The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened trading back and forth around the flat line, as did the NASDAQ. The Dow rallied from a morning low at 12,539 to an afternoon high at 12,643. The NASDAQ rebounded from a morning low of 2813 to an afternoon high at 2839. According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas the number of planned job cuts increased 11.6% in June. Mortgage applications fell 5.1% in the latest week. Non-manufacturing ISM came in slightly weaker than expected at 53.3 in June.
U.S. stocks traded in a choppy pattern on Tuesday. The Dow lost just 13 points to 12,570 after trading slightly above 12,600. The Dow is up 8.6% year to date. The NASDAQ tacked on 10 points to 2826 up 6.5% year to date.
Asian stocks were mixed on Wednesday with the Nikkei 225 up 1.1% to 10,082. The Hang Seng slumped 1.0% to 22,517 then China raised interest rates for the third time this year to contain surging inflation. European stocks moved lower after Moody’s downgraded Portugal bonds to junk status. On Wednesday the FTSE 100 was down 0.4%. The DAX was down 0.1%. The CAC 40 was down 0.4%. The yield on the 10-Year US Treasury note declined from 3.154 percent to 3.073 on Wednesday below the 50-day and 200-day simple moving averages at 3.092 and 3.139. Gold rallied from $1510.3 to $1534.5 the Troy ounce, back above the 50-day simple moving average at $1519.9. Crude oil remains above its 200-day simple moving average at $93.37 trading as high as $97.79 per barrel on Wednesday. The euro versus the US dollar traded down from 1.4465 to a low of 1.4290 in afternoon trading.
Solazyme (SZYM) gets started with a Buy at Goldman Sachs. Tesoro (TSO) is upgraded to Overweight from Equalweight at Barclays Capital with a $37 target. In afternoon trading: Shares of Gevo (GEVO) are up about 6.2%. Shares of Treaty Energy (TECO) are up about 5.1%. Shares of Delta Petroleum (DPTR) are up about 4.5%. Actives: Shares of Marathon Oil (MRO) are down about 3.9%. Shares of Exxon Mobil (XOM) are down about a half of a percent. Shares of BP (BP) are down about 0.9%. Shares of Petroleo Brasileiro (PBR) are dowm about 1%. Shares of Halliburton (HAL) are up about 0.7%.
Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was trading at $76.39 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, down slightly on the day – up 11.93% year-to-date.
Alacer Gold (ALIAF) is begun with a Hold at Citigroup. In afternoon trading: Shares of Senomyx (SNMX) are up about 9.8%. Shares of Golden Star Resources (GSS) are up about 5.9%. Shares of Endeavour Silver (EXK) are up about 5%. Shares of Zagg (ZAGG) are down about 6.8%. Shares of Georgia Gulf (GGC) are dowm about 6.7%.
The Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB) traded at $39.94 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, up 0.40% on the day – up 3.98% year-to-date.
Malaysia’s AirAsia will buy an extra 100 Airbus (EADSF) A320neo jets, in addition to the $18.2B 200-plane deal it struck with Airbus at the Paris Air Show last month. The extra booking for the more fuel-efficient jet highlights the A320neo’s growing lead over Boeing’s (BA) 737 at a time of high oil prices, and increases the pressure on the U.S. plane maker to respond. Spirit Airlines (SAVE) is started with a Buy at Dahlman Rose. Rockwell Automation (ROK) is resumed with a Neutral rating and $93 target at UBS. All Nippon Airways (ALNPY) is now Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan. Owens Corning (OC) is downgraded to Hold from Buy at BB&T Capital. In afternoon trading: Shares of Arkansas Best (ABFS) are up about 9.7%. Shares of Spirit Airlines are up about 8.1%. Shares of YRC Worldwide (YRCW) are down about 7%.
The Industrial Select Sector SPDR (XLI) traded at $37.90 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, up 0.54% on the day – up 8.69% year-to-date.
Insight Communications, the country’s ninth-largest cable operator, attracted final bids of just over $3B in an auction, including from peers Mediacom Communications and WideOpenWest. Time Warner Cable (TWC) remains interested but is unlikely to bid for Insight unless the price falls below $3B, while Cablevision (CVC) has dropped out. Amazon.com (AMZN) is a new Neutral and price objective of $180 at brokerage Collins Stewart. The firm has a more bullish Buy rating and $42 target price on eBay (EBAY). Google (GOOG) is also given a Buy and $680 target. Baidu.com (BIDU) is begun with a Buy and $185 objective. OpenTable (OPEN) is initiated with a Buy rating and $108 price target. CBS Corp (CBS) is picked up with and Outperform at RBC Capital. Town Sports International (CLUB) is assumed with an Overweight at Piper Jaffray. American Axle (AXL) is upgraded to Buy from Hold at KeyBanc Capital. Life Time Fitness (LTM) is lifted to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray. Central European Media (CETV) gets upgraded to Buy from Hold at ING Group. Netflix (NFLX) is now Neutral from Buy at Merriman. Cablevision Systems (CVC) is cut to Strong Sell From Hold at S&P Equity Research. WPP Group PLC (WPPGY) is cut to Equal-weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley.
The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) traded at $41.05 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, down 0.36% on the day – up 9.73% year-to-date.
