Asian stocks were lower on Monday. The Nikkei 225 ended their session at 9,471 – down 1.74% on the day. The Hang Seng ended their session at 20,611 – down 0.44% on the day. European stocks were higher on Monday. The FTSE 100 ended their session at 5,684 – up 0.56% on the day. The DAX ended their session at 6,625 – up 0.36% on the day. The CAC 40 ended their session at 3,205 – up 0.51% on the day. The yield on the 10-Year US Treasury traded down from 1.998 percent to 1.946 below its 50-day and 200-day simple moving averages at 2.081 and 2.132.
Retail Sales in March came in stronger than expected at up 0.8%. The NY Empire Manufacturing Survey came in weaker than expected in April at a reading at 6.56. Business Inventories rose 0.6% in February. The National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index fell three points to 25 the first decline in seven months. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rebounded to 12,986.77 on Monday morning staying below its 50-day simple moving average at 12,998. The NASDAQ’s declined to 2975.87 moving below its 50-day simple moving average at 3003.
Gold declined from $1658.7 the Troy ounce to $1642.0 then rose to $1659.6 staying below its 50-day and 200-day simple moving averages at $1694.3 and $1692.7, converging towards a “death cross”. Crude oil traded up to $103.37 per barrel then declined to $101.80 then consolidated below its 50-day simple moving average at $104.23. The euro versus the dollar declined from 1.3073 to 1.2998 then rebounded to 1.3146 below its 50-day simple moving average at 1.3209.
Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Russia’s Rosneft are expected to sign a wide-ranging strategic partnership at Vladimir Putin’s residence today. Both firms search for oil in Russia’s Arctic offshore, while Rosneft gains access to Exxon’s North American projects. Kinder Morgan (KMP) has the largest natural gas system in the US and thus is positioned to take advantage of the increased demand that should evolve from extremely low natural gas prices. QR Energy LP (QRE) has been upgraded to Outperform from Perform at Robert W. Baird with a price target at $24. Chesapeake Energy (CHK) has been downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup. Marathon Petroleum (MPC), the oil outfit has been downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank. Dow components – Chevron (CVX) was up 0.6% Monday morning with Exxon Mobil (XOM) up 0.8%.
Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was trading at $68.28 at 3:30 PM on Monday, down 0.61% on the day – down 1.23% year-to-date.
Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) and Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) have been upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup. BASF AG (BASFY), the chemical company has been upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at HSBC Securities. PPG Industries (PPG) has been upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup. Dow components – Alcoa (AA) slipped 0.2% on Monday morning with DuPont (DD) up 1.2%.
The Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB) was trading at $36.29 at 3:30 PM on Monday, up 0.44% on the day – up 8.33% year-to-date.
Stratasys (SSYS) will merge with privately-held Object in an all-stock transaction with a value at $1.4 billion. The combined 3D printer company will operate under the Stratasys name with headquarters in both Israel and Minnesota. Caterpillar (CAT) has been upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch. Apogee Enterprises (APOG) has been upgraded to Outperform from Perform at Kansas City Capital with a price target at $15. Esterline Technologies (ESL) has been upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse. Standard Motor (SMP) has been upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman. Ball Corp (BLL) has been downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse. GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A. (GOL), The Latin American airline has been downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at HSBC Securities. LaFarge (LFRGY) has been downgraded to Hold from Buy at Société Générale. Magna International (MGA) has been downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman. Dow components – Boeing Co (BA) slipped 0.3%, Caterpillar (CAT) rebounded by 0.6%, General Electric (GE) rebounded by 0.3% 3M Company (MMM) was higher by 0.6%, and United Technologies (UTX) gained 0.3% all in morning trading.
The Industrial Select Sector SPDR (XLI) was trading at $36.50 at 3:30 PM on Monday, up 0.47% on the day – up 8.15% year-to-date.
Domino’s Pizza (DPZ) has been upgraded to Buy from Hold at Miller Tabak. Nordstrom (JWN) has been upgraded to Outperform from Underperform by Crédit Agricole with a price target upped to $64 from $55. Madison Square Garden (MSG) has been downgraded to Negative from Neutral at Susquehanna due to an excessive current valuation. Dow Components – Disney (DIS) lost 0.5%, and McDonalds (MCD) also slipped by 0.5%.
The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) was trading at $44.43 at 3:30 PM on Monday, down 0.27% on the day – up 13.86% year-to-date.
