Closing Bell for Monday on Wall Street: Markets Mixed at Open, Mixed at Close

U.S. equity markets opened mixed this morning after most of the day’s economic data was delivered in Europe. Eurozone PMI rose slightly more than expected (more coverage here) and Spain reported that it added more than 17,000 jobs (seasonally adjusted) as the country’s tourist season ramps up (more coverage here). Markets were closed in London and Japan today for a holiday. In Asia, China’s PMI came in weaker than expected. There was no significant data released in the U.S. today, so corporate earnings pushed investors along. The S&P 500 posted another new high today, as did the DJ Transportation index.

The U.S. dollar index is trading up 23% today, now at 82.313. The GSCI commodity index is up 1.4% at 631.08. WTI crude oil closed up 0.6%, at $96.16 a barrel, although we continue to look for prices to fall (more coverage here). Brent crude trades up 1.2% at $105.40 a barrel. Natural gas is down 0.7% today at about $4.01 per million BTUs. Gold settled up 0.3% today at $1,468.00.

The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA down about 4 points to 14,969.50 (-0.03%), the NASDAQ rose more than 14 points (0.42%) to 3,392.97, and the S&P 500 rose 0.19% or about 3 points to 1,617.51.

There were a several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including:

  • Banco Santander (NYSE: SAN) cut to ‘sell’ at Citigroup;
  • Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A. (NYSE: BBVA) cut to ‘sell’ at Citigroup;
  • Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE: CLF) raised to ‘outperform’ at FBR Capital Markets;
  • Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) raised to ‘overweight’ at J.P. Morgan; and
  • YRC Worldwide Inc. (NASDAQ: YRCW) raised to ‘hold’ at BB&T Capital.

Earnings reports since markets closed last Friday resulted in some price moves today, including these as of the last half hour of trading:

  • Apollo Global Management LLC (NYSE: APO) is up 0.8% at $26.80 after posting a new 52-week high of $28.14 earlier today;
  • Bridgepoint Education Inc. (NYSE: BPi) is down 0.9% at $10.91;
  • Sysco Corp. (NYSE: SYY) is down 0.9% at $34.34; and
  • Westlake Chemical Corp. (NYSE: WLK) is up 7.9% at $88.97 (more coverage here).

Before markets open tomorrow morning we are scheduled to hear earnings reports from Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: APC), First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR), Plains All American Pipeline LP (NYSE: PAA) (more pipelines coverage here), Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE: VNO), Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc. (NASDAQ: CRZO), Checkpoint Systems Inc. (NYSE: CKP), DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV), and Fossil Inc. (NASDAQ: FOSL).

Some standouts among heavily traded stocks today include:

MBIA Inc. (NYSE: MBI) is up 42.3% at $13.99. The insurer reached a settlement with Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) related to mortgage securities that went bad during the financial crisis.

Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) is down 6.3% at $5.47. The daily deals company is expected to miss estimates by at least one broker when it reports results on Wednesday .

Linn Energy LLC (NASDAQ: LINE) is down 6% at $35.45 after posting a new 52-week low of $34.27 earlier today. The independent oil & gas producer got a poor write-up in Barron’s magazine over the weekend.

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

  • 11:30 a.m. – 4-week bill auction
  • 1:00 p.m. – 3-year note auction
  • 3:00 p.m. – Consumer credit

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