24/7 Wall St. Closing Bell -- April 19, 2013: After a Mixed Open, Markets Climb Slowly

U.S. equity markets opened mixed this morning as the DJIA was slammed by a number of weak earnings reports both last night and before markets opened this morning. The was no economic data out in Asia today, where markets closed higher. In Europe, Germany’s producer price index came in lower than expected, but industrial production reports from both Italy and Spain were weaker than forecast. There was no economic data released in the U.S. today. Events in Boston today dominated U.S. news.

The U.S. dollar index is trading up 00.22% today, now at 82.736. The GSCI commodity index is up 0.8% at 606.01. WTI crude oil closed up 0.3% today, at $88.01 a barrel, but closed the week down 3.6%, a third consecutive weekly loss. Brent crude trades up 0.2% at $99.69 a barrel. Natural gas is up 0.2% today at about $4.40 per million BTUs. Gold settled up 0.2% today at $1,395.60 an ounce, but posted a loss of 7% for the week, the fourth week in a row that the yellow metal has dropped.

The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA up about 10 points to 14,547.51 (0.07%), the NASDAQ rose nearly 40 points (1.25%) to 3,206.06, and the S&P 500 rose 0.88% or nearly 14 points to 1,555.25.

There were a several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including Varian Medical Systems Inc. (NYSE: VAR) cut to ‘sell’ at Citigroup; Toll Brothers Inc. (NYSE: TOL) raised to ‘buy’ at Keefe Bruyette & Woods; Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) raised to ‘market perform’ at BMO Capital Markets; Texas Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ: TXN) cut to ‘market perform’ at Raymond James; and Coach Inc. (NYSE: COH) cut to ‘neutral’ at R.W. Baird.

Earnings reports since markets closed last night resulted in some price moves today, including these as of the last half hour of trading: Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD) is down 2.3% at $2.45; Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE: COF) is up 6.7% at $56.31; Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) is up 10.9% at $364.03; E*Trade Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: ETFC) is up 3.1% at $9.84; Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) is up 4.5% at $800.35 (more coverage here); International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) is down 8% at $190.54 (more coverage here); Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) is up 3.4% at $29.76 (more coverage here); General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) is down 4% at $21.78 (more coverage here); Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE: HON) is up 3.8% at $74.17; McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) is down 2.1% at $99.73 (more coverage here and our ‘Company of the Week’ story here); Rockwell Collins Inc. (NYSE: COL) is up 2.4% at $61.08, and Schlumberger NV (NYSE: SLB) is down 2.1% at $69.51 (more coverage here).

Before markets open Monday morning we are scheduled to hear earnings reports from Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT), Check Point Software Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: CHKP), Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL), Hasbro Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS), and NVR Corp. (NYSE: NVR).

Some standouts among heavily traded stocks today include:

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: VRTX) is up 58.9% at $84.00 after posting a new 52-week high of $85.90 earlier today. The biopharmaceuticals maker reported positive mid-stage data on a treatment for cystic fibrosis.

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: SEAS) is up 25% at $33.76. The theme park company held its IPO today, going out at $27 a share for 26 million shares. More coverage here.

Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) is down 3.7% at $13.44. The PC maker’s share price fell below the offer price from Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners after Blackstone Group LP (NYSE: BX) announced that it would not make a bid for the company. More coverage here.

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

  • 8:30 a.m. – Chicago Fed national activity index
  • 10:00 a.m. – Existing home sales
  • 11:30 a.m. – 3- and 6-month bill auctions

Have a safe weekend!

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