Friday Closing Bell: Markets Wobble, but Hold Opening Gains

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Bull and Bear figuresAugust 23, 2013: U.S. markets opened higher this morning most likely due to a big jump in shares of Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) on news the CEO Steven Ballmer will retire. The only economic data released today sent markets down sharply for a while. July new home sales were well off expectations and far below June sales. The rate on 10-year Treasury notes fell which perked up stocks again, but markets closed with only a modest gain.

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

Monday’s calendar includes the following data releases and events:

  • 8:30 a.m. – Durable goods orders
  • 10:30 a.m. – Dallas Fed manufacturing survey
  • 11:30 a.m. – 3- and 6-month Treasury bill auctions

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

  • S&P500 1,663.45 (+6.49; +0.39%)
  • DJIA 15,010.36 (+46.62; +0.31%)
  • NASDAQ 3,657.79 (+19.09; +0.52%)
  • 10YR TNOTE 2.818% (+0.59375)
  • Gold $1,370.80 (+25.20; +1.83%)
  • Euro/Dollar: 1.3381 (+0.0025; +0.19%)

Big earnings movers: Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE: P) is down 12.9% at $18.90 after a decent earnings reports was spoiled by a weak outlook<<LINK>>. Net 1 UEPS Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: UEPS) is up 46.6% at $10.69 after beating estimates on EPS and revenues, raising its outlook for the third quarter, and posting a new 52-week high of $11.20. Aeropostale Inc. (NYSE: ARO) is down 20.2% at $8.76, following a new 52-week low of $8.66, after a big earnings miss.

Stocks on the move: Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) is up 5.2% at $40.63, a new 52-week high, on a positive note from analysts at J.P. Morgan. Dendreon Corp. (NASDAQ: DNDN) down 9.1% at $2.90 after posting a new 52-week low of $2.85.

Notable earnings reports currently on tap for next week: Qihu 360 Technology Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ: QIHU), Avago Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: AVGO), LDK Solar Co. Ltd. (NYSE: LDK), Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF), Joy Global Inc. (NYSE: JOY), Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE: CPB), JA Solar Holdings Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ: JASO), Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. (NYSE: KKD), and ReneSola Ltd. (NYSE: SOL).

In all, 65 stocks put up new 52-week highs today, while just 28 stocks posted new lows.