Closing Bell for Tuesday on Wall Street: Markets Open Up, Finish Strong

U.S. equity markets opened slightly higher this morning an inline report from the U.S. Department of Labor on export and import prices. In Europe, eurozone industrial production rose 1%, above the expected gain of 0.4%. A survey on economic sentiment also came in higher than expected. In Asia, markets closed lower in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Tokyo following limited data releases. In the U.S., equities rose steadily in morning trading although prices leveled off in the afternoon.

The U.S. dollar index is trading up 0.38% today, now at 83.5910. The GSCI commodity index is down 0.2% at 627.87. WTI crude oil closed down 1%, at $95.1794.21 a barrel following the release of the International Energy Agency’s mid-term outlook predicting that growing U.S. crude oil will set off a “supply shock” that will drive down the price of crude. Brent crude trades down 0.2% at $102.61 a barrel. Natural gas is up 2.3% today at about $4.02 per million BTUs. Gold settled down 0.7% today at $1,424.50.

The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA up more than 123 points to 15,215.25 (0.82%), the NASDAQ rose nearly 24 points (0.69%) to 3,462.61, and the S&P 500 rose 1.01% or nearly 17 points to 1,650.34.

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

KB Home (NYSE: KBH) cut to ‘market perform’ at Raymond James;
Cree Inc. (NASDAQ: CREE) cut to ‘hold’ at Jefferies;
Fusion-io Inc. (NYSE: FIO) raised to ‘buy’ at UBS;
Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) maintained on ‘Conviction Buy’ list and price target raised to $30 at Goldman Sachs; and
AllScripts Healthcare Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: MDRX) raised to ‘buy’ at Citigroup.

Earnings reports since markets closed last night have resulted in some price changes for reporting companies as of the last half hour of trading today:

Copa Holdings SA (NYSE: CPA) is up 8.2% at $135.25 after posting a new 52-week high of $138.99 earlier today;
Renren Inc. (NYSE: RENN) is up 0.2% at $3.00;
Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO) is up 1.3% at $16.60 after posting a new 52-week high of $17.54;
Pan American Silver Corp. (NASDAQ: PAAS) is down 1.4% at $12.43; and
SolarCity Corp. (NASDAQ: SCTY) is down 12.2% at $31.50, and we’ve noted something to watch for that could help this company and probably many other alt energy players.

Before markets open tomorrow morning we are scheduled to hear earnings from Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A), Dillard’s Inc. (NYSE: DDS), Primo Water Corp. (NASDAQ: PRMW), Computer Sciences Corp. (NYSE: CSC), Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE), First Majestic Silver Corp. (NYSE: AG), and Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M).

Some standouts among heavily traded stocks today include:

Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE) is up 9.6% at $20.70, after posting a new 52-week high of $22.22 earlier today. The consumer electronics firm is being encouraged by activist investor Daniel Loeb to break into pieces, which may not be the best idea he’s ever had.

Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) is down 5.5% at $3.63. The mobile phone maker introduced a new phone today. Investors apparently were not impressed.

Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) is up 7.8% at $6.86. The daily deals company had no news today, but heavier than normal volume indicates demand was good for the stock.

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
  • 8:30 a.m. – Producer price index
  • 8:30 a.m. – Empire State manufacturing survey
  • 9:00 a.m. – Treasury International Capital (TIC) data
  • 9:15 a.m. – Industrial production
  • 10:00 a.m. – Housing market index
  • 10:00 a.m. – E-commerce retail sales
  • 10:30 a.m. – EIA weekly petroleum status report

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