Consumer credit expanded by $21.36 billion in March, more than twice of the amount that was expected and at the fastest rate since late 2001. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded down to 12,970.00 then rebounded above the flat line at 13,038.27 but stayed below the 50-day simple moving average at 13,062 going into the final half hour of trading. The NASDAQ traded down to 2939.21 then rebounded to 2970.20 well below its 50-day simple moving average at 3029.
Asian stocks plunged on Monday following the election news from Greece and France. The Nikkei 225 ended their session at 9,119 – down 2.78% on the day. The Hang Seng ended their session at 20,537 – down 2.61% on the day. European exchanges opened significantly lower, but recovered as the sun rose on Wall Street. The FTSE 100 was closed at 5,655. The DAX ended their session at 6,569 – up 0.12% on the day. The CAC 40 ended their session at 3,214 – up 1.65% on the day. The yield on the 10-Year US Treasury traded down to 1.821 percent in reaction to the European elections then rose to 1.882, still well below its 50-day and 200-day simple moving averages at 2.073 and 2.056.
Gold declined from $1644.0 the Troy ounce to $1632.2 well below the 50-day and 200-day simple moving averages at $1665.5 and $1699.0. Crude oil traded down from $98.24 per barrel to $95.34 then back above $98.00 into the final hour of trading. The low for oil was below its 200-day simple moving average at $96.32 with the 50-day at $104.71. The euro versus the dollar traded down to 1.2961 then rebounded to 1.3064 well below its 50-day simple moving average at 1.3190.
Some companies in the solar industry including First Solar (FSLR) has been idling capacity, as shares fell 6% on Friday. Statoil (STO) signed a potential $100 billion cooperation deal with Rosneft to develop the country’s Arctic offshore energy resources. HollyFrontier (HFC) missed Q1 EPS estimates by seven cents with a beat on the revenue line. Northern Oil & Gas (NOG) reported Q1 EPS of fourteen cents which may not be comparable to the consensus of 24 cents. Gran Tierra Energy (GTE) missed Q1 EPS estimates by thirteen cents with in-line revenue. Murphy Oil (MUR) has been downgraded to Hold from Buy at Brean Murray. Penn West Energy (PWE) has been downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie. Dow components – Chevron (CVX) – down 0.6%, Exxon Mobil (XOM) down 0.3%.
Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was trading at $68.16 at 3:30 PM on Monday, down 0.20% on the day – down 1.40% year-to-date.
A Delaware judge ruled that Martin Marietta Materials’ (MLM) hostile $5.5 billion bid for Vulcan Materials (VMC) has to be postponed for four months. Westlake Chemical (WLK) has withdrawn its $1.2 billion to acquire Georgia Gulf (GGC)) after a better offer of $35 pershare offer was rejected as too low. Globe Specialty Metals (GSM) missed Q1 EPS estimates by two cents with a beat on the revenue line. Gold miner Allied Nevada (ANV) missed Q1 EPS estimates by eleven cents with in-line revenue. Dow components – Alcoa (AA) down 1.3%, DuPont (DD) down 0.5%.
The Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB) was trading at $35.70 at 3:30 PM on Monday, up 0.06% on the day – up 6.57% year-to-date.
Investors have not been satisfied with the improved performance of General Motors (GM) and Ford (F) as shares are down about 30% year to date for each one, with the worry being the losses coming out of Europe. Trex Company (TREX) beat Q1 EPS estimates by 24 cents with better than expected revenue. Honda Motor (HMC) has been upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse. Dow components – Boeing Co (BA) down 0.4%, Caterpillar (CAT) down 1.2%, General Electric (GE) down 0.1%, 3M Company (MMM) down 0.6%, United Technologies (UTX) down 0.5%.
The Industrial Select Sector SPDR (XLI) was trading at $36.26 at 3:30 PM on Monday, down 0.11% on the day – up 7.44% year-to-date.
Cablevision (CVC) rose 1.5% after the close on Friday after the Wall Street Journal reported that the company will try and sell its Clearview Cinemas movie theater chain. Avis Budget Group (CAR) reported in-line Q1 EPS with revenue up 31.4% year over year. Cinemark (CNK) beat Q1 EPS estimates by three cents with revenue up 19.8% year over year. Lowe’s (LOW): has been upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight and Morgan Stanley. Priceline.com (PCLN) has been upgraded by Nomura to Neutral from Reduce with a $725 price target, on growth in the large US hotel market. Carnival Corp (CCL) Goldman Sachs downgrades the cruise company to Neutral from Buy due to uncertainty in the European economy. Dow Components – Disney (DIS) up 1.5% ahead of its earnings report, Home Depot down 0.6%, McDonalds (MCD) down 0.2%.
The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) was trading at $45.00 at 3:30 PM on Monday, up 0.20% on the day – up 15.33% year-to-date.
