Housing Starts fell 1.1% in February to an annual rate of 698,000. Permits rose 5.1% to an annual rate of 717,000. Single Family Starts fell 9.9% to an annual rate of 457,000 homes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened lower trading down to 13,123.38 in morning trading, then rebounded entering the final half hour of trading below 13,200. The NASDAQ’s traded down to 3050.82 in morning trading, then rebounded entering the final half hour of trading below 3080.
Asian stocks were mixed again on Tuesday as analysts cite concerns over the economy in China. The Nikkei 225 was on holiday – ended their Monday session at 10,142 – up 0.12% on the day. The Hang Seng ended their session at 20,888 – down 1.08% on the day. European stocks declined on Tuesday on renewed Greek concerns. The FTSE 100 ended their session at 5,891 – down 1.17% on the day. The DAX ended their session at 7,055 – down 1.39% on the day. The CAC 40 ended their session at 3,531 – down 1.32% on the day.
The yield on the 10-Year US Treasury declined from 2.366 percent to 2.327 then rose to 2.399 staying above its 200-day simple moving average at 2.214. Gold declined from $1664.9 the Troy ounce to $1641.2 staying below its 200-day simple moving averages at $1680.3 for four consecutive days. Crude oil declined from $107.91 per barrel to $105.35. The euro versus the dollar declined from 1.3243 to 1.3176 then rebounded to 1.3250.
Williams Partners (WPZ) has agreed to buy Caiman Energy’s wholly owned subsidiary, Caiman Eastern Midstream, for approximately $2.5B. CVR Energy (CVI) has rejected Carl Icahn’s extended $30 a share tender offer, and asked shareholders not to participate. Diamond Offshore (DO) is now Neutral from Underperform at Macquarie. Frontline (FRO) is taken to Underperform from Market Perform with Wells. Kinder Morgan Inc (KMI) is moved to Neutral from Buy at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.
Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was trading at $74.01 at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, down 1.50% on the day – up 7.06% year-to-date. The February 2012 change was +5.93%. The 2011 change was -1.29%.
Big Movers: (DHT) -27%, (OSG) -12%.
Morgan Stanley starts Airgas (AIR) at Overweight, assigns an Underweight on Air Products (APD), and picks up Praxair (PX) at Equal Weight. Agrium (AGU) is a new Neutral at Piper Jaffray, which picks up CF Industries (CF) at Overweight and assigns it a price objective of $230. IAMGOLD (IAG) is lifted to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie.
The Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB) was trading at $37.12 at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, down 0.56% on the day – up 10.81% year-to-date. The February 2012 change was -0.56%. The 2011 change was -12.78%.
Heavily Traded: (AA) -1.8%, (FCX) -0.4%, (VALE) -2.5%, (POT) +3.8%, (X) -1.5%.
Morgan Stanley starts Airgas (AIR) at Overweight, assigns an Underweight on Air Products (APD), and picks up Praxair (PX) at Equal Weight. Rockwell Collins (COL) is covered with a Hold at KeyBanc Capital. Deutsche Lufthansa AG (DLAKY) gets a Buy-from-Neutral boost at UBS. United Parcel Service (UPS) is cut to Hold from Buy at Stifel Nicolaus.
The Industrial Select Sector SPDR (XLI) was trading at $37.54 at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, down 1.16% on the day – up 11.23% year-to-date. The February 2012 change was +2.79%. The 2011 change was -3.21%.
Heavily Traded: (GE) -0.5%, (GLW) -1.7%.
Michael Kors (KORS) insiders plan to sell over $1B worth of stock in a secondary offering, with founder Michael Kors due to offload 3M shares and CEO John Idol 1.7M. The company has also raised its FY 2012 EPS outlook to $0.79-$0.81 (above consensus of $0.67) and revenue at $1.27B-$1.28B (versus Street predictions of $1.28B). Time Warner Cable (TWC) and News Corp’s (NWS) Fox sports unit are heading for a potential multi-billion dollar showdown over the rights to telecast the L.A. Dodgers’ baseball games. Disney (DIS) will take a $200M write-down related to the mega-flop John Carter, worse than the $120M-$160M forecast by analysts. The loss will result in Disney’s studio division reporting an operating loss of $80M-$120M in the March quarter compared with a $77M operating profit in the December quarter. Tiffany (TIF) missed estimates by 3 cents, while beating revenue by $10M. The company sees sales up by ~10% and EPS falling in a range of $3.95 to $4.05. Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF) is initiated with an Overweight at JPMorgan. Clear Channel Outdoor (CCO) and Lamar Advertising (LAMR) are each upgraded to Above Average from Average at Caris & Company. Harley-Davidson (HOG) is upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform by BMO Capital with a new target of $60. Domino’s Pizza (DPZ) gets downgraded to Underperform from Neutral by Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.
The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) was trading at $44.655 at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, up 0.17% on the day – up 14.44% year-to-date. The February 2012 change was +10.09%. The 2011 change was +4.30%.
Tesco (TSCDY) gets upgraded to Hold from Sell at ING Group. Dole Food (DOLE) is moved to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.
The Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was trading at $33.60 at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, down slightly on the day – up 3.42% year-to-date. The February 2012 change was +3.75%. The 2011 change was +10.85%.
Big Movers: (FEED) -15.25%, (PATH) -11%, (CHBT) +11.25%.
Heavily Traded: (RAD) -1.3%.
AtriCure (ATRC) is a new Outperform at Leerink Swann. Cardiome Pharmaceuticals (CRME) is lowered to Market Perform from Outperform at Leerink Swann.
The Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) was trading at $36.65 at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, down 0.52% on the day – up 5.65% year-to-date. The February 2012 change was +1.06%. The 2011 change was +10.32%.