Home Depot (HD) has been upgraded to Overweight from Neutral by Piper Jaffray on optimism over accelerating earnings growth. Lowe’s (LOW) has been upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray. L’Oreal (LRLCY), the French cosmetics company has been upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies. Dow components – Home Depot (HD) tacked on 1.0%, Kraft (KFT) gained 0.7%, Coca Cola (KO) gained 1.0%, Procter & Gamble (PG) gained 1.3%, and Wal-Mart (WMT) gained 1.2% all in morning trading.
The Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was trading at $33.83 at 3:30 PM on Monday, up 0.59% on the day – up 4.12% year-to-date.
Novadaq Technologies (NVDQ) is initiated with an Overweight rating at Piper Jaffrey. Aastrom Biosciences (ASTM), the small cap has been upgraded to Speculative Buy from Hold with a $3 price target at WBB Securities. eResearchTech (ERT) has been downgraded to Hold from Buy at Auriga. Dow Components – Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) gained 0.8%, Merck (MRK) was up 0.6%, and Pfizer (PFE) gained 0.5% in morning trading.
The Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) was trading at $36.65 at 3:30 PM on Monday, up 0.19% on the day – up 5.65% year-to-date.
Private-equity firm Carlyle Group (CARL) will sell 30.5 million shares for $23 to $25 each in its IPO, which creates a valuation of over $7 billion. Citigroup (C) earned $1.11 a share in the first quarter beating expectations of $1.00. Shares were down pre-market as revenue falls 47%, but rebounded to be up 1.3% in morning trading. Goldman Sachs (GS) has sold $3.55 billion shares in Industrial & Commercial Bank of China to Temasek of Singapore for $2.3 billion. Credit Suisse (CS) may announce that it’s cutting 5,000 jobs when it reports Q1 results next week. Janus Capital (JNS) and Waddell & Reed (WDR) have been upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Citigroup. Dow Components – American Express (AXP) gained 0.3%, Bank of America (BAC) gained 0.4%, JP Morgan (JPM) slipped 0.4%, and Travelers (TRV) gained 1.0% all in morning trading.
The Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) was trading at $15.25 at 3:30 PM on Monday, up 0.79% on the day – up 17.31% year-to-date.
Jury selection in the trial over whether Google (GOOG) violated Oracle’s (ORCL) Java patents will begin today. Texas Instruments (TXN) will replace First Solar (FSLR) in the Nasdaq 100 on April 23. Cadence Design (CDNS) has been initiated with an Overweight by Piper Jaffray. Linear Technology (LLTC) has been upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Longbow due to improving fundamentals and valuation. Siliconware Precision (SPIL) has been upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight by Barclays. United Microelectronics (UMC) has been upgraded to Equal Weight from Underweight at Barclays. Infosys (INFY) has been downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank and to Neutral from Overweight at HSBC Securities. Dow Components – Cisco Systems (CSCO) lost 0.8%, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) was down 0.6, IBM (IBM) gained 0.6%, Intel Corp (INTC) rebounded 0.5%, and Microsoft (MSFT) gained 0.3% all in morning trading.
The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) was trading at $29.36 at 3:30 PM on Monday, down 0.84% on the day – up 15.35% year-to-date.
Deutsche Telekom (DTEGY) has been downgraded to Neutral from Outperform by BNP Paribas. Spreadtrum Communications (SPRD) has been downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley. Dow components – AT&T (T) gained 0.2% while Verizon (VZ) drifted higher by 0.1% in morning trading.
The NASDAQ Telecommunications Index (IXTC) was trading at $208.56 at 3:30 PM on Monday, down 0.32% on the day – up 5.91% year-to-date.
SCANA Corp (SCG) has been downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman. Dominion Resources (D) gained 0.5%, Edison International (EIX) was up 1.9%, First Energy (FE) was up 0.8%, and PG&E Corp (PCG) was up 1.5% in morning trading.
The Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) was trading at $34.71 at 3:30 PM on Monday, up 1.11% on the day – down 3.53% year-to-date.
STOCKS: CVX, XOM, QRE, CHK, MPC, AA, DD, ANR, FCX, BASFY, PPG, BA, CAT, GE, MMM, UTX, SSYS, APOG, ESL, SMP, BLL, GOL, LFRGY, MGA, DIS, MCD, DPZ, JWN, MSG, HD, KFT, KO, PG, WMT, LOW, LRLCY, JNJ, MRK, PFE, NVDQ, ASTM, ERT, AXP, BAC, JPM, CARL, C, GS, CS, JNS, WDR, CSCO, HPQ, IBM, INTC, MSFT, GOOG, ORCL, TXN, FSLR, CDNS, LLTC, SPIL, UMC, INFY, T, VZ, DTEGY, D, EIX, FE, PCG, PPL,SCG