Initial Jobless Claims came in at 357,000, the lowest since mid-April 2008, but still above the recessionary threshold of 350,000. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined to 13,012.46 then rebounded to 13,088.11 then consolidated into the final hour of trading. A close below the 50-day simple moving average at 12,975 will confirm that the Dow has peaked at its 52-week high at 13,297.11 set on April 2nd. The NASDAQ’s declined to 3061.14 then rebounded to 3083.38 below its 52-week high at 3134.17 set on March 27th. A close below the 21-day simple moving average at 3066 shifts the daily chart to negative.
Asian stocks were lower on Thursday. The Nikkei 225 ended their session at 9,768 – down 0.53% on the day. The Hang Seng ended their session at 20,593 – down 0.95% on the day. European stocks opened higher then drifted lower before ending mixed. The FTSE 100 ended their session at 5,724 – up 0.35% on the day. The DAX ended their session at 6,775 – down 0.13% on the day. The CAC 40 ended their session at 3,320 – up 0.19% on the day. The yield on the 10-Year US Treasury declined from 2.238 percent to 2.138 then consolidated closing on the cusp of its 200-day simple moving average at 2.169.
Gold rebounded from $1620.7 the Troy ounce to $1634.8 well below its 200-day simple moving average at $1687.7. Crude oil rebounded from $101.37 per barrel to $103.40 staying below its 50-day simple moving average at $103.82. The euro versus the dollar declined from 1.3163 to 1.3038 below its 50-day simple moving average at 1.3216.
Shell (RDS.A) is considering building a huge plant in Louisiana to convert natural gas into diesel fuel. The ConocoPhillips' (COP) board approved the spinoff of its gas station business Phillips 66, which will trade on NYSE as PSX effective after the close on April 30. Cenovus Energy (CVE) has been upgraded to Sector Outperform from Sector Perform at CIBC World Markets. Enduro Royalty Trust (NDRO) has been downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $21 price target at Robert W. Baird. Sasol (SSL) has been downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse. Baker Hughes (BHI) rebounded by 0.5%, Chesapeake Energy (CHK) rebounded by 0.7%, Chevron (CVX) rebounded fractionally as did Exxon Mobil (XOM).
Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was trading at $70.59 at 3:30 PM on Thursday, down 0.44% on the day – up 2.11% year-to-date.
Schulman (SHLM) missed EPS estimates by six cents with revenue down 2.4% year over year. LyondellBasell (LYB) is initiated with a Neutral rating at Piper Jaffray. Uranium Resources (URRE) is initiated with a Buy rating at Dahlman Rose. Alcoa (AA) rebounded by 0.4%, DuPont (DD) rebounded by 0.6%, Freeport McMoRan (FCX) rebounded by 1.0% and US Steel (X) bounced by 1.5%.
The Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB) was trading at $36.47 at 3:30 PM on Thursday, down 0.60% on the day – up 8.87% year-to-date.
HEICO (HEI) the aerospace firm is initiated with a Neutral rating at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch. Acuity Brands (AYI) has been downgraded to Hold from Buy at ThinkEquity. MDC Holdings (MDC) has been downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JP Morgan. Dow components Boeing Co (BA) was fractionally lower, Caterpillar (CAT) was 0.7% higher, General Electric (GE) slumped 0.5%, 3M Company (MMM) slipped 0.4% and United Technologies (UTX) was flat.
The Industrial Select Sector SPDR (XLI) was trading at $36.99 at 3:30 PM on Thursday, down 0.35% on the day – up 9.60% year-to-date.
Carmax (KMX) beat earnings estimated on both the top and bottom lines. Bed Bath and Beyond (BBBY) reported that their same-store sales rose by +6.8% year over year, which was better than expected and shares rose 6.0% in after hours trading. PriceSmart (PSMT) missed EPS estimates by two cents but revenue was up 22.3% year over year, but shares fell 1.8% in Wednesday’s after hours trading. Cabela’s (CAB) is initiated with an Outperform rating at Imperial Capital with a $45 price target.
The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) was trading at $45.02 at 3:30 PM on Thursday, up 0.72% on the day – up 15.38% year-to-date.