Big Movers: (ECYT) +11.5%, (AMRN) +11.25%.
Heavily Traded: (AMRN) +11.25%, (PFE) down slightly.
Deutsche Bank (DB) is facing a number of civil suits in the U.S. over alleged Libor manipulation, and it has received subpoenas and information requests from the Justice Department, the SEC, the CFTC and the European Commission. Jefferies Group (JEF) beat estimates by 5 cents and revenue by $72M. FX Alliance (FX) is a new Neutral at Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan. Kimco Realty (KIM) is an In-Line at Imperial Capital with a $20 target price. Comerica (CMA) gets moved to Market Perform from Outperform by Sanford Bernstein. Webster Financial (WBS) gets reduced to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital. Zions Bancorp (ZION) is moved to Market Perform from Outperform by Bernstein. Washington Mutual (WAMUQ) is down about 95% on completion of its Chapter 11 filing.
The Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) was trading at $15.875 at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, up 0.47% on the day – up 22.12% 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.
After announcing a goody bag of a buyback and dividends early yesterday, Apple (AAPL) later disclosed that it has sold 3M new iPads since the device was launched on Friday. Adobe’s (ADBE) FQ1 net profit dropped 21% to $185.2M while revenue rose 1.7% to $1.05B, with the company’s performance hurt by lower-than-expected sales from its legacy desktop software due to customers waiting for the launch of the company’s Creative Suite 6 software and subscription services. Oracle (ORCL) is due to report its FQ3 results after the bell today, with analysts expecting that EPS rose to $0.56 from $0.54 a year ago and that revenue edged up just 2.5% to $9.02B. Microsoft (MSFT) continues to work on Windows 8, with Bloomberg reporting that the first PCs and tablets based on the OS will arrive in October. The initial hardware will include systems featuring ARM-based (ARMH) processors to go with x86 Intel (INTC) gear. JA Solar Holdings (JASO) missed estimates by 29 cents, while beating revenue by $66M. 4:09 PM Adobe Systems (ADBE) reported FQ1 EPS of $0.57 (in-line) and revenue of $1.05B (in-line). The company expects FQ2 revenue of $1.09B-$1.14B and EPS of $0.57-$0.61, (in-line), and expects FY12 revenue growth of 6%-8% and EPS of $2.38-$2.48 (consensus of 4.7% growth and $2.42). LDK Solar (LDK) lowers the top end of its Q4 revenue guidance, forecasting revenue of $440M-450M (versus $440M-520M prior guidance). Yingli Green Energy (YGE) and Trina Solar (TSL) are each begun with Equal Weights at Barclays. Adobe Systems (ADBE) is upgraded to Sector Perform from Underperform at RBC Capital, but is slashed to Sector Perform from Outperform at Pacific Crest. InterXion (INXN) is moved to Outperform from Market Perform with Wells Fargo. OmniVision (OVTI) is now Buy from Hold with a $24 target at Needham. ARM Holdings (ARMH) is lifted to Overweight to Equal Weight at Barclays. Digital River (DRIV) is reduced to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital. F5 Networks (FFIV) is reduced to Hold from Buy at McAdams Wright Ragen. CA Technologies (CA) is cut to Sector Perform from Outperform. Ixia (XXIA) is downgraded to Hold from Buy with a $15 objective at Wunderlich. Veeco Instruments (VECO) is reduced to Sell from Underperform at Crédit Agricole.
The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) was trading at $30.07 at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, down 0.10% on the day – up 18.15% year-to-date. The February 2012 change was +7.08%. The 2011 change was +1.03%.
Big Movers: (YGE) +16%, (STP) +12.5%, (TSL) +10.75%, (DRWI) +10.25%.
Swisscom AG (SCMWY) is now Neutral from Buy at Nomura. Inteliquent (IQNT) shares are up more than 11% after the company said it was included in the International Business Times fastest growing companies list.
The NASDAQ Telecommunications Index (IXTC) was trading at $216.87 at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, up 0.71% on the day – up 10.13% year-to-date. The February 2012 change was +1.63%. The 2011 change was -12.62%.
Big Mover: (IQNT) +11.5%.
Heavily Traded (S) -0.5%, (CLWR) +3.9%, (VOD) +2.7%, (T) +0.5%.
GenOn Energy (GEN) is slashed to Sell from Hold at Deutsche Bank. International Power (IPRPY) is now Neutral from Buy at Nomura. Public Service Enterprise Group (PEG) is downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank.
The Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) was trading at $34.58 at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, up 0.12% on the day – down 3.89% 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.
Heavily Traded: (GEN) -2.7%, (DUK) -0.4%, (EXC) -0.4%, (SO) -0.1%, (NRG) -0.2%.
STOCKS: WPZ, CVI, DO, FRO, KMI, DHT, OSG, AIR, APD, PX, AGU, CF, IAG, AA, FCX, VALE, POT, X, COL, DLAKY, UPS, GE, GLW, KORS, TWC, NWS, DIS, TIF, LGF, CCO, LAMR, HOG, DPZ, TSCDY, DOLE, FEED, PATH, CHBT, RAD, ATRC, CRME, ECYT, AMRN, PFE, DB, JEF, FX, KIM, CMA, WBS, ZION, WAMUQ, AAPL, ADBE, ORCL, MSFT, ARMH, INTC, JASO, LDK, YGE, TSL, INXN, OVTI, ARMH, DRIV, FFIV, CA, XXIA, VECO, STP, DRWI,, SCMWY, IQNT, S, CLWR, VOD, T, GEN, IPRPY, PEG, DUK, EXC, SO, NRG