U.S. Retail Sales posted their largest gain in five months in February. Total retail sales increased 1.1% percent (after a 0.6% rise in January). According to ICSC-Goldman, the same-store sales index rose 0.7% (with a 2.3% year-on-year increase). Redbook’s year-on-year same-store sales pace came in at plus 3.3%. The Commerce Department announced that Business Inventories increased 0.7% – to a record $1.57 trillion. The Dow Industrial Average rallied to a new year-to-date high of 13180; ending the up about 1.7%. The NASDAQ rallied to a new year-to-date high of 3035.29; ending the day up about 1.9%.
Asian stocks were up slightly on Tuesday. The Nikkei 225 ended their session at 9.899 – up 0.09% on the day. The Hang Seng ended their session at 21,339.70 – up 0.97% on the day. European stocks were up on Tuesday. The FTSE 100 ended their session at 5,956 – up 1.07% on the day. The DAX ended their session at 6,996 – up 1.37% on the day. The CAC 40 ended their session at 3,550 – up 1.72% on the day.
The yield on the 10-Year US Treasury weakened to a high yield of 2.128. Gold weakened back below the 50- day simple moving average at $1699.2 in early trading, and then weakened through the 200- day simple moving average at $1677.3 in late afternoon trading. Crude oil traded between $105.67 and $107.35 per barrel; ending the day on the cusp of the 200- day simple moving average at $106.68. The euro versus the dollar traded between 1.3055 and 1.3189; ending the day back below the 50- day simple moving average at 1.3091.
Vaalco Energy (EGY) missed estimates by 4 cents, while beating revenue by $23M. Clean Energy Fuels (CLNE) missed estimates by 5 cents, while beating revenue by $13M. Oil States International (OIS) is a new Overweight at Barclays. Matador Resources (MTDR) gets picked up with a Buy at Jefferies and is a new Neutral at Citigroup. PetroChina (PTR) is lifted to Neutral from Underweight at HSBC Securities. VOC Energy Trust (VOC) is now Neutral from Underperform at Robert W. Baird.
Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was trading at $74.67 at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, up 1.21% on the day – up 8.01% year-to-date. The February 2012 change was +5.93%. The 2011 change was -1.29%.
Big Movers: (DNN) +8.5%, (BPZ) +8%.
Heavily Traded: (HAL) +1%, (KOG) +2.7%.
ADA-ES (ADES) reported Q4 EPS of $1.53 (versus consensus of $0.12), while beating revenue by $15.5M.
The Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB) was trading at $37.04 at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, up 1.65% on the day – up 10.57% year-to-date. The February 2012 change was -0.56%. The 2011 change was -12.78%.
Big Movers: (REE) +11.25%, (AWI) +7.5%, (WLK) +6.75%.
Heavily Traded: (AA) +3.2%, (FCX) +2.1%, (VALE) +3.7%.
The WTO ruled that Boeing (BA) received $3B-$4B in illegal subsidies in the form of federal research grants and local tax breaks, but U.S. Trade Rep Ron Kirk called the decision “a tremendous victory” for the U.S. because European subsidies to Airbus (EADSY) “are far larger… and far more distortive than anything” the U.S. does for Boeing. Broadwind Energy (BWEN) missed estimates by 2 cents, while beating revenue by $5M. Michael Baker (BKR) beat estimates by 4 cents and revenue by $9M. Sun Hydraulics (SNHY) missed estimates by 4 cents with revenue in-line with estimates. Coleman Cable (CCIX) missed estimates by 17 cents, while beating revenue by $3M. Covanta (CVA) is assigned a Buy and $20 target at KeyBanc Capital. Healthcare Services Group (HCSG) is begun with a Buy at Benchmark Company [$23.50 price target].
The Industrial Select Sector SPDR (XLI) was trading at $37.78 at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, up 2.08% on the day – up 11.94% year-to-date. The February 2012 change was +2.79%. The 2011 change was -3.21%.
Big Movers: (BWEN) -12.25%, (GEOY) +11%.
