Closing Bell for Wednesday on Wall Street: Markets Open Lower, Rise on Jobs News, Fall Again
July 3, 2013: U.S. equity markets opened lower this morning anticipating a blizzard of economic data out of the U.S. Mortgage purchase applications were first out, and down sharply from a week ago. Employment news was generally a little better, with the job-cut report from Challenger
The U.S. dollar index is trading down 0.40% today, now at 83.2140. The GSCI commodity index is up 0.8% at 621.03. WTI crude oil traded up 2.3% today, at $101.86 a barrel after a large drop in U.S. inventories and on worries over supplies flowing through the Suez Canal. Brent crude trades up 1.6% at $105.69 a barrel. Natural gas is down 0.2% today at about $3.65 per million BTUs following an expected build in storage. Gold for August delivery traded up 0.8% today at $1,253.40.
The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA up about 56 points to 14,988.55 (0.38%), the NASDAQ rose about 10 points (0.30%) to 3,443.67, and the S&P 500 rose 0.08% or more than 1 point to 1,615.41.
There were a several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including:
- Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) raised to ‘buy’ at Argus;
- Cheniere Energy Partners LP (NYSEMKT: CQP) started as ‘outperform’ at RBC Capital Markets;
- Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) reiterated as ‘buy’ and price target raised to $92 at Argus;
- Linn Energy LLC (NASDAQ: LINE) cut to ‘neutral’ at Ladenburg Thalman; and
- Twenty-first Century Fox Inc. (NASDAQ: FOXA) started as ‘buy’ with a price target of $36 at Needham.
There were no earnings reports of note since markets closed last night and none are scheduled for the rest of this week.
Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) kicks off the new earnings season on Monday after the markets close.
Some standouts among heavily traded stocks today include:
Linn Energy LLC (NASDAQ: LINE) is down 16.1% at $22.68 after posting a new 52-week low of $22.35 earlier today. The oil & gas production company continues to slide on its acknowledgement of an SEC inquiry.
Emulex Corp. (NYSE: ELX) is up 14.3% at $7.61. The chipmaker is reported to be seeking a buyer .
Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA) is up 4.6% at $3.42. The social games maker continues its run after naming a new CEO.
We’ll be taking a couple of days off tomorrow and Friday, but stay tuned for Monday. We have noted the following events on the schedule (all times Eastern):
- 11:30 a.m. – 3- and 6-month bill auctions
- 3:00 p.m. – Consumer credit
Have a great holiday weekend!