Whole Foods (WFMI) is picked up with an Overweight rating and $77 price objective at Piper Jaffray, which assigns an identical recommendation on Fresh Market (TFM), and has new Neutrals on both Hain Celestial (HAIN) and Le Gaga (GAGA). B&G Foods (BGS) is now Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray. In afternoon trading: Shares of Farmer Brothers (FARM) are down about 9.75%. Shares of Susser Holdings (SUSS) are up about 8.7%. Shares of Feihe International (ADY) are up about 6.8%.
The Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) traded at $31.63 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, up 0.54% on the day – up 7.92% year-to-date.
Derma Sciences (DSCI) is a new Outperform at Oppenheimer. Quidel (QDEL) is a new Neutral at JPMorgan. AVEO Pharma (AVEO) is begun with a Buy and $30 target at Jefferies. Immucor (BLUD) is now Neutral from positive at Susquehanna. In afternoon trading: Shares of Kinetic Concepts (KCI) are up about 13.1% on news that the company is in exclusive talks to go private in a leveraged buyout. Shares of ImmunoGen (IMGN) are up about 9.4%. Shares of Pharmasset (VRUS) are up about 7.3%.
The Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) traded at $35.96 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, up 0.28% on the day – up 14.16% year-to-date.
Leading financial institutions are due to meet in Paris today to discuss increased private-sector participation in Greece’s bailout, although hopes for a significant contribution from bondholders are fading. Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) is reportedly part of a consortium in exclusive negotiations to buy Citigroup’s (C) consumer-lending unit OneMain Financial in a deal that could exceed $8B. The other members of the group include Leucadia (LUK) and private-equity firm Centerbridge. Charles Schwab (SCHW) and TD Ameritrade (AMTD) are both established with Holds at Citigroup. Travelers (TRV) is a new Market Perform at brokerage William Blair, which rates Chubb (CB) an Underperform. Citigroup (C) is added to the Focus List of favored stocks at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch. FXCM Inc (FXCM) is upgraded to Hold from Sell at Citigroup. Green Dot Corp (GDOT) gets increased to Neutral from Sell at Janney. In afternoon trading: Shares of The PMI Group (PMI) are up about 23.25% after a report was released indicating that a settlement may be near for mortgage servicers with regard to foreclosures. Shares of MGIC Investment (MTG) are up about 12.5%.
The Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) traded at $15.41 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, down 0.52% on the day – down 3.39% year-to-date.
Amazon.com (AMZN) is a new Neutral and price objective of $180 at brokerage Collins Stewart. The firm has a more bullish Buy rating and $42 target price on eBay (EBAY). Google (GOOG) is also given a Buy and $680 target. Baidu.com (BIDU) is begun with a Buy and $185 objective. OpenTable (OPEN) is initiated with a Buy rating and $108 price target. Informatica (INFA) is a new Outperform at BMO Capital Markets. Global Payment (GPN) gets picked up with a Hold at Jefferies. NetScout Systems (NTCT) is now Hold from Buy at Kaufman Bros with a new lower target of $16.50. Blackboard (BBBB) is taken to Hold from Buy at Feltl & Co. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSM) is taken to Equalweight from Overweight by Barclays. Intuit (INTU) is moved to Equalweight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley. In afternoon trading: Shares of Renren (RENN) are up about 9%.
The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) traded at $26.28 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, up 0.46% on the day – up 4.33% year-to-date.
In afternoon trading: Actives: Shares of Sprint Nextel (S) are up about 2.1%. Shares of TerreStar (TSTRQ) are down about 4.5%. Shares of AT&T (T) are down about 1.3%. Shares of Level 3 (LVLT) are up about 1.4%. Shares of Verizon (VZ) are down about 0.9%.
The NASDAQ Telecommunications Index (IXTC) traded at $215.16 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, down slightly on the day – down 4.53% year-to-date.
Chesapeake Utilities (CPK) is covered with a Hold at Brean Murray. In afternoon trading: Actives: Shares of AES Corp (AES) are up about 1.2%. Shares of Duke Energy (DUK) are relatively unchanged. Shares of Genon Energy (GEN) are down slightly. Shares of PPL Corp (PPL) are relatively unchanged. Shares of NiSource (NI) are down about 0.4%.
The Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) traded at $33.75 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, up 0.21% on the day – up 7.69% year-to-date.
STOCKS: SZYM, TSO, GEVO, TECO, DPTR, MRO, XOM, BP, PBR, HAL, ALIAF, SNMX, GSS, EXK, ZAGG, GGC, EADSF, BA, SAVE, ROK, ALNPY, OC, ABFS, YRCW, TWC, CVC, AMZN, EBAY, GOOG, BIDU, OPEN, CBS, CLUB, AXL, LTM, CETV, NFLX, WPPGY, WFMI, TFM, HAIN, GAGA, BGS, FARM, SUSS, ADY, DSCI, QDEL, AVEO, BLUD, KCI, IMGN, VRUS, BRK.A, C, LUK, SCHW, AMTD, TRV, CB, FXCM, GDOT, PMI, MTG, INFA, GPN, NTCT, BBBB, TSM, INTU, RENN, S, TSTRQ, T, LVLT, VZ, CPK, AES, DUK, GEN, PPL, NI