U.S. stocks continued higher on Wednesday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average trading as high as 12,284. The NASDAQ traded as high as 2747 on Wednesday. U.S. stocks continued a strong rebound on Tuesday with the Dow Industrial Average up 145 points to 12,189, up 5.3% year to date and down 5.3% since its May 2nd high at 12,876.00. The NASDAQ gained 41 points on Tuesday to 2729 up 2.9% year to date and down 5.5% since its May 2nd high at 2887.75.
Asian stocks were mixed on Wednesday with the Nikkei 225 up 1.5% to 9,797. The Hang Seng was flat on their session. European stocks were higher on Wednesday in anticipation that the Greek parliament would pass the austerity plan that would lead to a $17 billion financial bailout. The measure passed and the FTSE 100 gained 1.5%. The DAX rallied 1.7%. The CAC 40 surged 1.9%. The yield on the 10-Year US Treasury note stayed above 3.0% on Wednesday trading as high as 3.095 percent before the 7-Year note auction. The US Treasury auctioned $29 billion in new 7-Year notes at 2.43 percent with a weaker than normal bid to cover of 2.62 times. The 10-Year yield rose to 3.132 after this auction for a test of the 200-day simple moving average at 3.127.
Comex gold stayed above $1500 the Troy ounce on Wednesday but stayed below its 50-day simple moving average at $1519.5. Crude oil rebounded above its 200-day simple moving average at $92.94 with a day’s high at $95.84. The euro versus the US dollar traded as high as 1.4447 above its 50-day simple moving average at 1.4402.
Arch Coal (ACI) and Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) are both begun with Buys at Societe Generale. Marathon Petroleum is a new Outperform at RBC Capital. Penn Virginia (PVA) is cut to Neutral from Buy at Credit Suisse. In afternoon trading: Shares of ION Geophysical (IO) are up about 8%. Shares of SM Energy (SM) are up about 7%. Shares of Magnum Hunter (MHR) are up about 5.8%. Shares of Energy XXI (EXXI) are up about 5.8%. Shares of Penn Virginina (PVA) are DOWN about 5.7%.
Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was trading at $74.35 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, up 1.31% on the day – up 8.94% year-to-date.
Airgas (ARG) is increased to Buy from Hold at KeyBanc Capital Mkts. U.S. Steel (X) and AK Steel (AKS) are both lifted to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank. In afternoon trading: Shares of OMNOVA Solutions (OMN) are down about 15.75%. Shares of United States Steel are up about 5.7%. Shares of AK Steel are up about 5.3%. Shares of IAMGOLD (IAG) are up about 5.1%.
The Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB) traded at $38.90 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, up 1.62% on the day – up 1.28% year-to-date.
Shaw Group (SHAW) missed estimates by 28 cents and revenue by $200M. Diana Containerships (DCIX) is initiated with an Outperform rating and $9 price target at Morgan Keegan. Freightcar America (RAIL) is resumed with a Buy rating and $30 price objective at Jefferies. Shaw Group is now a Hold from Buy at Stifel Nicolaus. Greenbrier Companies (GBX) gets downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies. In afternoon trading: Shares of TBS International (TBSI) are up about 15%. Shares of Shaw Group are down about 8.2%. Shares of Greenbrier Companies are down about 5.6%.
The Industrial Select Sector SPDR (XLI) traded at $36.67 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, up 0.55% on the day – up 5.16% year-to-date.
Kazuo Hirai, the frontrunner to succeed Howard Stringer as Sony (SNE) CEO, will relinquish the daily management of the company’s video game division just two months after a massive data breach at the unit’s PlayStation Network. Family Dollar Stores (FDO) missed estimates by 4 cents and revenue by $20M. Melco Crown Entertainment (MPEL) is covered at Outperform by Macquarie. AnnTaylor (ANN) is a new Buy and $32 target at Sterne Agee. Nike (NKE) is now Buy from Hold at Capstone. In afternoon trading: Shares of KB Home (KBH) are down about 15.5% after reporting a wider loss for its fiscal Q2. Shares of China Automotive Systems (CAAS) are down about 10%. Shares of Spartan Motors (SPAR) are up about 10.5%.
The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) traded at $39.90 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, up 0.48% on the day – up 6.66% year-to-date.
BJ’s Wholesale Club (BJ) announced that it had accepted an offer to be acquired by private-equity firms Leonard Green and CVC Capital for $51.25/share (38% premium). General Mills (GIS) reported FQ4 EPS of $0.52 (in-line), while missing revenue by $40M. Kraft Foods (KFT) gets boosted to Buy from Hold with a $40 target at Argus. BJ’s Wholesale (BJS) is reduced to Hold from Buy at Wall Street Strategies. In afternoon trading: Shares of Imperial Sugar (IPSU) are down about 5.3%. Shares of BJ’s are up about 4.6%.
The Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) traded at $30.99 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, up 0.58% on the day – up 5.73% year-to-date.
