We had mixed data on the labor market Wednesday morning as Challenger, Grey & Christmas reported that planned layoffs rose to 66,414, a sixteen month high in July, while ADP reported that the economy added 114,000 private sector jobs in July. Factory Orders declined 0.8% in June. Non-manufacturing ISM came in a 52.7 in July down from 53.3 in June. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened trading around the flat line between 11,813.87 and 11,891.48, then declined to 11,700.34 in morning trading then consolidated back above 11,800 around noon. By mid-afternoon the Dow was back into the green. The Dow then traded back and forth around the flat line into the final hour of trading when the Dow traded above 11,900. The NASDAQ also opened trading around break-even between 2663.23 and 2680.78 then declined to 2621.67 in morning trading then returned to the flat line at 2669 around noon. The NASDAQ traded to a new day’s high into the final hour of trading to around 2695.
Asian stocks continued to slump on Wednesday following Wall Street declines on Tuesday. The Nikkei 225 plunged 2.1% to 9,637. The Hang Seng sank 1.9% to 21,993. European stocks continued their downward ways on Wednesday on EU sovereign debt woes. The FTSE 100 slumped 2.3% to 5,590. The DAX plunged 2.3% for the second day in a row to 6,641. The CAC 40 fell 1.9% to 3,455. The yield on the 10-Year US Treasury note continued to decline and reached another new year-to-date low yield at 2.544 percent then consolidated the yield down trend. Gold rose from $1653.1 to another new all time high at $1675.3 then consolidated this gain. Crude oil declined from $93.75 to $92.77 then consolidated this move before setting a new daily low at $91.22 after the bearish oil inventories data. The euro versus the US dollar rebounded from 1.4149 to 1.4342 then consolidated that range.
Spectra Energy (SE) beat estimates by 2 cents with revenue in-line with estimates. Exco Resources (XCO) beat estimates by a penny, but missed revenue by $15M. Stone Energy (SGY) beat estimates by 21 cents on revenue of $234M. Trina Solar (TSL) is reducing its FQ2 solar module shipment and gross margin forecasts. Marathon Oil’s (MRO) Q2 report: Profit of $298M (-26% Y/Y) excludes impact from its spun off refinery. Amyris (AMRS) is initiated with a Neutral at Piper Jaffray. Patterson-UTI (PTEN) is upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform with Wells Fargo. Occidental Petroleum (OXY) is upgraded to Buy from Hold at Societe Generale. Frontline (FRO) is downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies with a new target of $10. Overseas Shipholding (OSG) is downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies and to Sell from Hold at Deutsche Bank. In afternoon trading: Shares of Input/Output (IO) are down about 29% after missing estimates by 2 cents and revenue by $27M.
Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was trading at $73.79 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, down 0.58% on the day – up 8.11% year-to-date.
Stillwater Mining Company (SWC) missed estimates by 3 cents with revenue in-line with estimates. Agrium (AGU) beat estimates by 26 cents and revenue by $700M. Vulcan Materials Company (VMC) beat estimates by 13 cents, but missed revenue by $17M. Rock-Tenn (RKT) beat estimates by 8 cents with revenue in-line with estimates. Marietta Materials (MLM) missed Q2 earnings estimates and profits dropped 34%. Rock-Tenn (RKT) is raised to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank. BHP Billiton (BHP) is downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse. In afternoon trading: Shares of Kraton Performance Polymers (KRA) are down about 32.25% in reaction to Q2 financial results, which came out after the close, yesterday. Shares of Kronos Worldwide (KRO) are down about 8.5%.
The Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB) traded at $36.90 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, up 0.52% on the day – down 3.93% year-to-date.
