U.S. equity markets opened slightly higher this morning but lost steam in the afternoon to finish with a loss for the first Tuesday in a record streak of Tuesdays. In Europe, Spain reported unemployment did not increase as much as feared, and the eurozone PPI fell more than expected. In Asia, the Reserve Bank of Australia left its key interest rate unchanged at 2.75%, while in Japan the country’s monetary base grew slightly more than expected. The only data release of note today was the U.S. international trade account, which was in deficit for April, but not by as much as feared.
The U.S. dollar index is trading up 0.15% today, now at 82.7760. The GSCI commodity index is up 1.2% at 622.56. WTI crude oil closed down 0.2%, at $93.31 a barrel. Brent crude trades up 1.1% at $103.15 a barrel. Natural gas is up 0.1% today at about $3.99 per million BTUs. Gold settled down 1% today at $1,397.20.
The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA down nearly 77 points to 15,177.16 (-0.50%), the NASDAQ fell more than 20 points (-0.58%) to 3,445.26, and the S&P 500 fell -0.55% or about 9 points to 1,631.37.
There were a several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including:
- SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: SEAS) started as ‘outperform’ at Wells Fargo;
- PVH Corp. (NYSE: PVH) cut to ‘outperform’ from ‘Top Pick’ at RBC Capital Markets;
- FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) reiterated as ‘buy’ and price target raised to $120 at BofA/Merrill Lynch;
- Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc. (NASDAQ: ULTA) cut to ‘neutral’ but price target raised to $98 at Goldman Sachs; and
- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) reiterated as ‘buy’ with a $90 price target at BofA/Merrill Lynch.
Earnings reports since markets closed last night have resulted in the following price changes today:
- SAIC Inc. (NYSE: SAI) is down 0.7% at $14.73; and
- Dollar General Corp. (NYSE: DG) is down 7.7% at $49.45.
Some standouts among heavily traded stocks today include:
ExactTarget Inc. (NYSE: ET) is up 52.5% at $48.45 after posting a new 52-week high of $33.75 earlier today. The cloud-based software company is being acquired by Salesforce.com Inc. (NYSE: CRM) for $2.5 billion.
Rigel Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: RIGL) is down 18.5% at $3.69. The drugmaker’s shares tumbled after AstraZeneca PLC (NYSE: AZN) said it would not seek regulatory approval for Rigel’s arthritis drug.
G-III Apparel Group Inc. (NASDAQ: GIII) is up 21% at $51.77, a new 52-week high. The apparel maker reported stronger than expected results last night, pushing the stock higher.
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
- 8:15 a.m. – ADP employment report
- 8:30 a.m. – Productivity and costs
- 10:00 a.m. – Factory orders
- 10:00 a.m. – ISM non-manufacturing PMI
- 10:30 a.m. – EIA weekly petroleum status report
- 2:00 p.m. – Beige Book