Ballantyne of Omaha (BTN) reported Q4 EPS of $0.11 and revenue of $51.5M. Churchill Downs (CHDN) beat estimates by 26 cents on revenue of $149.3M. Miller Energy Resources (MILL) missed estimates by a penny and revenue by $0.8M. Resolute Energy (REN) reported Q4 EPS of -$0.27 (versus consensus of $0.12), while beating revenue by $5M. Urban Outfitters (URBN) missed estimates by 3 cents and revenue by $10M. Carmike Cinemas (CKEC) beat estimates by 6 cents and revenue by $8M. Scripps Networks (SNI) is boosted to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank. New York & Co (NWY) is lifted to Buy from Hold at Janney Scott. Cablevision (CVC) is cut to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank. Valassis (VCI) is downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Raymond James.
The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) was trading at $44.54 at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, up 1.55% on the day – up 14.15% year-to-date. The February 2012 change was +10.09%. The 2011 change was +4.30%.
Big Mover: (CKEC) +16.25%.
Heavily Traded: (F) +0.9%, (SIRI) -0.2%.
Inter Parfums (IPAR) missed estimates by 2 cents, while beating revenue by $12M. Whole Foods (WFM) [$100 price objective] and Fresh Market (TFM) are both begun with Buys at UBS, which starts Sells on Safeway (SWY) [$20 target price] and SUPERVALU (SVU). It has new Neutrals on Kroger (KR) and United Natural Foods (UNFI). CVS Caremark (CVS) is moved to Market Perform from Outperform by BMO Capital.
The Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was trading at $33.84 at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, up 0.74% on the day – up 4.16% year-to-date. The February 2012 change was +3.75%. The 2011 change was +10.85%.
Big Movers: (FEED) +13.25%, (AOB) +11.5%.
Heavily Traded: (MO) -1.7%, (RAD) +1.6%.
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) faces pressure from the U.S. government to up its offer to settle a long-standing civil investigation probe into the marketing practices of the company over its antipsychotic treatment Risperdal, according to sources. Pfizer (PFE) said that it’s more likely it will spin off its animal-health unit than sell it to one of the many companies rumored to be in the hunt to buy it. Synergetics USA (SURG) reported Q4 EPS of $0.07 (in-line) and revenue of $15M (in-line). IPC The Hospitalist Company (IPCM) is started with a Buy at Citigroup. AVEO Pharmaceuticals (AVEO) is a new Market Perform at BMO Capital. Covidien (COV) is a new Outperform with brokers William Blair. Tranzyme (TZYM) gets taken to Hold from Buy at Canaccord Genuity. Somaxon Pharmaceuticals (SOMX) and Vanda Pharmaceuticals (VNDA) are each downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies.
The Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) was trading at $36.99 at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, up 1.43% on the day – up 6.63% year-to-date. The February 2012 change was +1.06%. The 2011 change was +10.32%.
Heavily Traded: (PFE) +1.8%, (ESRX) +1%.
HSBC (HBC) says it has no plans to exit any markets in Asia, denying earlier reports that it might pull out of seven countries in the region as it focuses on higher growth. Blackstone (BX) and France’s PAI Partners, co-owners of U.K.-based United Biscuits, have reportedly tapped Credit Suisse (CS) to split the food company’s salty snack business from its other operations, and will try to sell the company in parts. Four former members of the TARP watchdog panel are urging the Treasury Department to end tax breaks for bailed-out insurer AIG (AIG), writing that the tax exemptions have allowed AIG to escape billions of dollars in tax payments since receiving $182B government aid in a taxpayer-financed bailout. Unexpectedly, Craig Donohue will step down from the CEO post of CME Group (CME) at year-end, to be replaced by President Phupinder Gill – and while Donohue says it isn’t about MF Global (MFGLQ), the brokerage’s collapse leaves a cloud over CME and has invited scrutiny from Congress and raters. Horizon Technology Finance (HRZN) reported Q4 EPS of $0.44 (versus consensus of $0.38), while missing revenue by $0.3M. ACE Limited (ACE) is added to the Conviction Buy List at Goldman Sachs. Apartment Investment & Management (AIV) is raised to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital. BancorpSouth (BXS) gets boosted to Buy from Neutral at Suntrust. FXCM Inc (FXCM) is added to JP Morgan’s Focus List. Société Générale (SCGLY) is now Neutral from Overweight at HSBC Securities. UniCredit SpA (UNCFF) is lifted to Outperform from Neutral at BNP Paribas.
