Wednesday Closing Bell: Markets Open, Close Lower

August 21, 2013: Markets opened mixed this morning as traders and investors waited for the afternoon’s release of the July FOMC meeting minutes. Existing home sales rose more than expected in July. A report on mortgage applications showed a decline, however, as interest rate increases continue to slow the number of refinancings. The U.S. crude inventory fell last week, and crude spot prices for October delivery dropped 1.2% today to $103.85.

European closed lower today, while Latin American and Asian markets markets closed mixed.

The FOMC minutes did not reveal anything unexpected. But then, they never really do. Markets reacted with a buying spurt on the inference that the Fed’s asset purchases wouldn’t stop next month, but the uptick was short-lived.

In addition to a speech from Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher, Thursday’s calendar includes a number of data releases:

  • 8:30 a.m. – New claims for unemployment benefits
  • 8:58 a.m. – Flash PMI manufacturing index
  • 9:00 a.m. – FHFA house price index
  • 10:00 a.m. – Leading indicators
  • 10:30 a.m. – EIA weekly natural gas storage report
  • 11:00 a.m. – Kansas City Fed manufacturing index
  • 1:00 p.m. – 5-year TIPS auction
  • 4:30 p.m. – Fed balance sheet and money supply

We also broke out the top Wall Street calls with analyst upgrades and analyst downgrades. Here are the closing bell levels for Wednesday:

  • S&P500 1,642.80 (-9.55; -0.38%)
  • DJIA 14,897.55 (-105.44; -0.70%)
  • NASDAQ 3,599.79 (-13.80; -0.38%)
  • 10YR TNOTE 2.893% (-0.625)
  • Gold $1,370.10 (-2.50; -0.02%)
  • Oil $103.85 (-1.26; -1.2%)
  • Dollar/Euro: 1.3347 (-0.0070; -0.52%)

Big earnings winners: Incyte Corp. (NASDAQ: INCY) up 34.4% to $36.02 on a successful drug trial, Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) down 3.5% to $65.54 on weak earnings and lowered outlook, and Lowe’s Companies Inc. (NYSE: LOW ) up 4.4% at $46.01 on strong earnings and an improved outlook.

DJIA stocks on the move: Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (NYSE: LGF) hit a new 52-week high of $35.13 on Wednesday. Trina Solar Ltd. (NASDAQ: TSL) rose more than 15% after posting better than expected earnings on Tuesday, Aeropostale Inc. (NYSE: ARO) put up a new 52-week low of $11.40, and another teen retailer, and American Eagle Outfitter Inc. (NYSE: AEO) also put up a new low of $14.33.

In all, 146 stocks put up new lows today, while only 29 stocks posted new 52-week highs.

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