Initial Jobless Claims declined to 388,000 last week, but remains well above the 350,000 recessionary threshold. Housing Starts fell 0.3% to an annual rate of 628,000 in October with Permits at 653,000. As a sign of stability in the housing market single-family starts rose by 3.9% to 430,000 unit rate. The Philly Fed Manufacturing Index fell to 3.6 in November versus 8.7 in October. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded down from 11,913.01 to 11,833.54 then up to 11,948.43, which was below its 200-day simple moving average at 11,976. Afternoon weakness saw the Dow as low as 11,676.35. The NASDAQ traded down from 2637.56 to 2613.86 Thursday morning below its 200-day at 2687. The NASDAQ slipped to a day’s low at 2576.22 in afternoon trading.
Asian stocks were mixed on Thursday with the Nikkei 225 up 0.19% to 8,480 and the Hang Seng down 0.76% to 18,817. European stocks traded lower as a Spanish bond auction came close to a 7 percent yield. The FTSE 100 declined 1.61% to 5,420 with the DAX losing 1.07% to 5,850 and the CAC 40 slumping by 1.78% to 3,010. The yield on the US Treasury 10-Year note traded down from 2.014 percent to 1.962 then up to 2.040 holding its 50-day simple moving average at 2.042. This yield declined to 1.938 in afternoon trading. Gold traded down from $1768.0 the Troy ounce to $1711.0. Crude oil traded down from $103.37 per barrel to $98.28, as strength above $100 proved to be tough to sustain. The euro versus the dollar traded between 1.3425 and 1.3538 staying below its 50-day simple moving average at 1.3678.
Helmerich & Payne (HP) beat estimates by 6 cents and revenue by $26M. Enbridge (ENB) gets a Buy-from-Hold boost at TD Newcrest. Western Refining (WNR) is downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank. Marathon Petroleum (MPC) is pulled from Morgan Stanley’ Best Ideas list. In afternoon trading: Shares of Treaty Energy (TECO) are down about 11%. Shares of Western Refining are down about 8.5%. Shares of Patriot Coal (PCX) are down about 7.5%. Shares of Magnum Hunter (MHR) are down about 7.5%. Shares of ATP Oil & Gas (APTG) are UP about 7.5%.
Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was trading at $68.56 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, down 2.28% on the day – up 0.45% year-to-date.
In afternoon trading: Shares of Ternium SA (TX) are down about 16%. Shares of CF Industries (CF) are down about 10%. Shares of Mechel OAO (MTL) are down about 10%. Shares of Stillwater Mining (SWC) are down about 7%. Shares of Endeavour Silver (EXK) are down about 7%. Shares of Silver Standard Resources (SSRI) are down about 6.5%. Shares of New Gold (NGD) are down about 6.5%.
The Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB) was trading at $33.08 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, down 2.85% on the day – down 13.88% year-to-date.
GE (GE) plans to invest $1B in software development over the next three years as it seeks to make its industrial equipment more productive. In afternoon trading: Shares of ACCO Brands (ABD) are up about 21.5%. Shares of Meritor (MTOR) are down about 7.5%. Shares of Tata Motors (TTM) are down about 7.5%. Shares of DryShips (DRYS) are down about 7.25%. Shares of AMR Corp. (AMR) are down about 6.5%.
The Industrial Select Sector SPDR (XLI) was trading at $32.84 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, down 1.74% on the day – down 5.82% year-to-date.
