There were no economic data points and the bond markets were closed on Columbus Day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged to 11,394.81 on Monday on the European pledge to help banks. The NASDAQ traded climbed from 2519.78 to 2559.02 on Monday. Asian stocks moved higher on Monday with the Nikkei 225 closed at 8,606 and the Hang Seng higher by just 0.02% to 17,711. European stocks traded higher on Monday as Germany and France reach agreement on Europe’s banks. The FTSE 100 gained 1.80% to 5,399 with the DAX up surging 3.02% to 5,847 and the CAC 40 higher by 2.07% to 3,161. The US Treasury market was closed for Columbus Day. The 10-Year US Treasury yield ended last week at 2.076 well above its September 23rd all time low at 1.671 percent. Gold rose from $1639.9 the Troy ounce to $1676.7 on Monday. Crude oil traded up from $82.75 to $86.09 above its 200-week simple moving average at $83.57. The euro versus the dollar rose from 1.3381 to 1.3697 on Monday.
Oil-field services company Superior Energy (SPN) has agreed to buy Complete Production (CPX) for $2.7B in cash and stock ($32.90 per share – a 61% premium). The transaction will provide stronger competition to the Big Four service companies: Schlumberger (SLB), Halliburton (HAL), Baker Hughes (BHI) and Weatherford (WFT). Stone Energy (SGY) is upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays. Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD) is reduced to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays. Talisman Energy (TLM) is taken to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays. In afternoon trading: Shares of General Maritime (GMR) are up about 44%. Shares of Complete Production Services are up about 40%, while shares of Superior Energy are down about 13.5%.
Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was trading at $63.65 at 4:00 PM on Monday, up 4.52% on the day – down 6.74% year-to-date.
Dow Chemical (DOW) and Saudi Aramco signed a deal over the weekend that advances their plans to build one of the world’s biggest chemical plants in Saudi Arabia. Potash (POT) is lifted to Buy from Neutral at Ticonderoga with a new price objective of $62. In afternoon trading: Shares of Stillwater Mining (SWC) are up about 11.25%. Shares of Mechel OAO (MTL) are up about 10.25%. Shares of Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF) are up about 7.5%. Shares of ArcelorMittal (MT) are up about 7%. Shares of Harmony Gold (HMY) are up about 6.5%.
The Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB) was trading at $32.40 at 4:00 PM on Monday, up 4.11% on the day – down 15.65% year-to-date.
ABB Ltd (ABB) is upgraded to Buy from Hold at boutique brokerage Berenberg. Southwest Airlines (LUV) gets lowered to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank. Emerson (EMR) and MSC Industrial (MSM) are each lowered to Neutral from Buy by Bank of America-Merrill Lynch. In afternoon trading: Shares of SmartHeat (HEAT) are down about 12.25%. Shares of A-Power Energy (APWR) are down about 11.5%. Shares of Excel Maritime Carriers (EXM) are up about 10.5%. Shares of Manitowoc (MTW) are up about 9.75%. Shares of Tata Motors (TTM) are up about 9.5%.
The Industrial Select Sector SPDR (XLI) was trading at $31.37 at 4:00 PM on Monday, up 3.39% on the day – down 10.04% year-to-date.
Sidetracked by its own potential sale, Yahoo has withdrawn from the auction to buy online video Web site Hulu. The list of those still in the running following the latest bidding deadline last week comprises Dish (DISH), Amazon (AMZN) and Google (GOOG), with the latter prepared to offer over $2B. Chrysler (FIATY) and the UAW are due to discuss the final details of a new labor contract today, with a vote of union members possibly occuring by the end of the week. Meanwhile, Ford (F) workers started voting on their tentative agreement at the weekend. Dangdang (DANG) is begun with an Underweight by Barclays. Netflix (NFLX) is now Neutral from Sell at Janney Scott. CTC Media (CTCM) is lifted to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank. Bally Technologies (BYI) is now Buy from Neutral at Janney Scott. In afternoon trading: Shares of Central European Media Enterprises (CETV) are up about 16%.
The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) was trading at $37.59 at 4:00 PM on Monday, up 3.41% on the day – up 0.48% year-to-date.
Diamond Foods (DMND) is upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies. TreeHouse Foods (THS) is lowered to Neutral from Buy at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch. In afternoon trading: Shares of Coffee Holding (JVA) are up about 13.5%. Shares of Medifast (MED) are up about 5.3%. Shares of Extra Space Storage (EXR) are up about 5%. Shares of AgFeed (FEED) are down about 5.3%. Actives: Shares of Wal-Mart (WMT) are up about 1.7%. Shares of Altria Group (MO) are up about 0.3%.
The Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was trading at $30.51 at 4:00 PM on Monday, up 1.46% on the day – up 4.09% year-to-date.