Tyson Foods (TSN) beat FQ2 EPS estimates by four cents but missed on the revenue line. TravelCenters of America (TA) reported a Q1 EPS cost by 49 cents with revenue up 11% year over year. Cott Corp (COT) has been upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight by Morgan Stanley. Newell Rubbermaid (NWL) has been upgraded to Outperform from Perform with a $23 price target at Oppenheimer. PepsiCo (PEP) has been upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley, and Dr Pepper Snapple (DPS) to Equal Weight from Underweight. Procter & Gamble (PG): has been downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform with Wells Fargo. Dow components – Kraft (KFT) up 0.5%, Coca Cola (KO) up 0.3%, Procter & Gamble (PG) flat, Wal-Mart (WMT) up 0.7%.
The Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was trading at $34.15 at 3:30 PM on Monday, up 0.21% on the day – up 5.11% year-to-date.
BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (BCRX) beat Q1 EPS estimates by thirteen cents with better than expected revenue. Achillion Pharmaceuticals (ACHN) has been upgraded to Neutral from Sell at UBS.
Dow Components – Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) up 0.1%, Merck (MRK) down 0.4%, Pfizer (PFE) flat.
The Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) was trading at $37.07 at 3:30 PM on Monday, up 0.32% on the day – up 6.86% year-to-date.
Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) reported Q1 net earnings at $1,966 per share with operating earnings up 67% year over year to $2.67 billion. The U.S. Treasury has launched a public offering of some of taxpayers’ 70% stake or 1.25 billion AIG (AIG) shares, and AIG has indicated that they will buy $2 billion in the offering. UBS (UBS) thinks that demand has rebounded for toxic mortgage debt and is seeking buyers for CDOs assembled in 2007. The securities have a face value of $1.5 billion backed by skyscrapers, malls and hotel loans. Barclays (BCS) plans to launch an online savings bank in the US market and will attract customers by offering interest rates of around 1% on deposits. BancorpSouth (BXS) is initiated with an Equal Weight rating at Morgan Stanley. Dow Components – American Express (AXP) flat, Bank of America (BAC) up 2.0%, JP Morgan Chase (JPM) flat, Travelers (TRV) down 0.3%.
The Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) was trading at $15.20 at 3:30 PM on Monday, up 0.66% on the day – up 16.92% year-to-date.
InvenSense (INVN) shares plunged 25.5% in after hours trading on Friday after reporting in-line FQ4 EPS but the company lower guidance for FQ1 revenue. Yahoo (YHOO) appears to be negotiating to sell a 15% to25% stake in Alibaba (ALBCF.PK) back to the Chinese e-commerce company. It appears that Micron (MU) has won the right to bid for Elpida after offering over $2.5 billion for the bankrupt Japanese chipmaker. LG Electronics (LGEAF.PK) will launch a Google-powered (GOOG) Internet TV in the US as part of a push to defend against Apple (AAPL) and its rumored iTV. Cognizant Technology Solutions (CTSH) beat Q1 EPS estimates by thirteen cents with in-line revenue. NVIDIA (NVDA) has been upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Nomura. Texas Instruments (TXN) has been upgraded to Neutral from Reduce at Nomura.Dow Components – Cisco Systems (CSCO) up 0.3%, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) down 0.9%, IBM (IBM) down 0.5%, Intel Corp (INTC) down 0.1%, Microsoft (MSFT) down 0.8%.
The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) was trading at $29.05 at 3:30 PM on Monday, down 0.07% on the day – up 14.15% year-to-date.
Leap Wireless (LEAP) has been upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at Piper Jaffray. Dow components – AT&T (T) up 0.1%, Verizon (VZ) up 0.5%.
The NASDAQ Telecommunications Index (IXTC) was trading at $201.76 at 3:30 PM on Monday, down 0.21% on the day – up 2.46% year-to-date.
Frontier Communications (FTR) reported Q1 EPS of three cents with in-line revenue. Alliant Energy (LNT) has been downgraded to Hold from Buy at Wunderlich, which takes its target to $45 from $47. Dominion Resources (D) down 0.4%, Edison International (EIX) flat, First Energy (FE) up 0.0.4%, PG&E Corp (PCG) down 0.4%, Southern Company (SO) up 0.1%.
The Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) was trading at $35.47 at 3:30 PM on Monday, down 0.28% on the day – down 1.42% year-to-date.
STOCKS: CVX, XOM, FSLR, HFC, NOG, GTE, MUR, PWE, AA, DD, MLM, VMC, GGC, GSM, ANV, BA, CAT, GE, MMM, UTX, GM, F, TREX, HMC, DIS, HD, MCD, CVC, CAR, CNK, LOW, PCLN, CCL, KFT, KO, PG, WMT, TSN, TA, COT, NWL, PEP, DPS, JNJ, MRK, PFE, BCRX, ACHN, AXP, BAC, JPM, TRV, BRK.A, AIG, UBS, BCS, CSCO, HPQ, IBM, INTC, MSFT, INVN, YHOO, ALBCF.PK, MU, LGEAF.PK, AAPL, CTSH, NVDA, TXN, T, VZ, LEAP, D, EIX, FE, PCG, FTR, LNT