After pricing its IPO at $22, Delphi Automotive (DLPH) failed to gain traction. The company’s stock opened at $21.25 a share on the New York Stock Exchange (-3.4%). Dollar Tree Stores (DLTR) beat estimates by 4 cents with revenue in-line with estimates. Sears (SHLD) missed estimates by 33 cents with revenue in-line with estimates. Williams-Sonoma (WSM) beat estimates by 3 cents and revenue by $11M. Limited Brands (LTD) beat estimates by a penny and revenue by $10M. Xueda Education (XUE) reported Q3 revenue of $51.5M and EPS of -$0.07 (the former beat by $0.6M, while the latter was in-line). Target’s (TGT) expects Q4 EPS to fall in a range of $1.43-$1.53. HSBC Securities rolls out Neutral rated coverage on Royal Caribbean (RCL) – $30 target price, Carnival Corp (CCL) – $34 target price, and Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG). Volkswagen AG (VLKAY) gets reinstated with an Outperform at Credit Suisse. Lululemon Athletica (LULU) is lifted to Buy from Hold with a $64 target at Stifel Nicolaus. Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) is downgraded to Hold from Buy at ISI Group. Guess (GES) is moved to Underperform from Neutral by Bank of America-Merrill Lynch. Daimler AG (DDAIF) is lowered to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse. Sally Beauty (SBH) is cut to Equal Weight from Overweight by Barclays. In afternoon trading: Shares of Perry Ellis (PERY) are down about 35%. Shares of OfficeMax (OMX) are down about 10%. Shares of Children’s Place (PLCE) are up about 15%.
The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) was trading at $37.90 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, down 1.76% on the day – up 1.31% year-to-date.
Imperial Tobacco (ITYBY) is now Reduce from Buy at Nomura. The Fresh Market (TFM) is moved to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray. In afternoon trading: Actives: Shares of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) are down about 1%. Shares of Pepsico (PEP) are down about 1.9%. Shares of Wal-Mart (WMT) are down about 0.3%. Shares of Altria Group (MO) are up slightly. Shares of Walgreens (WAG) are up slightly. Shares of CVS Caremark (CVS) are down about 0.4%.
The Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was trading at $30.97 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, down 0.35% on the day – up 5.66% year-to-date.
An FDA advisory panel has backed extending to the over-50s the use of Pfizer’s (PFE) Prevnar 13 vaccine for helping to prevent pneumonia. Zeltiq Aesthetics (ZLTQ) reported Q3 revenue of $17.7M and GAAP EPS of -$3.17. Nxstage Medical (NXTM) is picked up at Overweight by Piper Jaffray. Cadence Pharmaceuticals (CADX) is upgraded to Perform from Underperform at Oppenheimer. In afternoon trading: Shares of Zoll Medical (ZOLL) are up about 22.5%. Shares of Dendreon (DNDN) are up about 7.25%. Shares of SXC Health Solutions (SXCI) are up about 7%.
The Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) was trading at $32.92at 4:00 PM on Thursday, down 1.05% on the day – up 4.51% year-to-date.
Federal prosecutors have issued subpoenas for MF Global (MFGLQ) records, as the Justice Department intensifies its criminal investigation into the firm’s collapse. Progressive (PGR) is a new Outperform at Sanford Bernstein. Bank of New York Mellon (BK) is downgraded to Neutral from Buy at SunTrust. Eaton Vance (EV) is now Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee. State Street (STT) gets a Neutral-from-Buy recommendation reduction at Suntrust. Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) is lowerd to Market Perform from Outperform. In afternoon trading: Shares of Washington Mutual (WAMUQ) are up about 28%.
The Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) was trading at $12.46 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, down 1.97% on the day – down 21.88% year-to-date.