Aegerion Pharmaceuticals (AEGR) is initiated with Buy at Jefferies. St. Jude Medical (STJ) is lifted to Equal Weight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley. Illumina (ILMN) is downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank. ICON plc (ICLR) is downgraded to Neutral at JP Morgan. In afternoon trading: Shares of eResearch Technology (ERT) are up about 10.25%. Shares of Complete Genetics (GNOM) are up about 10%. Shares of Merge Healthcare (MRGE) are up about 9.5%. Shares of Anadys Pharmaceuticals (ANDS) are up about 9.4%. Shares of Achillion Pharmaceuticals (ACHN) are up about 9.1%. Shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) are down about 9.2%.
The Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) was trading at $32.64 at 4:00 PM on Monday, up 2.32% on the day – up 3.62% year-to-date.
The Merkel-Sarkozy talks were given extra urgency by the woes of Dexia (DXBGF), whose rescue was agreed to by France, Luxembourg and Belgium last night. Sabra Healthcare REIT (SBRA) is resumed as a Buy at Citigroup. Robert Baird reduces ratings to Neutral from Outperform on Bank of Kentucky Financial (BKYF), Cardinal Financial (CFNL), First Financial Bancorp (FFBC), First Midwest Bancorp (FMBI), IberiaBank (IBKC), MB Financial (MBFI), Wintrust Financial (WTFC), and Bank of Hawaii (BOH). In afternoon trading: Shares of MGIC Investment (MTG) are up about 13.25%. Shares of Radian Group (RDN) are up about 10.5%.
The Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) was trading at $12.44 at 4:00 PM on Monday, up 5.16% on the day – down 22.01% year-to-date.
Alibaba is interested in buying Yahoo’s (YHOO) 40% stake in the Chinese company, and has held talks with Singaporean investment company Temasek about providing the financing. Sidetracked by its own potential sale, Yahoo has withdrawn from the auction to buy online video Web site Hulu. The list of those still in the running following the latest bidding deadline last week comprises Dish (DISH), Amazon (AMZN) and Google (GOOG), with the latter prepared to offer over $2B. Initial sales of Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone 4S are likely to beat those for the previous version of the device, with AT&T (T) and Sprint (S) reporting strong preorders after the product became available on Friday. Barclays has Overweights on Baidu (BIDU), Sohu.com (SOHU), and Sina Corp (SINA). Micron (MU) gets increased to Buy from Hold at Citigroup. Accenture (ACN) gets downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Robert W. Baird with a new lower target price of $62. Logitech Intl SA (LOGI) is moved to Underperform from Neutral at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch. In afternoon trading: Shares of Youku.com (YOKU) are up about 13.5%. Shares of Intralinks Holdings (IL) are up about 11.25%.
The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) was trading at $25.05 at 4:00 PM on Monday, up 3.09% on the day – down 0.56% year-to-date.
Initial sales of Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone 4S are likely to beat those for the previous version of the device, with AT&T (T) and Sprint (S) reporting strong preorders after the product became available on Friday. Sprint Nextel (S) is downgraded by Deutsche Bank to Hold from Buy, Kaufman Brothers to Hold from Buy, and brokers Collins Stewart to Neutral from Buy, with a new lower target price of $3. In afternoon trading: Shares of Sprint Nextel are down about 10.5%. Shares of Clearwire (CLWR) are down about 10%. Shares of Radcom (RDCM) are up about 15%. Shares of Iridium Communications (IRDM) are up about 8.9%. Shares of MetroPCS (PCS) are up about 8%.
The NASDAQ Telecommunications Index (IXTC) was trading at $192.19 at 4:00 PM on Monday, up 3.05% on the day – down 14.72% year-to-date.
In afternoon trading: Actives: Shares of Duke Energy (DUK) are up about 2%. Shares of AES Corp (AES) are up about 3.2%. Shares of Exelon (EXC) are up about 1.4%. Shares of TECO Energy (TE) are up about 2.2%. Shares of Genon Energy (GEN) are up about 2%. Shares of Southern (SO) are up about 1.1%. Shares of Constellation Energy Group (CEG) are up about 1%. Shares of PG&E (PCG) are up about 0.3%.
The Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) was trading at $34.05 at 4:00 PM on Monday, up 1.95% on the day – up 8.65% year-to-date.
STOCKS: SPN, CPX, SLB, HAL, BHI, WFT, SGY, PXD, TLM, GMR, DOW, POT, SWC, MTL, CLF, MT, HMY, ABB, LUV, EMR, MSM, HEAT, APWR, EXM, MTW, TTM, DISH, AMZN, GOOG, FIATY, F, DANG, NFLX, CTCM, BYI, CETV, DMDN, THS, JVA, MED, EXR, FEED, WMT, MO, AEGR, STJ, ILMN, ICLR, ERT, GNOM, MRGE, ANDS, ACHN, VRTX, DXBGF, SBRA, BKYF, CFNL, FFBC, FMBI, IBKC, MBFI, WTFC, BOH, MTG, RDN, YHOO, AAPL, T, S, BIDU, SOHU, SINA, MU, ACN, LOGI, YOKU, IL, CLWR, RDCM, IRDM, PCS, DUK, AES, EXC, TE, GEN, SO, CEG, PCG