Hertz (HTZ) beat estimates by 5 cents and revenue by $40M, and raised its full year outlook. R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company (RRD) beat estimates by a penny with revenue in-line with estimates, and sees full-year operating cash flow less capital expenditures of approximately $600 million. Owens Corning (OC) beat estimates by 3 cents and revenue by $70M. Executive Board Co. (EXBD) reported Q2 revenue of $119.2M and EPS of $0.30 (below a consensus of $120.5M and $0.37), while reiterating its 2011 revenue forecast of $480M-$500M and non-GAAP EPS of forecast of $1.50-$1.65 (in-line with a consensus of $439.1M and $1.63). Meritor (MTOR) reported FQ3 revenue of $1.29B and adjusted EPS of $0.26 (below a consensus of $1.31B and $0.29), and expects FQ4 revenue of $1.175B-$1.275B (versus a consensus of $1.25B). Parker Hannifin (PH) FQ4 EPS missed estimates by a penny, despite a 32% increase in revenues, and lowered FY12 forecast to $6.70 to $7.50 per share (below the $7.51 previously expected). The Dolan Company (DM) reported Q2 revenue of $69.4M and EPS of $0.09 (roughly in-line with consensus), and expects 2011 revenue of $297-$305M (in-line with a $299.7M consensus). II-VI Inc.’s (IIVI) FQ4 fell short of estimates. Expeditors International (EXPD) missed estimates by 2 cents and revenue by $80M. Foster Wheeler (FWLT) Q2 easily beat estimates, aided by a 79% surge in profit from the company’s power business. AeroVironment (AVAV) is upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at FBR Capital. Union Pacific (UNP) is upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform by BMO Capital. AMR Corp (AMR) is cut to Neutral from Overweight at JP Morgan. Republic Airways (RJET) is reduced to Neutral from Buy at Goldman. Parker-Hannifin (PH) is lowered to Neutral from Overweight at JP Morgan. Kforce.com (KFRC) is taken to Neutral from Buy at Suntrust. In afternoon trading: Shares of Kforce are down about 35%. Shares of Mueller Water Products (MWA) are down about 12%. Shares of RR Donnelley & Sons are down about 11%. Shares of Polypore International (PPO) are UP about 11.25%.
The Industrial Select Sector SPDR (XLI) traded at $33.56 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, up 0.90% on the day – down 3.76% year-to-date.
Citigroup (C) has received first-round bids of $3B-$4B from over 10 groups for EMI, including from Sony (SNE), Universal (VIVDY), Warner Music (WMG) and BMG. Traditional TV companies are finally making something from the Internet, with a new content-streaming deal with Netflix (NFLX) helping CBS Corp.’s (CBS) Q2 EPS to more than double to $0.58 (beating expectations by 12 cents). CBS should benefit from the Web even more in the future, having recently signed an agreement with Amazon (AMZN) as well. Garmin’s (GRMN) issued EPS guidance below $2.48 consensus and revenue guidance of $2.5B-$2.6B (in-line with consensus). Time Warner’s (TWX) reported that operating income margin was 18% (-1% Y/Y). (TV) Networks division revenue was +9%, filmed Entertainment +13% and publishing +3%. Comcast’s (CMCSA) reported cable revenue +5.6% Y/Y, advertising revenue +3.7% Y/Y and NBC Universal revenue +17.1% Y/Y. TRW Automotive (TRW) beat estimates by 29 cents and revenue by $200M, and sees FY’11 revenue of $16.2B-16.4B (versus prior guidance of $15.7B-16B). Liberty Global (LBTYA) reported Q2 EPS of -$1.37 (may not be comparable to estimates of $0.24) with revenue in-line with estimates. Peet’s Coffee & Tea (PEET) beat estimates by 6 cents and revenue by $1.9M, raised 2011 revenue growth guidance to 10-12% (above 9.5% consensus), and expects 2011 EPS to be at high end of prior guidance range of $1.43-$1.50. Bridgepoint Education (BPI) handily beats Q2 estimates, but new student enrollment rose just 3.3% in the latest quarter (far below the double-digit pace in past years). Coach (COH) topped FQ4 estimates with a solid 4% increase in net income, but investors are expressing disappointment with the narrow distribution of sales. OfficeMax’s (OMX) Q2 beat low expectations. The reality is the company closed eight stores, and posted its 14th revenue decline over 15 quarters. DineEquity (DIN) Q2 profit drops 98% as EPS and revenue expectations missed across-the-board. Hyatt Hotels’ (H) Q2 beat on a 48% jump in profits as higher revenue per-room improved margins. ReachLocal (RLOC) is a new Buy and $25 price objective at Needham. DineEquity (DIN) is moved to Outperform from Market Perform with a $55 target price at Morgan Keegan. Vera Bradley (VRA) is boosted to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells. Choice Hotels (CHH) is now Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse. Ford Motor (F) is removed from the Conviction Buy List at Goldman Sachs. Virgin Media (VMED) is downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies. In afternoon trading: Shares of Lincoln Educational Services (LINC) are down about 24.5% as they see student starts falling 30-35% in 2011. Shares of ReachLocal are up about 12.75%. Shares of HSN (HSNI) are up about 11.5%. Shares of Eastman Kodak (EK) are up about 10%.
