Thursday Closing Bell: Nasdaq Shutdown Doesn’t Cool Enthusiasm for Stocks

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Bull and Bear figuresAugust 22, 2013: Markets opened higher this morning largely due to the unexpected sharp rise in Chinese PMI and better-than-expected flash manufacturing PMI readings from Europe. The good news on PMI got some backup from the not-so leading economic indicators. Today’s big story, though, was the 3-hour halt in trading on the Nasdaq due to a technical issue that has yet to be explained.

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

The EIA’s natural gas storage report for the week showed a smaller than expected build in inventories, but the agency’s forecast through October calls for a large increase.

In addition to a speech from Fed vice-chair Janet Yellen, Friday’s calendar includes the following data release:

  • 10:00 a.m. – New home sales

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

  • S&P500 1,656.90 (+14.10; +0.86%)
  • DJIA 14,963.36 (+65.81; +0.44%)
  • NASDAQ 3,638.72 (+38.92; +1.08%)
  • 10YR TNOTE 2.9% (-0.03125)
  • Gold $1,370.80 (+0.70; <0.01%)
  • Euro/Dollar: 1.3361 (+0.0006; +0.05%)

Big earnings movers: Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF) is down 17.7% at $38.53after an abysmal earnings report. Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) sunk 12.4% today to $22.24 after its own dismal results came out. GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME) is up 9.1% at $51.93 following weak earnings but a positive forecast for the second half of the year based on the introduction of new game controllers from Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE) and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT).

Stocks on the move: SunEdison Inc. (NYSE: SUNE) is up 15.9% at $7.89 on news that the firm plans to spin off its semiconductor business.

In all, 60 stocks put up new 52-week highs today, while 71 stocks posted new lows.