Investing

24/7 Wall St. Closing Bell -- April 24, 2013: Markets Mixed at Open, Mixed at Close

U.S. equity markets opened mixed this morning as investors and traders tried to make sense of more than 150 earnings reports that were released between last night’s closing bell and this morning’s opening. The most attention was paid to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), where results were not altogether pleasing and the stock has zigged and zagged all day today. There was relatively little economic data released today. In Germany, the IFO business climate index fell sharply (more coverage here) and retail sales were weaker than expected in Italy. In Shanghai, bargain hunters pushed the market up 1.6%. In the U.S., the report on durable goods orders was worse than expected and indicates a weak GDP report coming later this week (more coverage here).

The U.S. dollar index is trading down 0.16% today, now at 82.912. The GSCI commodity index is flat at 607.11. WTI crude oil closed up 2.5%, at $91.43 a barrel after today’s report from the EIA on petroleum inventories (more coverage here). Brent crude trades up 1.1% at $101.44 a barrel. Natural gas is down 1.4% today at about $4.18 per million BTUs. Gold settled up 1.1% today at $1,423.70 an ounce.

The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA down about 43 points to 14,676.30 (-0.29%), the NASDAQ rose less than 1 point (0.01%) to 3,269.65, and the S&P 500 was flat at  1,578.79.

There were a several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including EBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) raised to ‘outperform’ at Wells Fargo; Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL) raised to ‘buy’ at SocGen; CIT Group Inc. (NYSE: CIT) raised to ‘outperform’ with a price target of $54 at Oppenheimer; Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) raised to ‘outperform’ at Credit Suisse; and AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) cut to ‘equal weight’ at Morgan Stanley and ‘neutral’ at Citigroup (more coverage here).

Earnings reports since markets closed last night resulted in some price moves today, including these as of the last half hour of trading: Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is up 0.4% at $407.67 (more coverage here); Broadcom Corp. (NASDAQ: BRCM) is up 7.1% at $35.33; Edwards Lifesciences Corp. (NYSE: EW) is down 22.4% at $64.24 after posting a new 52-week low of $63.50 earlier today; Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) is down 9.7% at $15.67; Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM) is up 7.2% at $68.74; Barrick Gold Corp. (NYSE: ABX) is up 7.5% at $18.90 (more coverage here); Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW) is up 6% at $13.91 (more coverage here); Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) is down 0.1% at $13.35 (more coverage here); Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) is down 5.5% at $77.46 (more coverage here); and Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE: S) is up 0.4% at $7.13 (more coverage here).

Before markets open tomorrow morning we are scheduled to hear earnings reports from Angie’s List Inc. (NASDAQ: ANGI), Bally Technologies Inc. (NYSE: BYI), Fusion-io Inc. (NYSE: FIO), O’Reilly Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ: ORLY), Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM), Vale SA (NYSE: VALE), Western Digital Corp. (NYSE: WDC), Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA), 3M Co. (NYSE: MMM), Altria Group Inc. (NYSE: MO), Bunge Ltd. (NYSE: BG), Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM), HealthSouth Corp. (NYSE: HLS), Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. (NYSE: POT), Proto Labs Inc. (NASDAQ: PRLB), and Safeway Inc. (NYSE: SWY).

Some standouts among heavily traded stocks today include:

SuperValu Inc. (NYSE: SVU) is up 11% at $5.95. The supermarket chain reported a wider loss this morning, but investors apparently like what the company had to say about the next few quarters.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is down 5.2% at $36.97. The telecom giant is just too big to expect growth. More coverage here.

BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY) is up 4.2% at $14.93. The smartphone maker is adding Skype to its app lineup, and combined with some analysts’ concerns about Apple, that appears to be enough to boost the shares.

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

  • 8:30 a.m. – New claims for unemployment benefits
  • 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