The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) traded at $38.23 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, up 0.74% on the day – up 2.19% year-to-date.
Clorox (CLX) beat estimates by 6 cents with revenue in-line with estimates, and sees FY’12 EPS of $4.00-4.10 (versus $4.11 consensus). AgFeed Industries (FEED) issued guidance for Q2 revenues of approximately $84M (far below previous estimates of $92M). Diageo PLC (DEO) is raised to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank. In afternoon trading: Shares of China-Biotics (CHBT) are down about 22.75%. Shares of AgFeed are down about 9.75%. Shares of Star Scientific (CIGX) are down about 5.25%. Shares of The Pantry (PTRY) are up about 6.5%. Shares of PriceSmart (PSMT) are up about 5%.
The Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) traded at $30.44 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, up 0.40% on the day – up 3.86% year-to-date.
Bruker BioSciences (BRKR) missed estimates by a penny, but beat revenue by $18M. Universal American (UAM) reported Q2 earnings of $0.10 per share (easily beating breakeven expectations). WebMD Health (WBMD) missed estimates by 6 cents with revenue in-line with estimates. Cephalon (CEPH) missed estimates by 44 cents, but missed revenue by $34M. Allscripts-Misys Healthcare Solutions (MDRX) reported Q2 EPS of $0.22 (in-line), while beating revenue by $7M. Depomed (DEPO) reported Q2 revenue of $21.2M and EPS of -$0.11 (missing a consensus of $22.1M and -$0.05). ARIAD Pharmaceuticals’ (ARIA) Q2 missed estimates as restructuring charges related to its agreement with Merck (MRK), as well as a revaluation of the company’s warrant liability both dug a deeper-than-anticipated hole into bottom-line margins. Amedisys (AMED) reported that Q2 missed estimates as profits fell 33% on a drop in net service revenue, and lowered its FY1 forecast, which excludes the impact of Friday’s Medicaid decision. Allscripts-Misys Healthcare (MDRX) gets a Buy-from-Hold hoist at Auriga with a new $22 target. EXACT Sciences (EXAS) is moved to Market Perform from Outperform at Rodman & Renshaw. In afternoon trading: Shares of AMAG Pharmaceuticals (AMAG) are up about 12.25%.
The Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) traded at $32.88 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, up 0.18% on the day – up 4.38% year-to-date.
