Durable Goods Orders rose by a larger than expected 4.0% and up 0.7% excluding transportation. Mortgage applications for home purchases fell 5.7% to the lowest level since December 1996. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened lower trading as low as 11,113.04 in morning trading, and rebounded solidly into the green into the last hour of trading to 11,321.47. The NASDAQ traded on both sides of the flat line on Wednesday with a low of 2420.48 and a high of 2470.22.
Asian stocks slumped on Wednesday as Moody’s downgrades Japan’s credit rating. The Nikkei 225 lost 1.07% to 8,640 with the Hang Seng plunging 2.06% to 19,467. European stocks continued an upside correction with the FTSE 100 up 1.49% to 5,206; the DAX popping 2.69% to 5,681 and the CAC 40 up 1.79% to 3,140. The yield on the 10-Year US Treasury note rose from 2.113 percent to 2.232 on Wednesday as the flight to quality eases. The US Treasury auctioned of $35 billion in 5-Year notes at 1.029% with a weaker than normal 2.71 bid to cover, and a strong 42.1% indirect bids which includes foreign central banks. The yield on the 10-Year note rose to 2.294 after the auction. Tomorrow the US Treasury auctions $29 billion 7-Year notes will be up for the bidding.
After a new all time high at $1917.9 the Troy ounce, Gold ended Tuesday with a key reversal day. From the record high to Wednesday’s low at $1751.6 gold plunged by $166.3 the Troy ounce. Crude oil declined to $84.55 per barrel then rebounded to $86.59, again staying above its 200-week simple moving average at $83.90. The euro versus the US dollar traded between 1.4384 and 1.4479.
BHP Billiton’s (BHP) FH2 net profit excluding items jumped 62% to a record $10.98B (missing estimates by $720M), boosted mostly by soaring prices for iron ore. BHP raised its dividend by 22% but won’t buy back shares, as speculated, because its $12.1B acquisition of Petrohawk Energy (HK) will absorb any extra cash. CNOOC (CEO) reported H1 net profit of 39.34B yuan (beats by 2.9B) on revenue of 125B yuan. Tesoro (TSO) gets lifted 180 degrees to Buy from Sell at The Benchmark Company with a target price of $25. In afternoon trading: Shares of ATP Oil & Gas (ATPG) are up about 12.25%. Shares of Magnum Hunter Resources (MHR) are up about 10.25%. Shares of Tesoro are up about 8%.
Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was trading at $65.95 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, up 0.59% on the day – down 3.37% year-to-date.
BHP Billiton’s (BHP) FH2 net profit excluding items jumped 62% to a record $10.98B (missing estimates by $720M), boosted mostly by soaring prices for iron ore. BHP raised its dividend by 22% but won’t buy back shares, as speculated, because its $12.1B acquisition of Petrohawk Energy (HK) will absorb any extra cash. Newmont Mining (NEM) is upgraded to Sector Perform from Underperform at RBC Capital. Nucor (NUE) is now Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley. US Steel (X) and Steel Dynamics (STLD) are both cut by Morgan Stanley to Equal Weight from Overweight. In afternoon trading: Shares of Temple-Inland (TIN) are up about 9%. Shares of Jaguar Mining (JAG) are down about 6.5%.
The Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB) was trading at $33.60 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, up 1.42% on the day – down 12.52% year-to-date.
Dycom (DY) beat estimates by 14 cents and revenue by $5M. In afternoon trading: Shares of Swift Transportation (SWFT) are up about 16.75%. Shares of Trinity Industries (TRN) are up about 12.75%. Shares of Greenbrier Companies (GBX) are up about 12.5%. Shares of Dycom are up about 11.75%. Shares of SatCon Technologies (SATC) are up about 11.75%. Shares of Capstone Turbine (CPST) are up about 10.75%.
The Industrial Select Sector SPDR (XLI) was trading at $30.88 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, up 2.02% on the day – down 11.44% year-to-date.
American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) missed estimates by a penny, but beat revenue by $25M, and sees FY11 EPS of $0.85-0.95. Toll Brothers (TOL) beat estimates by 22 cents, but missed revenue by $10M. WPP (WPPGY) reported H1 net profit of £230.7M on revenue of £4.71B, and trimmed its full-year growth outlook to 5.9% from a previous 6%+. Pacific Sunwear of California (PSUN) beat estimates by 6 cents and revenue by $3M, and sees FQ3 EPS in the range of -$0.16 to -$0.29 (versus consensus of -$0.05). Saks (SKS) is lifted to Neutral from Underperform with an $8 objective at Credit Suisse. Summit Hotel (INN) is upgraded to Buy from Hold at Keybanc. Strayer Education (STRA) is now Neutral from Sell at Sterne Agee. Pacific Sunwear (PSUN) is downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer. In afternoon trading: Shares of E-Commerce China Dangdang (DANG) are up about 12%. Shares of MGM Resorts International (MGM) are up about 11.75%. Shares of American Eagle are down about 9.25%.
The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) was trading at $36.10 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, up 1.78% on the day – down 3.50% year-to-date.
Heineken’s (HINKY) adjusted profits rose 5.7% to €694M, but the brewer warned full-year profit will be flat amid poor weather and low consumer confidence in Europe and the U.S. In afternoon trading: Shares of AgFeed Industries (FEED) are up about 6.75%. Shares of Chiquita Brands International (CQB) are up about 6.75%. Shares of Dole Food Company (DOLE) are up about 5.25%. Shares of CVS Caremark (CVS) are up about 4.75%. Shares of Heineken are down about 7.5%. Shares of Fomento Economico Mexican (FMX) are down about 5%.
The Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was trading at $30.38 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, up 0.43% on the day – up 3.65% year-to-date.
