horton Inc. (NYSE: DHI), KKR & Co. L.P. (NYSE: KKR), Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK), Ruth’s Hospitality Group Inc. (NASDAQ: RUTH), and Weyerhaeuser Co. (NYSE: WY).

Some standouts from today include the following stocks:

Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE: S) is up XX% at $XX. The wireless carrier reported better-than-expected revenues and its outlook improved. More coverage here.

Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA) is down -XX% at $XX. The social games maker was downgraded by a fleet of analysts today. More coverage here.

NovaGold Resources Inc. (NYSEMKT: NG) is down -XX% at $XX. The junior gold miner got hammered on comments from Barrick Gold Corp. More coverage here.

PulteGroup Inc. (NYSE: PHM) is up XX% at $XX. The homebuilder reported good earnings and a strong order book going forward. More coverage here.

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

  • 8:30 a.m. – Gross domestic product
  • 9:55 a.m. – University of Michigan/Reuters consumer sentiment index

Paul Ausick