Bank of America (BAC) is reportedly in talks with a small group of federal and state prosecutors about a deal in which it would lower the money distressed homeowners have to pay back in return for immunity for the bank from government prosecution over inappropriate mortgage practices. Citigroup (C) has received first-round bids of $3B-$4B from over 10 groups for EMI, including from Sony (SNE), Universal (VIVDY), Warner Music (WMG) and BMG. MFA Financial (MFA) beat estimates by a penny. KKR (KKR) missed estimates by 5 cents. American Capital Strategies (ACAS) reported Q2 EPS of $0.20 (in-line). UnumProvident (UNM) beat estimates by 3 cents with revenue in-line with estimates. XL Group (XL) beat estimates by 21 cents and revenue by $400M. Lincoln National (LNC) beat estimates by 15 cents with revenue in-line with estimates. CBL & Associates Properties (CBL) beat estimates by 3 cents and revenue by $2M. General Growth Properties (GGP) reported that core funds from operations fell 68% Y/Y to $0.20/share (below consensus $0.23/share). Post Properties (PPS) reported that Q2 swung to a profit as its funds from operations went from a previous-year loss to a gain, and raised its FY11 FFO outlook by 13%. Radian Group’s (RDN) Q2 swings to a profit, benefitting from large derivatives gains and a smaller provision for mortgage insurance losses due to a decline in delinquencies. SL Green Realty (SLG) gets moved to Outperform from Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette, which takes General Growth Properties (GGP) to Market Perform from Underperform. Allstate (ALL) gets a Sell-from-Neutral downgrade at Goldman. Barclays PLC (BCS) is reduced to Hold from Buy at rival Royal Bank of Scotland.
The Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) traded at $14.42 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, up 0.49% on the day – down 9.59% year-to-date.
RIM (RIMM) has unveiled five new BlackBerry models as it attempts to recover market share losses from the iPhone (AAPL) and from Android (GOOG) devices. Citigroup (C) has received first-round bids of $3B-$4B from over 10 groups for EMI, including from Sony (SNE), Universal (VIVDY), Warner Music (WMG) and BMG. Samsung (SSNLF) has reportedly joined Google (GOOG) and Apple (AAPL) in examining InterDigital’s (IDCC) portfolio of around 8,800 patents after being approached to make a bid. The International Trade Commission is to review Apple’s (AAPL) request to block Samsung’s (SSNLF) Galaxy S mobile phone and Galaxy Tab computer from being imported into the U.S. due to patent infringements. MasterCard (MA) beat estimates by 53 cents and revenue by $120M. j2 Global (JCOM) reported Q2 revenue of $85.7M and EPS of $0.65 (easily beating expectations of $0.58), and increased its FY11 outlook. Silicon Image (SIMG) beat estimates by 2 cents and revenue by $1.3M, and guides for Q3 revenue of $60M-$62M (in-line with consensus of $61.9M). ValueClick (VCLK) beat estimates by 2 cents and revenue by $4M. OpenTable (OPEN) beat estimates by 6 cents, but missed revenue by $1M. Harris (HRS) reported FQ4 EPS of $1.24 (in-line) and revenue of $1.6B (in-line). WebMD Health (WBMD) missed estimates by 6 cents with revenue in-line with estimates. SuccessFactors (SFSF) beat estimates by 3 cents and revenue by $3M, and expects Q3 revenue of $83M-84M (versus $72M), and full-year revenue of $310M-315M (versus $284M). Cavium (CAVM) reported Q2 EPS of $0.32 (in-line) on revenue of $72M. Lo-Jack (LOJN) posted a better Q2 EPS but missing on net sales. Liquidity Services (LQDT) reported FQ3 revenue of $86.1M and adjusted EPS of $0.26 (beating a consensus of $82.3M and $0.20), and expects FQ4 adjusted EPS of $0.18-$0.20(above the $0.17 consensus). CommVault (CVLT) reported FQ1 revenue and non-GAAP EPS of $91.5M and $0.21 (trouncing a consensus of $83.6M and $0.17). Ctrip.com (CTRP) reported Q2 revenue and EPS of $137M and $0.35 (beating a consensus of $129.6M and $0.27), but Q3 annual revenue growth guidance of 15-20% is below a consensus of 24.9% growth. IPG Photonics (IPGP) reported FQ3 revenue and EPS of $121.9M and $0.63 (beating a consensus of $108.3M and $0.55), and expects FQ4 revenue of $120M-$130M and EPS of $0.56-$0.68 (compared with a consensus of $114.8M and $0.58). Fiserv (FISV) is now Outperform from Neutral at Robert W. Baird with a new target of $70. Silicon Image (SIMG) is now Buy from Neutral at Merriman. Texas Instruments (TXN) is taken to Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee. Analog Devices (ADI) is now Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee. Liquidity Services (LQDT) gets downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer. In afternoon trading: Shares of Smith Micro Software (SMSI) are down about 25.25% after falling to a loss in its second quarter on a 49% drop in revenue. Shares of Silicon Image are up about 22.75%. Shares of j2 Global are up about 16.5%. Shares of Trimble Navigation (TRMB) are up about 15.75% in reaction to a great Q2 report.
