Existing Home Sales rose 1.4% in October to an annual rate of 4.97 million with the average sale price down to $162,500 from $165,800. Tomorrow we get Preliminary GDP for Q3, which should be revised down to 2.2% from 2.5%. On Wednesday we get Durable Goods Orders, Personal Income and Spending and Michigan Consumer Sentiment. The US Treasury auctions $35 billion 5-Year notes on Tuesday and $29 billion 7-Year notes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded down to 11,454.07 Monday morning below its 50-day simple moving average at 11,534. The Dow traded above the 50-day into the final half hour of trading. The NASDAQ gapped below its 50-day simple moving average at 2592 in a trading range of 2539.87 down to 2500.89 Monday morning then consolidating the loss into the final half hour of trading.
Asian stocks began the week lower with the Nikkei 225 down 0.32% to 8,348 and the Hang Seng losing 1.44% 1.44% to 18,226. European stocks also traded lower on European and US debt woes. The FTSE 100 slumped by 2.62% to 5,223 with the DAX plunged by 3.35% to 5,606 and the CAC 40 crushed by 3.41% to 2,895. The yield on the US Treasury 10-Year note traded down from 1.993 percent to 1.941 staying below its 50-day simple moving average at 2.044. The US Treasury auctioned $35 billion 2-Year notes at 0.280% with a very strong 4.07 bid to cover and indirect bit of 42.2%. Gold traded down from $1727.4 the Troy ounce to $1667.1. Crude oil traded down from $97.86 per barrel to $95.24 testing its 200-day simple moving average at $95.36. The euro versus the dollar declined from 1.3538 to 1.3434 then up to 1.3540 staying below its 50-day simple moving average at 1.3670.
In afternoon trading: Shares of Frontline (FRO) are down about 11.5%. Shares of GMX Resources (GMXR) are down about 11%. Shares of Overseas Shipholding Group (OSG) are down about 10%. Shares of Gastar Exploration (GST) are down about 9%.
Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was trading at $66.93 at 4:00 PM on Monday, down 1.79% on the day – down 1.93% year-to-date.
MeadWestvaco (MWV) is moved to Market Perform from Underperform at BMO Capital. International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF) is now Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan. Haynes International (HAYN) is moved to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan. Royal Gold (RGLD) is cut to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital. In afternoon trading: Shares of Mechel OAO (MTL) are down about 8%.
The Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB) was trading at $32.68 at 4:00 PM on Monday, down 1.74% on the day – down 14.92% year-to-date.
Fluor (FLR) is moved to Buy from Hold at BB&T Capital. In afternoon trading: Shares of Ultrapetrol (ULTR) are up about 10%. Shares of Broadwind Energy (BWEN) are up about 7.25%. Shares of Genco Shipping & Trading (GNK) are down about 8.25%. Shares of American Superconductor (AMSC) are down about 7.75%. Shares of The Manitowoc Company (MTW) are down about 7.5%.
The Industrial Select Sector SPDR (XLI) was trading at $32.16 at 4:00 PM on Monday, down 2.31% on the day – down 7.77% year-to-date.
Sally Beauty Holdings (SBH) is launched at Neutral by Bank of America-Merrill Lynch. Bally Technologies (BYI) is moved to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank. Hibbett Sports (HIBB) is hoisted to Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee. Hot Topic (HOTT) is juiced to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray. Target (TGT) is moved to Neutral from Overweight at JP Morgan. Liberty Starz (LSTZA) is lowered to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays. Destination Maternity (DEST) is downgraded to In Line from Outperform at Imperial Capital Research. In afternoon trading: Shares of Global Education & Technology (GEDU) are up about 97%. Shares of Focus Media (FMCN) are down about 49%.
The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) was trading at $37.29 at 4:00 PM on Monday, down 1.56% on the day – down 0.32% year-to-date.
Wal-Mart (WMT) is upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan. Hershey Foods (HSY) is taken to Buy from Neutral at Ticonderoga with a new price objective of $66. Walgreen (WAG) is downgraded by 180 degrees, to Underweight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley. In afternoon trading: Shares of China-Biotics (CHBT) are up about 16%. Shares of Central European Distribution (CEDC) are up about 10.5%. Shares of NuPathe (PATH) are down about 10.25%.
The Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was trading at $30.56 at 4:00 PM on Monday, down 1.61% on the day – up 4.26% year-to-date.
AMAG Pharmaceuticals (AMAG) is a new Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) is lifted to Neutral from Underweight at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch. In afternoon trading: Shares of Pharmasset (VRUS) are up about 85%. Shares of Inhibitex (INHX) are up about 20%. Shares of Geron (GERN) are up about 17%. Shares of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) are up about 11.75%.
The Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) was trading at $32.22 at 4:00 PM on Monday, down 1.92% on the day – up 2.29% year-to-date.
Having spurned a series of suitors such as Warren Buffett, Transatlantic (TRH) is in talks with yet another buyer, Alleghany (Y), and the firms may even announce their engagement today. Alleghany will pay about $59-60 a share, a premium of up to 10% on Transatlantic’s close on Friday. Lloyds (LYG) said CEO Antonio Horta-Osorio is making “good progress in his recovery” after taking medical leave, but that it will draft in David Roberts to become interim CEO if Horta-Osorio doesn’t return by the year-end, as expected. American National Bankshares (AMNB) is covered with a Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette. Morgan Stanley (MS) is moved to Buy from Hold at brokerage Collins Stewart. Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is raised to Buy from Add at WestLB. Deutsche Bank (DB) is upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at HSBC Securities. Euronet Worldwide (EEFT) is upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray. Mack-Cali Realty (CLI) is lifted to Buy from Neutral increase at Goldman Sachs. Goldman gives ratings reductions to General Growth Properties (GGP), Simon Properties Group (SPG) (both now Neutral from Buy), and Vornado Realty Trust (VNO), slashed to to Sell from Neutral. Green Dot (GDOT) is now Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray. In afternoon trading: Shares of MF Global (MFGLQ) are down about 18%.
The Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) was trading at $12.19 at 4:00 PM on Monday, down 2.48% on the day – down 23.57% year-to-date.
An arbitrator has ordered hard-drive maker Western Digital (WDC) to pay $525M to rival Seagate (STX) for misappropriation of confidential information and trade secrets. Hewlett Packard (HPQ) is expected to report that EPS and revenue declined to $1.13 and $32B respectively when it release its FQ4 results after the bell. NetApp (NTAP) is raised to Outperform from Sector Perform at FBN Securities. Western Digital (WDC) is boosted to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays. Veeco Instruments (VECO) is hoisted to Buy from Hold at ThinkEquity. Research In Motion (RIMM) is cut to Underperform from Market Perform at JMP Securities. In afternoon trading: Shares of Vanceinfo Technology (VIT) are down about 17.25%. Shares of Youku.com (YOKU) are down about 12.5%. Shares of Sina (SINA) are a down about 12%. Shares of Spreadtrum Communications (SPRD) are down about 12%. Shares of Yandex (YNDX) are down about 11%.
The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) was trading at $24.77 at 4:00 PM on Monday, down 1.75% on the day – down 1.67% year-to-date.
In afternoon trading: Shares of TerreStar (TSTRQ) are down about 11.5%. Shares of Leap Wireless (LEAP) are down about 8.25%. Shares of magicJack VocalTec (CALL) are down about 6.25%. Shares of Boingo Wireless (WIFI) are down about 6%. Shares of Clearwire (CLWR) are up about 12.25%.
The NASDAQ Telecommunications Index (IXTC) was trading at $195.63 at 4:00 PM on Monday, down 2.49% on the day – down 13.20% year-to-date.
Alliant Energy (LNT) is upgraded to Buy from Hold with Wunderlich, which takes its target price up to $45 from $40. Great Plains Energy (GXP) is downgraded to Hold from Buy with a new $22 target at Wunderlich. In afternoon trading: Actives: Shares of Genon Energy (GEN) are down about 3.6%. Shares of Duke Energy (DUK) are down about 0.7%. Shares of AES Corp (AES) are down about 2.6%. Shares of Southern Company (SO) are down about a half of a percent.
The Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) was trading at $34.21 at 4:00 PM on Monday, down 1.24% on the day – up 9.16% year-to-date.
STOCKS: FRO, GMXR, OSG, GST, MWV, IFF, HAYN, RGLD, MTL, FLR, ULTR, BWEN, GNK, AMSC, MTW, SBH, BYI, HIBB, HOTT, TGT, LSTZA, DEST, GEDU, FMCN, WMT, HSY, WAG, CHBT, CEDC, PATH, AMAG, REGN, VRUS. INHX, GERN, TRH, Y, LYG, AMNB, MS, RBS, DB, EEFT, CLI, GGP, SPG, VNO, GDOT, MFGLQ, WDC, STX, HPQ, NTAP, VECO, RIMM, VIT, YOKU, SINA, SPRD, YNDX, TSTRQ, LEAP, CALL, WIFI, CLWR, LNT, GXP, GEN, DUK, AES, SO