DirecTV (DTV) reached an agreement to resume carrying Tribune TV stations. Constellation Brands (STZ) reported a revenue miss pre-market and the stock was 6.8% lower pre-market. Ruby Tuesday (RT) beat on the EPS line but misses on revenue and with lower guidance the stock slumped 12% in after hours trading. Panera Bread (PNRA) is initiated with an Outperform rating at Credit Suisse.
The Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was trading at $34.02 at 3:30 PM on Thursday, down 0.09% on the day – up 4.71% year-to-date.
Sanofi (SNY) and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) reported that their experimental Zaltrap drug did not meet targets in a late-stage Phase III trial. AngioDynamics (ANGO) beat EPS estimates by two cents but revenue missed by 5.5% year over year, and shares fell 4.5% in Wednesday’s after hours trading. Ventrus Biosciences (VTUS) has been initiated with a Buy rating at Cantor Fitzgerald. Quality Systems (QSII) has been downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley. Dow Components Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) traded flat, Merck (MRK) lost 0.5% and Pfizer (PFE) was down 0.25%.
The Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) was trading at $37.48 at 3:30 PM on Thursday, down 0.11% on the day – up 8.04% year-to-date.
Bank of America-Merrill Lynch initiates Susquehanna Bancshares (SUSQ) with a Buy rating, initiates Webster Financial (WBS) with a neutral rating, and initiates Fulton Financial (FULT) with an Underperform rating. Citigroup initiates KeyCorp (KEY) with a Buy rating and $10 price target. Citigroup initiates First Niagara Financial (FNFG) and Huntington Bancshares (HBAN) with neutral ratings. Sunstone Hotel (SHO) are initiated with an Equal Weight rating at Barclays. Comerica (CMA) is downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Citigroup. First Commonwealth Financial (FCF), Flushing Financial (FFIC), and Associated Banc-Corp (ASBC) have been downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie.
The Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) was trading at $15.55 at 3:30 PM on Thursday, down 0.19% on the day – up 19.62% year-to-date (the strongest performing sector).
LinkedIn (LNKD) has had several downgrades this morning, but at Capstone Investments where the stock was initiated with a Buy rating with a $125 price target. Pandora Media (P) has been initiated with an Underweight rating by Barclays with an $8 price target. Aruba Networks (ARUN) is initiated with a Buy rating at Needham with a price target at is $28. Atmel (ATML) is initiated with a Buy rating and $12 price target at Maxim Group. NVIDIA (NVDA) has been initiated with a Buy rating at Cantor Fitzgerald with a $20 price target. LinkedIn (LNKD) has been downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James.
The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) was trading at $30.16 at 3:30 PM on Thursday, up 0.20% on the day – up 18.51% year-to-date.
ADTRAN (ADTN) has been downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Raymond James. Ciena (CIEN) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James. Dow components AT&T (T) fell 2.25% while Verizon (VZ) lost 1.90%.
The NASDAQ Telecommunications Index (IXTC) was trading at $213.7 at 3:30 PM on Thursday, down 0.80% on the day – up 8.52% year-to-date.
Veolia Environnement (VE) has been downgraded to Sell from Hold by Deutsche Bank. Dominion Resources (D) was down 0.25%, Edison International (EIX) was flat, First Energy (FE) was flat, and PG&E Corp (PCG) was down 0.6%.
The Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) was trading at $34.87 at 3:30 PM on Thursday, down 0.80% on the day – down 3.09% year-to-date (the weakest performing sector / the only negative sector).
STOCKS: BHI, CHK, CVX, XOM, RDS.A, COP, CVE, NDRO, SSL, AA, DD, FCX, X, SHLM, LYB, URRE, BA, CAT, GE, MMM, UTX, HEI, AYI, MDC, KMX, BBY, PSMT, CAB, DTV, STZ, RT, PNRA, SNY, ANGO, VTUS, JNJ, MRK, PFE, SUSQ, WBS, FULT, KEY, FNFG, HBAN, SHO, CMA, FCF, FFIC, ASBC, LNKD, P, ARUN, ATML, NVDA, ADTN, CIEN, T, VZ, D, EIX, FE, PCG, VE
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