The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) traded at $25.51 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, up 1.03% on the day – up 1.27% year-to-date.
Frontier Communications (FTR) missed estimates by a penny with revenue in-line with estimates. Sprint Nextel (S) is upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Macquarie. MetroPCS (PCS) is now Neutral from Outperform at Robert W. Baird with a new target of $10. Leap Wireless (LEAP) is lowered to Neutral from Outperform at Robert W. Baird with a new price objective of $11. In afternoon trading: Shares of TerreStar (TSTRQ) are down about 19%. Shares of Cable & Wireless Worldwide (CBWWF) are down about 13.75%. Shares of SureWest (SURW) are UP about 17.25%.
The NASDAQ Telecommunications Index (IXTC) traded at $199.07 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, up 1.28% on the day – down 11.67% year-to-date.
Devon Energy (DVN) beat estimates by 18 cents and revenue by $800M. Public Service Enterprise Group (PEG) beat estimates by 8 cents and sees FY’11 EPS of $2.50-2.75 (versus $2.67 consensus). In afternoon trading: Actives: Shares of Genon Energy (GEN) are down about a half of a percent. Shares of Duke Energy (DUK) are down about 1.1%. Shares of AES Corp (AES) are down about 1.4%. Shares of Exelon (EXC) are down about a half of a percent. Shares of American Electric Power (AEP) are down about a half of a percent. Shares of Southern (SO) are down slightly. Shares of NiSource (NI) are up slightly.
The Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) traded at $32.70 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, unchanged on the day – up 4.34% year-to-date.
STOCKS: SE, XCO, SGY, TSL, MRO, AMRS, PTEN, OXY, FRO, OSG, IO, SWC, AGU, VMC, RKT, MLM, BHP, KRA, KRO, HTZ, RRD, OC, EXBD, MTOR, PH, DM, IIVI, EXPD, FWLT, AVAV, UNP, AMR, RJET, KFRC, MWA, PPO, C, SNE, VIVDY, WMG, NFLX, CBS, AMZN, GRMN, TWX, TV, CMCSA, TRW, LBTYA, PEET, BPI, COH, OMX, DIN, H, RLOC, VRA, CHH, F, VMED, LINC, HSNI, EK, CLX, FEED, DEO, CHBT, CIGX, PTRY, PSMT, BRKR, UAM, WBMD, CEPH, MDRX, DEPO, ARIA, MRK, AMED, EXAS, AMAG, BAC, MFA, KKR, ACAS, UNM, XL, LNC, CBL, GGP, PPS, RDN, SLG, ALL, BCS, RIMM, AAPL, GOOG, SSNLF, IDCC, MA, JCOM, SIMG, VCLK, OPEN, HRS, WBMD, SFSF, CAVM, LOJN, LQDT, CVLT, CTRP, IPGP, FISV, TXN, ADI, SMSI, TRMB, FTR, S, PCS, LEAP, TSTRQ, CBWWF, SURW, DVN, PEG, GEN, DUK, AES, EXC, AEP, SO NI