The Select Sector SPDR (XLF) was trading at $15.42 at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, up 3.84% on the day – up 18.62% year-to-date (the strongest performing sector). The February 2012 change was +5.02%. The 2011 change was -18.50%; the weakest performing sector for the year.
Yahoo (YHOO) is suing Facebook (FB) in federal court, alleging a number of FB’s products infringe on its patents and trespass on technologies that are “the foundation of our business.” In a major departure from its historical focus, Intel (INTC) is developing an Internet-based TV service to sell to consumers, and has been talking with media companies about creating a “virtual cable operator” that would offer channels in a bundle. Majesco Entertainment (COOL) reported FQ1 EPS of $0.18 (versus $0.20 consensus), and a 37% Y/Y rise in revenues to $66.2M (versus $54.9M consensus). The company expects FY 2012 net revenue of $130M-$140M (versus $136.5M consensus), and non-GAAP EPS of $0.25-$0.35 (versus $0.26 consensus). Ebix (EBIX) beat estimates by 3 cents and revenue by $1M. FactSet Research Systems (FDS) beat estimates by 3 cents and revenue by $1.1M. SRS Labs (SRSL) missed estimates by 2 cents and revenue by $0.3M. Pulse Electronics (PULS) reported Q4 EPS of -$1.01 (versus consensus of $0.01), while missing revenue by $1.5M. ASML Holding (ASML) is resumed at Outperform at RBC Capital. AVG Technologies (AVG) is initiated with an Overweight at Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan, and an Outperform at JMP Securities. SAP AG (SAP) gets increased to Outperform from Market Perform by Sanford Bernstein. HiSoft Technology (HSFT) is upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital Markets [$24 target]. Youku.com (YOKU) is upgraded to Buy from Hold on its recent game-changing merger. Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH) is moved to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo. Cornerstone OnDemand (CSOD) is now Neutral from Buy at Goldman.
The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) was trading at $29.80 at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, up 1.98% on the day – up 17.09% year-to-date. The February 2012 change was +7.08%. The 2011 change was +1.03%.
Big Movers: (ALLT) +12.5%, (TUDO) +10.25%, (PWAV) -11.75%.
The NASDAQ Telecommunications Index (IXTC) was trading at $215.49 at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, up 1.90% on the day – up 9.42% year-to-date. The February 2012 change was +1.63%. The 2011 change was -12.62%.
Heavily Traded: (S) +2.4%, (T) +0.25%, (FTR) +1.2%, (CLWR) +2.7%, (CCI) -1.9%, (VZ) up slightly.
The Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) was trading at $35.69 at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, up 0.34% on the day – down 0.81% year-to-date (the weakest performing sector). The February 2012 change was +0.61%. The 2011 change was +14.81%; the strongest performing sector for the year.
Big Mover: (DYN) +17%.
Heavily Traded: (DUK) flat, (EXC) -0.25%, (AEP) +1.25%, (AES) -0.25%.
STOCKS: EGY, CLNE, OIS, MTDR, PTR, VOC, DNN, BPZ, HAL, KOG, ADES, REE, AWI, WLK, AA, FCX, VALE, BA, EADSY, BWEN, BKR, SNHY, CCIX, CVA, HCSG, GEOY, BTN, CHDN, MILL, REN, URBN, CKEC, SNI, NWY, CVC, VCI, F, SIRI, IPAR, WFM, TFM, SWY, SVU, KR, UNFI, CVS, FEED, AOB, MO, RAD, JNJ, PFE, SURG, IPCM, AVEO, COV, TZYM, SOMX, VNDA, ESRX, HBC, BX, CS, AIG, CME, MFGLQ, HRZN, ACE, AIV, BXS, FXCM, SCGLY, UNCFF, YHOO, FB, INTC, COOL, EBIX, FDS, SRSL, PULS, ASML, AVG, SAP, HSFT, YOKU, BAH, CSOD, ALLT, TUDO, PWAV, S, T, FTR, CLWR, CCI, VZ, DYN, DUK, EXC, AEP, AES