Applied Materials’ (AMAT) beat estimates by a penny and revenue by $30M. The company expects FQ1 EPS of $0.08-$0.16 (below $0.18 consensus) and revenue is expected to decline 5%-15% Q/Q (versus consensus of a 5.6% drop). Angie’s List (ANGI) debuted at $18.01 (39% above its $13 offering price). As expected, Google (GOOG) has launched a music service which allows users to store and stream up to 20,000 songs in the cloud. It features deep Google+ and Android integration, and contains an iTunes (AAPL) Match-like ability to stream songs users own without them having to upload them. Apple has commissioned an audit of the environmental practices of its suppliers in China after critical reports by activists. Qihoo 360 (QIHU) reported Q3 revenue $47.5M and EPS of $0.15 (blowing past Street estimates by $5.4M and $0.05). The company is guiding for Q4 revenue of $55M-$56M (well above a consensus of $46.5M). Youku.com (YOKU) missed estimates by 2 cents, while beating revenue by $1M. The company expects Q4 revenue to be up 90%-100% Y/Y (below consensus for 107.7% growth). NetApp (NTAP) beat estimates by 4 cents with revenue in-line with estimates. The company expects FQ3 revenue of $1.52B-$1.61B and EPS of $0.56-$0.60 (below a consensus of $1.64B and $0.63). TiVo Inc (TIVO) is a new Outperform at JMP Securities. Fairchild Semiconductor (FCS) is a new Buy and $18 price objective at Ticonderoga. Micron Technology (MU) is moved to Outperform from Perform at Oppenheimer, with an $8 objective. Infineon (IFNNY) is cut to Hold from Buy at Societe Generale and removed from Goldman’s Pan Europe Conviction Buy List. Rambus (RMBS) is reduced to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan. Marvell (MRVL) gets moved to Underperform from Market Perform at JMP Securities. NetApp (NTAP) is cut to Neutral from Buy at Collins Stewart with a new target of $40. In afternoon trading: Shares of Youku.com are down about 21%. Shares of NetApp are down about 12.5%. Shares of Rambus are up about 19%. Shares of Energy Conversion Devices (ENER) are up about 11.25%.
The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) was trading at $25.42 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, down 1.93% on the day – up 0.91% year-to-date.
Jefferies has a Hold and $33 price target on AT&T Inc (T), and assigns an identical rating on Leap Wireless (LEAP) – $10 target. It has Buys on Verizon (VZ) and MetroPCS (PCS), with respective price objectives of $45 and $12. Sprint Nextel (S) is started with an Underperform – $2.50 target. American Tower (AMT) is added to Goldman Sachs’ list of Conviction Buys. In afternoon trading: Shares of Leap Wireless are down about 8.25%. Shares of MetroPCS are down about 5.25%. Shares of Sprint Nextel are down about 3.75%, while shares of AT&T are down about 0.9% and shares of Verizon are down about a quarter of a percent.
The NASDAQ Telecommunications Index (IXTC) was trading at $202.30 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, down 1.43% on the day – down 10.24% year-to-date.
In afternoon trading: Actives: Shares of Duke Energy (DUK) are down about 1%. Shares of AES Corp. (AES) are down about 2%. Shares of Exelon (EXC) are down about 1%. Shares of Southern Company (SO) are down about 0.4%. Shares of Genon Energy (GEN) are down slightly. Shares of FirstEnergy (FE) are down about 1.9%. Shares of CenterPoint Energy (CNP) are relatively unchanged.
The Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) was trading at $34.40 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, down 0.52% on the day – up 9.76% year-to-date.
STOCKS: HP, ENB, WNR, MPC, TECO, PCX, MHR, APTG, TX, CF, MTL, SWC, EXK, SSRI, NGD, GE, ABD, MTOR, TTM, DRYS, AMR, DLPH, DLTR, SHLD, WSM, LTD, XUE, TGT, RCL, CCL, IHG, VLKAY, LULU, ANF, GES, DDAIF, SBH, PERY, OMX, PLCE, ITYBY, TFM, GMCR, PEP, WMT, MO, WAG, CVS, PFE, ZLTQ, NXTM, CADX, ZOLL, DNDN, SXCI, MFGLQ, PGR, BK, EV, STT, TD, WAMUQ, AMAT, ANGI, GOOG, AAPL, QIHU, YOKU, NTAP, TIVO, FCS, MU, IFNNY, RMBS, MRVL, NTAP, ENER, T, LEAP, VZ, PCS, S, AMT, DUK, AES, EXC, SO, GEN, FE, CNP