The North American Spine Society has found that thirteen studies of Medtronic’s (MDT) Infuse product for use in spine surgery failed to disclose serious side effects. AVEO Pharma (AVEO) is initiated with an Outperform at William Blair, which assigns an identical rating on Biodel (BIOD). Gilead Sciences (GILD) gets raised to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray. In afternoon trading: Shares of NeuroMetrix (NURO) are down about 6.4%. Shares of Anacor Pharmaceuticals (ANAC) are down about 6.1%. Shares of Corcept Therapeutics (CORT) are down about 5%. Shares of ARIAD Pharmaceuticals (ARIA) are UP about 4.5%.
The Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) traded at $35.42 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, up 0.20% on the day – up 12.44% year-to-date.
The Fed is due to make a final ruling today on the fees banks can charge retailers when a debit card is used. Global banking regulators are preparing to assess how banks set risk weightings amid criticism that the firms’ calculations are inconsistent. Bank of America (BAC) has confirmed it will pay $8.5B to large investors who lost money on mortgage-backed securities. New Mountain Finance (NMFC) is initiated with an Outperform and $15 target at Robert W. Baird. Western Alliance Bancorp (WAL) is begun with a Buy at Jefferies. Dynex Capital (DX) is a new Neutral at Credit Suisse. Citigroup (C) is boosted to Buy from Neutral by Bank of America-Merrill Lynch. Legg Mason (LM) is lifted to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank. Susquehanna Bank (SUSQ) is upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies. In afternoon trading: Shares of MBIA Inc (MBI) are up about 10.5%. Shares of China Real Estate Information (CRIC) are up about 9.75%. Shares of The PMI Group (PMI) are down about 7.75%.
The Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) traded at $15.29 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, up 2.07% on the day – down 4.14% year-to-date.
Internet gaming company Zynga is reportedly on the verge of filing to raise $1.5B-$2B at a value of $15B-$20B. Zynga is also close to finalizing a $1B debt facility with banks. Shares in Chinese chip designer Spreadtrum (SPRD) plunged as much as 34% before recovering to close just -3.5% after Muddy Waters, the scourge of Chinese-listed U.S. companies, questioned its accounting. Kazuo Hirai, the frontrunner to succeed Howard Stringer as Sony (SNE) CEO, will relinquish the daily management of the company’s video game division just two months after a massive data breach at the unit’s PlayStation Network. After the failures of Wave and Buzz, Google (GOOG) is making another effort to challenge the dominance of Facebook in social networking with the introduction of Google+. Meanwhile, Microsoft (MSFT) has launched its challenge to Google Docs with the introduction of Office 365, which makes applications such as Word and Excel available over the Internet. OCZ Tech (OCZ) is a new Hold at The Benchmark Company. Audiocodes (AUDC) is upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Oppenheimer, with a price objective of $6. Amdocs (DOX) is lifted to Outperform from Underperform with Wedbush with a target price of $37. Shanda Interactive (SNDA) is upgraded to Hold from Sell at Deutsche Bank. ARM Holdings (ARMH) is downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley. ASML Holding (ASML) is now Neutral from Outperform at Exane BNP Paribas. In afternoon trading: Shares of Spreadtrum are up about 11%. Shares of Renren (RENN) are up about 9%. Shares of Evergreen Solar (ESLR) are down about 8.75%.
The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) traded at $25.37 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, up 0.75% on the day – up 0.71% year-to-date.
In afternoon trading: Shares of TerreStar (TSTRQ) are down about 22%. Actives: Shares of Sprint Nextel (S) are up about 1.2%. Shares of Level 3 Communications (LVLT) are down about a quarter of a percent. Shares of AT&T (T) are up about 0.9%. Shares of Verizon (VZ) are up about 0.6%. Shares of Frontier Communications (FTR) are up about 0.8%.
The NASDAQ Telecommunications Index (IXTC) traded at $209.58 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, up 0.66% on the day – down 7.01% year-to-date.
In afternoon trading: Shares of AES Corp (AES) are up about 1.2%. Shares of Genon Energy (GEN) are relatively unchanged. Shares of Centerpoint Energy (CNP) are up about 0.4%. Shares of PPL Corp (PPL) are up about 0.8%. Shares of Duke Energy (DUK) are up about 1%. Shares of Southern Co (SO) are up slightly. Shares of Exelon (EXC) are up about a half of a percent. Shares of NRG Energy (NRG) are up about 1.5%.
The Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) traded at $33.39 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, up 0.60% on the day – up 6.54% year-to-date.
STOCKS: ANR, PVA, IO, SM, MHR, EXXI, ARG, X, AKS, OMN, IAG, SGHAW, DCIX, RAIL, GBX, TBSI, SNE, FDO, MPEL, ANN, NKE, KBH, CAAS, BJ, GIS, KFT, BJS, IPSU, MDT, AVEO, BIOD, GILD, NURO, ANAC, CORT, ARIA, BAC, NMFC, WAL, DX, C, LM, SUSQ, MBI, CRIC, SPRD, GOOG, OCZ, AUDC, DOX, SNDA, ARMH, ASML, RENN, ESLR, TSTRQ, LVLT, T, VZ, FTR, AES, GEN, CNP, PPL, DUK, SO, EXC, NRG