Universal Health (UHS) is a fresh Buy at Auriga with a target of $45. Edwards Lifesciences (EW) is initiated with a Buy at Wunderlich with a target of $75. Elan (ELN) is raised to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse. AtriCure (ATRC) is moved to Outperform from Market Perform at Morgan Keegan. United Therapeutics (UTHR) is downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank. In afternoon trading: Shares of United Therapeutics are down about 17.75%. Shares of Adolor Corporation (ADLR) are down about 9.5%. Shares of Cadence Pharmaceuticals (CADX) are down about 7.25%. Shares of Depomed (DEPO) are up about 8.5%. Shares of Affymetrix (AFFY) are up about 8%. Shares of Amylin Pharmaceuticals (AMLN) are up about 7.75%.
The Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) was trading at $32.39 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, up 1.16% on the day – up 2.83% year-to-date.
A federal judge has turned down the FDIC’s attempt to dismiss a $10B lawsuit filed by a unit of Deutsche Bank (DB) over bad mortgages that were securitized by Washington Mutual before it was seized by regulators and sold to JPMorgan (JPM). NY AG dropped from foreclosure panel. New York AG Eric Schneiderman has been removed from a committee of state AGs negotiating a deal with major banks over inappropriate foreclosure practices. The institutions involved are Bank of America (BAC), JPMorgan (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC), Citigroup (C) and Ally Financial. Fears about legal liabilities and write-offs again played havoc with Bank of America (BAC) yesterday as five-year CDS spreads hit levels higher than during the peak of the financial crisis. LPL Investment (LPLA) is started with a Sell at Ticonderoga with a target of $22. The Hanover Insurance Group (THG) is a new Buy at Sterne Agee. Nasdaq OMX (NDAQ) is now Buy from Neutral at UBS. U-Store-It (YSI) is upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital. Public Storage (PSA) gets lowered to Underperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital. In afternoon trading: Shares of MGIC Investment (MTG) are up about 33%. Shares of Radian Group (RDN) are up about 22%. Shares of The PMI Group (PMI) are up about 15.5%. Shares of Bank of America are up about 14%.
The Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) was trading at $12.70 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, up 2.68% on the day – down 20.38% year-to-date.
Two Internet users are suing comScore (SCOR) for secretly installing illegal data-mining software on their computers. AU Optronics (AUO) is being sued by HP (HPQ), one of its largest clients, for allegedly conspiring to fix prices of thin-film transistor LCD panels. Avago Technologies (AVGO) posted FQ3 results that beat Street forecasts by 2 cents and revenue by $8M, and is guiding for FQ4 revenue growth of 2%-5%; the midpoint of that range is above consensus. Perfect World (PWRD) reported Q2 revenue of $120.6M and EPS of $1.01 (beating consensus by $12.8M and $0.44), and expects 15-22% revenue growth in Q3 (above a 14.5% consensus). Google (GOOG) is initiated with a Outperform at Robert W. Baird with a price objective of $650. ValueClick (VCLK) is a new Neutral at Robert W. Baird with a $17 price target. Multi-Fineline (MFLX) is a new Outperform at Rodman & Renshaw. International Rectifier (IRF) is begun with a Buy at The Benchmark Company. Harmonic (HLIT) has a new Hold rating established at ThinkEquity. Perfect World (PWRD) is upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse. Benchmark Electronics (BHE) is cut to Sector Perform from Outperform, while Sanmina-SCI (SANM) is downgraded to Underperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital. Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) is moved to Underweight from Neutral at JP Morgan. In afternoon trading: Shares of RealNetworks (RNWK) are down about 28.5%. Shares of Avago Technologies (AVGO) are up about 13.25%.
The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) was trading at $23.68 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, up 0.89% on the day – down 5.99% year-to-date.
China Unicom (CHU) reported H1 net profit of 2.65B yuan (more than double consensus of 1.28B) on revenue of 101B (beats by 2B). In afternoon trading: Shares of China Unicom are up about 7.25%. Actives: Shares of Sprint Nextel (S) are up about 2.6%. Shares of AT&T (T) are up about 2.1%. Shares of Level 3 Communications (LVLT) are up about 5%. Shares of Verizon (VZ) are up about 2.1%. Shares of Vodafone (VOD) are up about 0.7%.
The NASDAQ Telecommunications Index (IXTC) was trading at $184.79 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, up 0.35% on the day – down 18.01% year-to-date.
In afternoon trading: Actives: Shares of Duke Energy (DUK) are up about 2%. Shares of Southern Co (SO) are up about 1.4%. Shares of CenterPoint Energy (CNP) are up about 2.2%. Shares of Genon Energy (GEN) are down about 0.7%. Shares of Exelon (EXC) are up about 1.9%. Shares of Calpone (CPN) are up about 5.9%.
The Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) was trading at $33.60 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, up 2.16% on the day – up 7.21% year-to-date.
STOCKS: BHP, HK, CEO, TSO, ATPG, MHR, NEM, NUE, X, STLD, TIN, JAG, DY, SWFT, TRN, GBX, SATC, CPST, AEO, TOL, WPPGY, PSUN, SKS, INN, STRA, PSUN, DANG, MGM, HINKY, FEED, CQB, DOLE, CVS, FMX, UHS, EW, ELN, ATRC, UTHR, ADLR, CADX, DEPO, AFFY, AMLN, DB, JPM, BAC, WFC, C, LPLA, THG, NDAQ, YSI, PSA, MTG, RDN, PMI, SCOR, AUO, HPQ, AVGO, PWRD, GOOG, VCLK, MFLX, IRF, HLIT, BHE, SANM, FIS, RNWK, AVGO, CHU, S, T, LVLT, VZ, VOD, DUK, SO, CNP, GEN, EXC, CPN