The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded between 12060.37 and 12202.23, until a late day rally reached a high of 12557.67. The NASDAQ traded between 2612.80 and 2649.59, until a late day rally reached a high of 2660.24.
Asian stocks were higher on Wednesday with the Nikkei 225 ending the day at 8722 – up 1.71% and the Hang Seng ending the day at 19,241 – up 1.58%. European stocks were slightly lower on Wednesday as the market weighs Europe’s risky business ahead of the latest European Summit. The FTSE 100 ended the day at 5,547 – down 0.39%; the DAX ended the day at 5,995 – down 0.57%; and the CAC 40 ended the day at 3,176 – down 0.11%.
The yield on the US Treasury 10-Year note rallied from an overnight high yield of 2.124 to and afternoon low yield of 2.017; trading through its 50-day simple moving average at 2.057. Gold traded up from $1723.6 the Troy ounce to a high of $1747.0, after holding above its 50-day simple moving average at $1705.1 on Tuesday. Crude oil traded between $99.67 per barrel and $101.94. The euro versus the dollar traded between 1.3354 and 1.3452.
MidAmerican Energy Holdings, a unit of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A), has agreed to buy First Solar's (FSLR) 550-megawatt Topaz Solar Farm in California. Mitcham Industries (MIND) beat estimates by 30 cents and revenue by $5M. Comstock (CRK) is upgraded to Outperform from Perform with a $30 price objective at Oppenheimer. Peabody Energy (BTU) is cut to Neutral from Buy at Goldman. Resolute Energy (REN) is reduced to Underperform from Neutral at Sterne Agee. In afternoon trading: Shares of Mitcham Industries are up about 19%. Shares of Frontline (FRO) are down about 11.5%. Shares of Treaty Energy (TECO) are down about 9.5%.
Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was trading at $70.88 at 3:45 PM on Wednesday, down 0.56% on the day – up 3.85% year-to-date.
Monsanto (MON) says strong business in Brazil and Argentina is a driver for its decision to push up its view on Q1 earnings as it now sees EPS falling in a range of $0.15-$0.20, up from prior guidance of the high end of $0.10-$0.15. The company reaffirms its full-year guidance and still expects mid-teens earnings growth for FY12. In afternoon trading: Shares of Jaguar Mining (JAG) are down about 11%. Heavily Active Stocks: Shares of Vale SA (VALE) are down about 4.3%. Shares of Alcoa (AA) are down about 1.5%. Shares of Freeport McMoran (FCX) are down about 1.8%.
The Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB) was trading at $34.75 at 3:45 PM on Wednesday, up slightly on the day – down 9.53% year-to-date.
The International Air Transport Association has warned that the airline sector could makes losses of $8.3B next year if a failure to resolve the eurozone's debt problems causes a banking crisis and economic turmoil. Boeing's (BA) machinists union is due to vote today on a four-year contract extension that both sides hope will lead to more harmonious relations after years of rancor. Frost & Sullivan analyst Wayne Plucker says Defense cuts and the intensifying competition with Airbus (EADSF) make good labor relations "pivotal." Generac (GNRC) is upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs. In afternoon trading: Shares of AMR Corp. (AMR) are up about 51.5%.
The Industrial Select Sector SPDR (XLI) was trading at $34.07 at 3:45 PM on Wednesday, up slightly on the day – down 2.29% year-to-date.
Men's Wearhouse (MW) reported FQ3 revenue of $584.6M and EPS of $0.79 (beating Street estimates by $13.7M and $0.14). The company expects FQ4 EPS of -$0.15 to -$0.12 (slightly worse than a -$0.11 consensus). Amazon.com (AMZN), eBay Inc (EBAY), and Pandora Media (P) are all picked up at Hold by Canaccord Genuity, which begins Buys on Google (GOOG), LinkedIn (LNKD), IAC/InterActiveCorp (IACI), and Zillow (Z). Keybanc Capital has Holds on Asbury Automotive (ABG), AutoNation (AN), and Sonic Automotive (SAH). It begins Buys on Lithia Motors (LAD), Group 1 Automotive (GPI), and Penske Automotive (PAG). Target (TGT) is a new Buy at UBS. Talbots (TLB) is now Neutral from Underperform with Wedbush. Dollar General (DG) gets a Buy-from-Hold boost at Deutsche Bank. Nike (NKE) is added to Top Picks Live list at Citigroup. Darden Restaurants (DRI) is taken to Hold from Buy at Argus after yesterday’s tumble. Summit Hotel (INN) is lowered to Hold from Buy at KeyBanc Capital. In afternoon trading: Shares of Talbots are up about 67.5%. Shares of McClatchy (MNI) are up about 47%. Shares of Men’s Warehouse are up about 16.25%.
The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) was trading at $39.62 at 3:45 PM on Wednesday, up 0.81% on the day – up 5.91% year-to-date.
China has approved Nestle's (NSRGY) plan to buy a 60% stake in Hsu Fu Chi, China's biggest confectioner. At $1.7B, it's one of the biggest deals by a foreign company in China, easing concerns that regulators are on a protectionist bent. Bowing to intense domestic pressure, India's government has suspended a controversial decision - pushed by PM Manmohan Singh - that would have allowed Wal-Mart (WMT) and other foreign companies to own supermarkets in the country. Wal-Mart (WMT) and Costco (COST) are new Neutrals at UBS. Carrefour SA (CRRFY) is moved to Sell from Hold at The Royal Bank of Scotland. In afternoon trading: Heavily Active Stocks: Shares of Wal-Mart are down about 0.75%. Shares of Altria Group (MO) are down about 0.5%. Shares of Procter & Gamble (PG) are flat. Shares of Coca Cola (KO) are down about 0.25%.
The Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was trading at $32.11 at 3:45 PM on Wednesday, up 0.44% on the day – up 9.55% year-to-date.
Sanofi's (SNY) Lantus, the world’s leading insulin drug with annual sales of $4.7B, almost triples the risk of developing cancer among diabetics. Cantor Fitzgerald has Hold rated coverage on Hologic (HOLX) and Intuitive Surgical (ISRG). It begins Buys on both Conceptus (CPTS) and Varian Medical (VAR). Auriga launches Holds on Laboratory Corp (LH) and Quest Diagnostics (DGX). Amylin Pharmaceuticals (AMLN) is assigned an Accumulate at Global Hunter Securities with a $14 target. In afternoon trading: Heavily Active Stocks: Shares of Pfizer (PFE) are up about 0.6%. Shares of Merck (MRK) are up about 0.3%. Shares of Eli Lily (LLY) are up about 1%. Shares of Amgen (AMGN) are up about 0.5%.
The Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) was trading at $34.04 at 3:45 PM on Wednesday, up 0.98% on the day – up 8.06% year-to-date.
Citigroup (C) plans to slash 4,500 positions - a larger cut than was previously reported - and will take a $400M charge related to the move in Q4 2011. The layoffs, revealed yesterday by CEO Vikram Pandit, are part of an attempt to reduce costs amid slumping revenue and "unprecedented" market conditions. It's not just Wall Street players getting hurt by MF Global's (MFGLQ) bankruptcy - farmers who used MF as their broker are also waiting to get their money back. In the meantime, they are missing deadlines for buying next season's seeds and are delaying equipment purchases. MidAmerican Energy Holdings, a unit of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A), has agreed to buy First Solar's (FSLR) 550-megawatt Topaz Solar Farm in California. ING Group (ING) will take a charge of between €900M ($1.2B) and €1.1B on its U.S. insurance business in connection with its closed block of variable annuity policies. Travelers Cos (TRV) is a new Outperform at Credit Suisse. Comerica (CMA) is begun with a Buy rating with Wunderlich with a $34 price target. Blackstone (BX) is boosted to Buy from Hold at Argus with a $20 target. Bank of Montreal (BMO) is moved to Hold from Buy at Canaccord Genuity. In afternoon trading: Shares of Lehman Brothers (LEHMQ) are up about 23.25%. Shares of Banco Santander-Chile (SAN) are up about 8.5%.
The Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) was trading at $13.34 at 3:45 PM on Wednesday, up 1.21% on the day – down 16.36% year-to-date.
SAIC (SAI) beat estimates by a penny and revenue by $80M. Amazon.com (AMZN), eBay Inc (EBAY), and Pandora Media (P) are all picked up at Hold by Canaccord Genuity, which begins Buys on Google (GOOG), LinkedIn (LNKD), IAC/InterActiveCorp (IACI), and Zillow (Z). Mizuho Securities starts Buys on Broadsoft (BSFT), Nuance Communications (NUAN), and Synaptics (SYNA), while j2 Global Communications (JCOM) is rated a new Neutral. Moneygram (MGI) is a new Outperform at Morgan Stanley. JDS Uniphase (JDSU) is a new Buy at Jefferies. SuccessFactors (SFSF) is moved to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo. In afternoon trading: Shares of Energy Conversion Devices (ENER) are up about 14.25%. Shares of THQ Inc. (THQI) are down about 12.75%.
The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) was trading at $26.09 at 3:45 PM on Wednesday, up 0.27% on the day – up 3.57% year-to-date.
Sprint Nextel (S) is reduced to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital. In afternoon trading: Shares of Frontier Communications (FTR) are down about 6.5%. Shares of Leap Wireless (LEAP) are down about 6.5%. Shares of Level 3 Communications (LVLT) are down about 6.5%. Heavily Active Stocks: Shares of AT&T (T) are down about 0.6%. Shares of Clearwire (CLWR) are down about 2.1%. Shares of Sprint Nextel are down about 2.7%.
The NASDAQ Telecommunications Index (IXTC) was trading at $202.07 at 3:45 PM on Wednesday, up 0.25% on the day – down 10.34% year-to-date.
Duke Energy (DUK) is raised to Buy from Neutral at Goldman. Veolia Environment (VE) is downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank. Public Service Enterprise Group (PEG) gets downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman. In afternoon trading: Heavily Active Stocks: Shares of Duke Energy are down about 0.25%. Shares of PSE&G are down about 2.1%. Shares of Southern Company (SO) are down about 0.9%. Shares of PPL Corp. (PPL) are down about 1.8%. Shares of AES Corp. (AES) are down about 0.3%. Shares of Exelon (EXC) are down about 0.25%.
The Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) was trading at $35.11 at 3:45 PM on Wednesday, down slightly on the day – up 12.03% year-to-date.
STOCKS: BRK.A, FSLR, MIND, CRK, BTU, REN, FRO, TECO, MON, JAG, VALE, AA, FCX, BA, EADSF, GNRC, AMR, MW, AMZN, EBAY, P, GOOG, LNKD, IACI, Z, ABG, AN, SAH, LAD, GPI, PAG, TGT, TLB, DG, NKE, DRI, INN, MNI, NSRGY, WMT, COST, CRRFY, MO, PG, KO, SNY, HOLX, ISRG, CPST, VAR, LH, DGX, AMLN, PFE, MRK, LLY, AMGN, C, MFGLQ, ING, TRV, CMA, BX, BMO, LEHMQ, SAN, SAI, BSFT, NUAN, SYNA, JCOM, MGI, JDSU, SFSF, ENER, THQI, S, FTR, LEAP, LVLT, T, CLWR, DUK, VE, PEG, SO, PPL, AES, EXC
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