24/7 Wall St. Closing Bell -- November 6, 2012: Markets Open and Close Higher (CS, CMG, BEAM, SMRT, USM, CF, ESRX, PAA, WLT, Z, AMSC, AOL, CVC, CVS, FOSL, LPX, VVUS, GDP, NWSA, RAX, TWO, AES, AGU, CLH, ENB, HFC, JRCC, LEAP, M, THC, TWX, WLP, THQI, CDE, ODP)
U.S. equity markets opened higher this morning as investors seemed to prefer a little risk trading on U.S. election day. Asian markets were cautious ahead of today’s elections, while in Europe some weak non-manufacturing PMI data did not seem to curb traders’ enthusiasm (more coverage here). One surprise in Asia was that the Royal Bank of Australia held interest rates at 3.25% when most observers were expecting a 0.25% rate cut. There was no significant data release in the U.S. today, but a $32 billion Treasury auction of 3-year notes went out at the highest yield in seven months (more coverage here).
The U.S. dollar index fell today, now down 0.22% at 80.573. The GSCI commodity index is up 0.6% at 629.85, with commodities prices mostly higher today. WTI crude oil closed up 3.6% today, at $88.71 a barrel. Brent crude trades up 2.8% at $110.72 a barrel. Natural gas is up 1.6% today at about $3.61 per thousand cubic feet. Gold closed at $1,715.00 an ounce, up 1.9% for the day.
The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA up about 133 points to 13,245.52 (1.01%), the NASDAQ rose more than 12 points (0.41%) to 3,011.93, and the S&P 500 rose 0.78% or about 11 points to 1,428.36.
There were several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including Credit Suisse Group (NYSE: CS) raised to ‘equal weight’ at Barclays; Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) raised to ‘buy’ with no change to target price of $320 at BofA/ML; Beam Inc. (NYSE: BEAM) reiterated as ‘buy’ with target price of $74 at Argus; Stein Mart Inc. (NASDAQ: SMRT) started as ‘outperform’ with a target price of $10 at Credit Suisse; and United States Cellular Corp. (NYSE: USM) raised to ‘neutral’ at JPMorgan.
Earnings reports since U.S. markets closed last night have resulted in some price moves today, including these as of the last half hour of trading: CF Industries Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CF) is up 0.3% at $206.16; Express Scripts Holding Co. (NASDAQ: ESRX) is down 12.6% at $54.94; Plains All American Pipeline LP (NYSE: PAA) is up 2.8% at $46.72 after posting a new 52-week high of $46.77 earlier today; Walter Energy Co. (NYSE: WLT) is up 2.5% at $37.45; Zillow Inc. (NASDAQ: Z) is down 18.1% at $28.14 (more coverage here); American Superconductor Corp. (NASDAQ: AMSC) is up 3% at $3.78; AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) is up 17.8% at $42.18 after posting a new 52-week high of $42.29 earlier today (more coverage here); Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) is up 6.7% at $15.43 (more coverage here); CVS Caremark Corp. (NYSE: CVS) is up 0.6% at $46.92 (more coverage here); Fossil Inc. (NASDAQ: FOSL) is down 10.6% at $83.53; Louisiana Pacific Corp. (NYSE: LPX) is down 1.3% at $15.84; and Vivus Inc. (NASDAQ: VVUS) is down 19.9% at $11.97.
After markets close today and before they open tomorrow morning we are scheduled to hear from Goodrich Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: GDP), News Corp. (NASDAQ: NWSA), Rackspace Hosting Inc. (NYSE: RAX), Two Harbors Investment Corp. (NYSE: TWO), AES Corp. (NYSE: AES), Agrium Inc. (NYSE: AGU), Clean Harbors Inc. (NYSE: CLH), Enbridge Inc. (NYSE: ENB), HollyFrontier Corp. (NYSE: HFC), James River Coal Co. (NASDAQ: JRCC), Leap Wireless International Inc. (NASDAQ: LEAP), Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M), Tenet Healthcare Corp. (NYSE: THC), Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX), and WellPoint Inc. (NYSE: WLP).
Some standouts from today include the following stocks:
THQ Inc. (NASDAQ: THQI) is down 49.3% at $1.53 after posting a new 52-week low of $1.49 earlier today. The video game maker will delay the introduction of revisions to a number of its top-selling games and has hired an advisor to help it evaluate its options and raise cash.
Office Depot Inc. (NYSE: ODP) is up 17.5% at $2.95. The office supply retailer reported results this morning that were weak, but chatter about a potential merger with OfficeMax Inc. (NYSE: OMX) put a charge into the share price. 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 purchase applications
- 10:30 a.m. – EIA weekly petroleum status report
- 1:00 p.m. – 10-year note auction
- 3:00 p.m. – Consumer credit